Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Movie Matome 6/12/06

Fuji TV's "Saiyuki" is inciting righteous indignation within China for its alleged mistreatment of the classic Chinese novel on which it is loosely based (known in English as "Journey to the West"). Media and internet denizens claim it takes too many liberties with the original work, such as the casting of a female actor in the traditionally male role of Tripitaka (Sanzo Hoshi). The high-rating 2005 TV adaptation, an update of a fondly remembered series from the late 1970s, was partly filmed in China and starred SMAP's Katori Shingo as Monkey (Songoku), comedian Uchimura Teruyoshi as Sandy (Sagojo) and perennial geek specialist Ito Takashi as Pigsy (Chohakkai). The trouble apparently began with the announcement of production on a movie version with the same cast to be shot on location in China (for a big summer release in Japan next year), which led a noted Chinese actor known for playing the role of Monkey to grumble about the Japanese versions' crimes against Chinese cultural pride in a newspaper article. A Fuji TV spokesperson stated they weren't aware of any such controversy and declined comment. (source: Sponichi)

Brad Pitt's production company Plan B, "The Ring" and "The Grudge" producer Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment, New Regency Pictures and 13 other companies have approached Movie-Eye, producers and distributors of Tsukamoto Shinya's "Nightmare Detective" (Akumu Tantei), with a view to purchasing the film's remake rights. Tsukamoto's latest tour de force was screened at the American Film Market in Santa Monica this past November, and the multi-talented filmmaker is reportedly keen to direct any eventual remake. "Akumu Tantei" opens in Japan next January. (source: Nikkan Sports)

Studio Ghibli made a defacto admission of plagiarism yesterday regarding the lyrics for "Teru no Uta", the haunting theme song for this year's "Tales from Earthsea" (Gedo Senki). Although director Miyazaki Goro had been listed as the sole author of the lyrics, a minor controversy subsequently arose after similarities to early 20th-century poet Hagiwara Sakutaro's "Kokoro" were pointed out. Miyazaki had previously claimed he had merely been influenced by Hagiwara's work, but at a concert by "Teru no Uta" singer Teshima Aoi at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo on November 5th a Ghibli spokesperson stated for the first time that the lyrics are directly inspired by "Kokoro". (source: Nikkan Sports)

At the premiere for horror film "Kuchisake Onna", TV personality Sato Eriko (better known to overseas audiences as "Cutie Honey") confirmed that she is romantically involved with top Kabuki performer and "Sea Without Exit" (Deguchi no Nai Umi) star Ichikawa Ebizo. The pair had been snapped around town by paparazzi, and decided to come clean to avoid further personal intrusions by the media. Ichikawa has a reputation as a bit of a womanizer and was even outed a few years ago as having secretly fathered an illegitimate child, but up until recently he had long been linked to another model-turned-thesp, Yonekura Ryoko. (source: Oricon)

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