Uchida Shungiku / Book etc (was: censorship etc)

stephen cremin asianfilmlibrary
Mon Dec 21 11:14:15 EST 1998

For the record, another Uchida Shungiku film adaptation is "Close Your 
Eyes and Hold Me" (???????????????? / Me o Tojite Daite) directed by 
Isomura Itsumichi whose "Give It All" (???????????????????????? / 
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi) was released in September.  An English subtitled 
print does exist.  Sexier than "The Girl of the Silence" (?t?@?U?[
?t?@?b?J?[ / Father Fucker) so perhaps more representative of Uchida's 
erotic manga, although I haven't actually seen the film.  There was an 
interview with Uchida in J Scott Burgeson's "Bug" magazine last year, 
which can be purchased over the internet.

Regarding Mark Schilling's comment that he was surprised by the poor 
visibility of "The Girl of the Silence" at international film 
festivals.  I'd like to think that this fits in with my theory that 
the dominant critics and programmers of film festivals overseas aren't 
interested in Asian films with "female" themes, particularly films 
originating from Japan.  It will be interesting to see what happens to 
Hirayama Hideyuki's "Begging for Love" (???????????? / Ai o Ko Hito) 
which after premiering at Montreal doesn't seem to be doing the 
circuit.  Based on Shimoda Harumi's novel, it also deals with child 
abuse and is Japan's bid for consideration as Best Film Not Made by an 
American [or Roberto?] Oscar.  (Anybody want to bet that Harada Mieko 
won't win Kinema Junpo's Best Actress award?)

Having said that, I do think there is a new generation of critics, 
distributors, programmers, etc, emerging internationally who have a 
broader taste in Asian film.  Harada Masato's "Leaving" (?o?E???Xko 
GALS / Bounce-ko Gals) has recently been sold to four different 
territories in the West which would have been unthinkable a couple of 
years ago.  At the same time, "kitchen", "Tokyo Fist" (?????t?B?X?g) 
and "The River" (?? / Kawa) have recently flopped in London while 
"Happy Together" (?u?G?m?X?A?C???X / Buenos Aires) has hardly been the 
success the distributor was expecting.

I'll fax a filmography of Nagato Hiroyuki in response to another query 
on the list (from my book on Japanese film).  Despite Mark's claim of 
promptness, largely because he paid in cash, I've had queries from a 
couple of libraries on the list for copies of the book which I've been 
slow to reply to as I'm determining the new post-Tokyo Film Festival 
price.  I'll post Donald Richie's review from the Japan Times to the 
list if that's okay with a special offer for KineJapan subscribers.

Stephen Cremin
The Asian Film Library [London Pan-Asian Film Festival]

PS: Does anybody know how "HANA-BI" and "Kagemusha" (?e????) performed 
in Korea?

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