If you've been wondering what Iwai Shunji has been up to since directing his last feature film "Hana and Alice" (2004), rest assured that he's not resting on his laurels. He produced Kumazawa Naoto's Iwai-esque "Rainbow Song" (Niji no Megami) starring Ueno Juri and Ichihara Hayato, which opened last weekend; he wrote the script for a youth film about rock bands in the 1990s called "Bandage", to be directed by Kitamura Ryuhei of all people; and now he's shooting a documentary about 90-year-old filmmaker Ichikawa Kon.
"Ichikawa Kon Monogatari" (The Ichikawa Kon Story) will take a somewhat unorthodox approach, mixing text, rare photographs, and interviews on the set of the director's self-remake "Murder of the Inugami Clan" (Inugami-ke no Ichizoku) to tell the story of his life from infancy to the present day. He also talks about his days as an animator before becoming a film director. Directed, scripted and edited by Iwai, it'll no doubt bear his distinct sensibility.
Iwai, a self-confessed fan of Ichikawa who at one stage was tipped to direct a new entry in the Kindaichi Kosuke series synonymous with his idol, described the director's original "Inugami-ke no Ichizoku" as his "filmmaking textbook" and admitted his visual and editing style is greatly influenced by his work.
The new "Murder of the Inugami Clan" opens nationwide on December 16th, while "Ichikawa Kon Monogatari" is set to screen at Kadokawa Herald's newly renovated Shinjuku Garden Cinema from December 9th. (sources: Cinema Today & Nikkan Sports)
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