Friday, July 11, 2008

"One Million Yen Girl" flees overseas

Aoi Yu's "One Million Yen Girl" (Hyakumanen to Nigamushi-onna) opens in a week's time in Japan, but it'll be receiving its international premiere at this year's Montreal Film Festival after being selected for their Focus on World Cinema section. There's also a screening lined up in South Korea (Pusan?) for sometime in autumn.

It's an original story written and directed by critics' favorite Tanada Yuki (probably best known overseas for "Moon and Cherry" - which suffers from my crappy subtitling - and her script for "Sakuran") for Nikkatsu, who are giving it probably the widest domestic release of any of her films to date. Check Tokyograph for a brief synopsis, and Cinema Today for an assortment of stills.

Incidentally, a couple of months back Cyzo ran the following unsubstantiated rumours of diva-like behaviour from Aoi on the set of her recent TV series "Osen":

She constantly turns up on set without having learned her lines, and becomes a bit testy when she's given direction... her behaviour often darkens the atmosphere on set. She acts the same toward the director too. Of course, no-one is disputing the high quality of her acting, but it raises concerns for her future.

Then there's speculation from a "showbiz agency insider" on what made her that way:

She's appeared in commercials and advertising since her elementary school days, and in 1999 she was chosen for the lead in a stage production of "Annie", but her acting career never really took off so she paid her dues doing things like working as a model for fashion magazines. She gained recognition as an actress thanks to films like "All About Lily Chou-Chou" and "Hula Girls". That's why she really invests herself in them. However, you might say that although she's appeared in television series before, in contrast with her films, her reputation hasn't been particularly good. She just works at her own pace, and needs to memorize the script...

Then they wrap the article up contritely with a much more positive account from a "film insider":

In the film "Hula Girls" she dances the hula in the climactic scene, but she wasn't satisfied with her own dancing and stayed behind after all the extras in the audience had gone home so she could reshoot just her scenes. The entire crew was impressed by her determination.

Even if it's not utter bollocks, unlike Sawajiri Erika it doesn't seem to have had much effect on her career.


  1. now, this is a film i'd like to see. i've been tracking the thing over recent times, and i'd hope it'd at least make HK on disc...

  2. Her episode of Jounetsu Tairiku (part 2, part 3) is pretty interesting. I don't think she's lazy or anything. She's just a ball of nerves and I suspect her on-camera emotion spills over in a way that most directors aren't tolerant of.

  3. [...] Wanted to post this yesterday: Million Dollar Girl with Yu Aoi will be heading abroad for a festival screening before opening in Japan. Also, there are apparently rumors of Aoi’s behavior on set her TV [...]