Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Miike

Alright Miike Takashi fanboys and fangirls, time to gird your loins once again as news of the director's latest project bursts forth.

Get this for a combination: Miike is to direct an adaptation of "Flower and Snake" author and S&M specialist Dan Oniroku's novella "Bishonen", which can be literally translated as "pretty young man". Set during the late 40s-early 50s in Kansai, the western region of Honshu that includes Osaka, Wakayama and Kyoto, it's a typically racy story of forbidden love between two high school boys.

The producers are currently holding an open audition for the lead role of Kikuo and no casting announcements have yet been made, but it's very easy to picture Matsuda Ryuhei and Ando Masanobu in the lead roles with their turns as homosexual lovers in Miike's challenging "Big Bang Love, Juvenile A" fresh in the memory. As the film is still in pre-production it'll be a while yet before a release date is confirmed, but knowing the speed that Miike works we can probably expect to see this first at one of next year's major international film festivals. Are you listening, programmers?

By the way, there is a yaoi manga adaptation available, but the novella itself seems to be currently out of print.

The story goes a little something like this:

As "I" was practising with my jazz band in a light music faculty room,
a young man entered.

With one glance, "I" was entranced by this incredibly beautiful young man.

His name was Kazama Kikuo.
He was the heir to the Wakamatsu style of traditional Japanese dance.

"I" had a girlfriend named Kumiko, and had never been interested in men before. However, when I heard Kikuo play "Spring Sea" on the koto at the school festival, I was moved as a fellow musician even though our genres were different, and even went as far as writing a letter to him.

Thinking back now, I can see that it was probably a love letter.

That was the beginning of "my" relationship with Kikuo.
We watched Kabuki and drank tea together.
From the outside, it must have looked like two boys dating.

Then one day when Kikuo came to stay the night,
he and "I" consummated our bond quite naturally.

"I" was torn between my feelings and my morals.
But no matter how much "I" agonized, "I" still loved Kikuo,
and Kikuo loved "me".

Unlike Kumiko, Kikuo was extremely feminine.
For that reason, it took time before "my" room was filled with Kikuo's love.

Before long the relationship between Kikuo and "I" became the talk of the school.
Then Kumiko began to catch on, and she became incensed with jealousy.

When the rumors first began to spread,
"I" contemplated breaking up with Kikuo over a minor argument,
and consulted school thug Mikio.

However, this would lead to the binding and humiliation of Kikuo by Mikio, his girlfriend Mariko, and Kumiko, before "my" very eyes,
as I experienced hellish torment and ecstasy. (sources: Maeda Shigeji's blog, Raku Film)

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