Totsunyu Seyo! Asama Sanso Jiken (The Choice Of Hercules)
Tue Jan 22 21:55:56 EST 2002
Sankei recently ran a promo piece on the new film from Harada Masato,
"Totsunyu Seyo! Asama Sanso Jiken (English title: The Choice Of Hercules)".
Written and directed by Harada, director of "Bounce! Kogyaru", "Jubaku"
and "Inugami", it's a dramatisation of the 1971 Asama Sanso incident, where
five members of the Japanese Red Army holed themselves up in a mountain
villa in Nagano prefecture with a solitary hostage and engaged in a gun
battle with over 1600 police. The actual event was broadcast live on
Japanese television and rated a whopping 89.7%. These events occurred
after those featured in the recent "Hikari No Ame", where 12 members of the
same group were killed by their own in a brutal internal purge.
Produced by Hara Masato, the film stars Yakusho Koji, Uzaki Ryudo, Amami
Yuki, Shina Kippei, Ibu Masato and Fujita Makoto. Yakusho plays Sasa
Atsuyuki, leader of the police's raid on Asama Sanso and author of the book
that the film is based on. Where "Hikari No Ame" focused on the internal
politics of the Red Army radicals, this film appears to be more concerned
with the policemen involved in the raid, especially Yakusho as Sasa, as
they endeavour to fulfil their prime directive: free the hostage with no
loss of life.
"When I read the book, I wanted to make it into a film right away. The
relationship between Japanese and their organisations is very well
depicted. I want to pose the questions: what is determination? What is
courage?" said Harada at the production launch in November of last year.
"The book makes some fascinating comments on 'Nihonjinron'. I'm sure that
this will become a fantastic entertainment film mixed with social
Filming began in Tokyo and on-location at Niigata in mid-November of last
year and wrapped at the end of December. It was shot with a Panasonic HD
digital camera called a "Varicam", which can shoot at the same frame rate
as a regular film camera and is equipped to handle regular film camera
lenses. The movie, a joint production between Toei, Asmik Ace, TBS, and
Sankei Newspapers, will be completed in March, with a national release date
set for May of this year.
Sankei's feature (in Japanese) can be read at the address below:
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