Eureka and other novelizations

Stephen Cremin asianfilmlibrary
Tue Jan 9 02:05:19 EST 2001

And, Aaron, don't forget your favourite Japanese auteur, Iwai Shunji, who
wrote LOVE LETTER and SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY as novels.  I think for Iwai the
case is different in that he often approaches his films in different forms
before tackling them on the screen: UNDO was a photo-novel, LOVE LETTER was
a manga he drew as well as wrote.  That also leaves works that never got
funded realised as novels, such as GARDEN GUARD GUARDS which he at one point
considered making as a stop-motion animation.  Not sure if LOVE LETTER and
SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY were written before or after the film was made.

Another example that comes to mind is Iida Joji (aka George Iida) for his
ANOTHER HEAVEN.  Here of course the clear connection is Kadokawa Shoten and
I guess the uniqueness of the Japanese system - as far as I can tell - has
much to do with cross-media ownership in Japan.

Stephen Cremin

>From: Aaron Gerow <gerow at>
>To: "KineJapan" <KineJapan at>
>Subject: Eureka and other novelizations
>Date: Tue, 9 Jan 01 14:34:17 +0900

>The novelization of Eureka, penned by the director Aoyama Shinji, has 
>just been published by Kadokawa Shoten (ISBN: 4-04-873267-6; date: 
>2000.12; 1500 yen).  This, even though the film has yet to be released 
>(it will finally come out on January 20, it seems).  While it would be 
>interesting to talk about how a film that makes an issue of speech and 
>language is transposed into the written word, I was curious about the 
>phenomenon of directors writing the novelization of their own films.  
>Novelizations are, of course, not new, but I wonder how many cases there 
>are of the director him or herself penning the book.  Maybe some use 
>ghost writers, but I know Aoyama did not, nor did Kawase Naomi, who wrote 
>the novelization of Moe no Suzaku (available from Gentosha, 1997; ISBN: 
>4-87728-188-6; 1300 yen), and is currently finishing up the book of her 
>as-yet-to-be-released Hotaru.  It seems Kurosawa Kiyoshi also wrote the 
>novelization for Cure (for Tokuma Shoten), and Koreeda Hirokazu for After 
>Life (for Hayakawa Shobo).
>First, can anyone think of other cases where Japanese directors wrote the 
>novel-version of their own film?
>Second, is this a phenomenon visible in other national cinemas?  What are 
>some other examples?
>Aaron Gerow
>Yokohama National University
>KineJapan list owner
>For list commands: send "information kinejapan" to 
>listserver at
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