Ichikawa Jun (1948-2008)

Michael Kerpan mekerpan at verizon.net
Fri Sep 19 10:06:19 EDT 2008

Obituary in Variety at:

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117992497.html?categoryid=25&cs= 1

I'm stunned (and depressed) about the horrible news of Jun Ichikawa's untimely death (which seems like a re-play of the untimely demise of Shinji Somai, at an even earlier age, in 2001). Like Somai, Ichikawa was an exceptionally fine (and sensitive) director who never really got the respect he deserved. (Even after the success, of his Tony Takitani, his subsequent films have never even showed up in subbed form -- except at maybe a festival or two).

I've only managed to see 9 of his films (and most of what I've seen has been unsubbed). Of these, my favorites have been Tokyo Siblings, Osaka Story, Tokyo Marigold and How I Became Myself. But, really, most of the others are almost as wonderful. 

Very, very sad.

Michael Kerpan

--- On Fri, 9/19/08, Roland Domenig <roland.domenig at univie.ac.at> wrote:

> From: Roland Domenig <roland.domenig at univie.ac.at>
> Subject: Ichikawa Jun (1948-2008)
> To: "Kine Japan (KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu)" <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
> Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 9:48 AM
> The News reported today that director Ichikawa Jun passed
> away this morning at age 59.
> Born in Tokyo in 1948 Ichikawa began his career as director
>  of TV commercials. In the 1980s his hit TV-commercials
> earned him several awards among them a Golden Lion at the
> Cannes International Advertising Festival in 1985. In 1987
> he moved into filmmaking with BU.SU, which was critically
> acclaimed and voted one of the top ten films of 1987 by the
> Kinema Jumpo jury. Since then, Ichikawa has continued to
> make a new feature films every other year. The stylishness
> of his films won him a high reputation in Japan as well as
> internationally. Among his best known films are Tsugumi
> (1990), Tokiwa - The Manga Apartment (Tokiwaso no seishun,
> 1996), Tokyo Lullaby (Tokyo yakyoku, 1997) Osaka Story
> (Osaka monogatari, 1999) and Tony Takitani (2004).
> Personally I especially like his early films Memories of You
> (Kaisha monogatari, 1988) and No Life King (1989).
> Ichikawa's most recent film Buy a suit (Sutsu o kau)
> will be premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival
> next month.
> Although Ichikawa never rose to "stardom" he
> nevertheless was one of the most reliable Japanese film
> directors of the past two decades and his untimely dead is a
> great loss for Japanese cinema.
> Roland Domenig

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