Ame Agaru

Mark Schilling schill
Wed Dec 23 22:06:50 EST 1998

From:Mark Schilling <schill at> 
To: KineJapan <KineJapan at>
> Subject: Ame Agaru
> Date: Thursday, December 24, 1998 
I was also at the Ame Agaru press conference on Tuesday and wrote a piece
about it for Screen International. It adds a few details that are not in
the New York Times story sent by Bill Thompson, so I'll post it here. The
NYT piece says that the film will be based on a Yamamoto Shugoro novel, but
according to the press materials I recieved, it is a short story. Also the
NYT story gives the English title as "Rain Stops," but according to Yoshida
Kayo of Asmik Ace, they are going with the Japanese title. Finally, I heard
that the lead will be played by Akira Terao.

Staff credits not mentioned in the story are as follows: director of
photography: Ueda Shoji, photography consultant: Saito Takao, production
design: Muraki Yoshiro, lighting: Sano Takeharu, sound: Benitani Kenichi,
costumes: Kurosawa Kazuko.  

Mark Schilling

Asmik Ace announces production of Ame Agaru

Tokyo: Asmik Ace and Kurosawa Production have announced the production of
"Ame Agaru," a film based on the last script written by Akira Kurosawa
before his death in September. Shooting is set to start in April, with
long-time Kurosawa assistant director Takashi Koizumi directing and several
veteran members of Kurosawa's staff participating. The executive producer
is Kurosawa's son Hisao and  the producer is Asmik Ace Entertainment
president Masato Hara, who served in a similar capacity on Kurosawa's Ran.
The film is scheduled to be finished by August, in time for its anticipated
world premiere at the 1999 Venice Film Festival
	Based on a short story by Shugoro Yamamoto, who also supplied material for
several other Kurosawa films, Ame Agaru will be a period drama about a
poverty-stricken swordsman whose talent wins the attention of a local lord,
but whose fights for street-corner gamblers get him into trouble. Casting
of the main roles is nearly completed. but no names have yet been
	Most of film's Y450 million budget ($3.9 million) will be supplied by
Japanese investors, but one-fourth or $1 million will come from 7 Films
Cinema, the production and distribution company of French director and
producer Elie Chouraqui, with the backing of Cofine. In return 7 Films
Cinema will acquire worldwide rights. Meanwhile Asmik Ace will distribute
the film in Japan. 
	Speaking at a press conference announcing the production,. Hisao Kurosawa
said that his company would also like to make "Umi wa Miteita" (The Sea Was
Watching) another script that his father wrote after the completion of his
last film, the 1993 "Madadayo." "But it all depends on the reception to
this one," he commented. Noting that Ame Agaru is set in a time of economic
troubles like those of of present-day Japan, co-producer Hara said that
"I'm confident that this film fits the mood of the times. Otherwise, there
would be no point in making it."        


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