It wasn't that long ago we were questioning what had become of J-Horror legend and all-round genre blending/bending Kiyoshi Kurosawa after his 2008 family drama "Tokyo Sonata." Things turned around fairly quickly with his latest 4.5 hour drama "Penance" premiering at Venice merely days ago (even though it didn't totally sweep our man on the ground at Venice off his feet), with the helmer also lining up a sci-fi drama "The Day Of The Real, Perfect Plesiosaur" in the near future. Kurosawa, though, is now set to team with one of Asia's finest modern actors in Tony Leung Chiu-wai for period drama "1905," the latter starring in his first-ever Japanese picture.
While the project has apparently been in the works for years, it looks like things have finally come together with the duo joined by Japanese thesps Matsuda Shota and popstar-turned-actress Maeda Atsuko for a Japanese production that'll reportedly be 90% Chinese language. Set in 1905 near the end of the Qing Dynasty and the introduction of Western culture, a loan shark named Yan (Leung) travels to Japan to collect the money from five seperate men. There he meets a member of an ultranationalist group called ‘Houkokukai’ (Matsuda) who has been ordered to conduct the forced repatriation of five Chinese revolutionaries, who happen to be the same five people Leung's loan shark is hunting. Atsuko, meanwhile, plays a woman who prepares meals for Yan during his stay in Japan.
“Their experiences, their despair and their hope, they are all directly connected with the problems we are still facing today and will continue to face in the future.” Kurosawa explained, “The cast is like a dream come true for me. I still can’t believe that this is real. I think that those three wonderful actors will be able connect with each other beyond words, age, and gender. They’ll connect with their souls. Getting to work with such great people is more blessing than one director deserves.” Shooting's set to finish in January, not long after Wong Kar-wai's "The Grand Masters," in which Leung stars, finally (supposedly) gets its release in China, even though it was still shooting in July. Hopefully Kurosawa's a bit faster on the old turnaround... [TokyoHive via AsianWiki]