Jonathan M. Hall
jmhall at pomona.edu
Tue Mar 16 00:54:42 EDT 2010
I'm forwarding the announcement by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan of a 13 April press screening of CATERPILLAR followed by a press conference with Wakamatsu Koji, Terajima Shinobu, and Onishi Shima. Especially following Terajima's Berlin prize, I'm sure it will be a packed event. If you're interested in attending please contact Karen Severns at kjs30 at gol.com to save yourself a seat. I expect Karen will have only very few seats to offer us, so early birds, get your worms!
By the way, does anyone have an authoritative say on Terajima/Terashima's family name? I've heard many in the industry call her Terashima, but a number of web sources have Terajima as furigana. Could someone help? As we all know, the best word in these cases is from the horse's mouth.
Thanks, as always,
SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW SCREENING: CATERPILLAR
followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director, Koji Wakamatsu, and
two stars, Shinobu Terajima and Shima Ohnishi
TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010. 7 p.m. 20th floor
Japan, 2010. 85 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by Koji Wakamatsu
Written by Hisako Kurosawa and Deru Deguchi
Produced by Koji Wakamatsu and Noriko Ozaki
Starring Shinobu Terajima, Shima Ohnishi
Film courtesy of Wakamatsu Production, Inc.
Warning: Strong sexual content
The Movie Committee is honored to welcome back provocative auteur Koji
Wakamatsu (United Red Army), fresh off his new film's premiere in
competition at the 60th International Film Festival of Berlin.
Caterpillar took home the Best Actress Award for star Shinobu Terajima,
who will join Wakamatsu and her costar, Shima Ohnishi, for this very
special preview screening.
Calling it "a direct and powerful correlation between war and sexual
politics," the Hollywood Reporter had this to say about the film's
achievement: "There's nothing oblique or nuanced in Berlinale
competition selection Caterpillar, Koji Wakamatsu's indictment of
right-wing militarist-nationalism and the partner-piece to his
relentless expose on left-wing extremism, United Red Army. As
consciously strident in tone as the various forms of WWII Japanese war
propaganda he deploys satirically, his conviction is so strong, and his
argument so persuasive, that this masterpiece has the blunt force of a
tank rolling over naked flesh."
Caterpillar highlights the hypocrisy of patriotic duty and the impact of
war on civilians, by focusing on Shigeko (Terajima), the wife of a
decorated soldier, Lt. Kyuzo Kurokawa (Ohnishi), who returns home from
the Sino-Japanese war in 1940 without his arms and legs. His relatives
think he's a burden, and his care falls completely to his wife, who soon
tires of his insatiable sexual demands and punishes him by parading him
around the village in his uniform. Shigeko must fulfill her duty to
honor the Emperor and her country by taking care of the "god-soldier,"
but the public charade, and the sado-masochistic relationship with her
husband, exact a heavy toll.
Caterpillar is not scheduled to open in Japan until August, so this is
an unprecedented opportunity for FCCJ members to experience what one of
the years most controversial films.
Director Koji Wakamatsu is a former yakuza, convict and pink film
director who came to prominence with his 1965 Golden Bear-nominated film
Secrets Behind the Wall. Using his camera as an active political weapon
to expose hypocrisy wherever he finds it, Wakamatsu has continued to
shoot films with virulent anarchist manifestos, enraging Japanese
authorities and getting him banned from American, Russian and Chinese
territories. In 1971, he gained international notoriety at the Cannes
Film Festival Directors' Fortnight with Violated Angels (1967) and Sex
Jack (1970). Five years later he joined Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of
Senses upon the latter's request as the executive producer. His last
film, United Red Army, was selected for the 2008 Berlin Film Festival
Forum and was critically acclaimed worldwide.
Winner of countless domestic awards, including the Japan Academy Award
for her role in Akame 48 Waterfalls (2003) and the Best Actress Award at
the Tokyo International Film Festival for Vibrator (2003), Shinobu
Terajima is one of Japan's most popular actors. Other career highlights
include Quill (2004), Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005), Tokyo
Tower (2005) and Lush Life (2009).
Shima Ohnishi made his debut with Akame 48 Waterfalls (2003), in which
he appeared with Shinobu Terajima. He also appeared in Koji Wakamatsu’s
2007 United Red Army, and in Running on Empty (2009).
Karen Severns, Edwin Karmiol. Movie Committee.
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