Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Nonchan Noriben" update

With only two features under his belt despite a filmmaking career that stretches back to the early '80s, what director Ogata Akira lacks in prolificness he makes up for in quality. "The Milkwoman" (Itsuka Dokusho suru Hi) is unmistakeably one of the best Japanese films of the last decade and won the Montreal World Film Festival's special grand jury prize, as well as picking up several honors at home, and yet the only DVD release I know of is an English-subtitled disc for the domestic market. Middle-aged love stories usually aren't huge unit-shifters, but you'd hope that the so-called purveyors of quality cinema out there would take more of an interest in such a masterfully realised work.

Now production on Ogata's highly-anticipated third film "Nonchan Noriben", which distributor Movie Eye has lined up for 2009, is finally kicking into gear according to this call for extras which tells us it'll be going before cameras from the 25th of this month to August 31st. Still no word on the cast, but at least now Movie Eye has provided us with a synopsis:

Komaki is a downtown-bred 31-year-old woman. Running out of patience with her younger good-for-nothing husband, she takes her daughter Non-chan and moves back to her family home in Kyojima in Tokyo's Sumida ward. She looks for a job so as not to burden her parents, but as a single mother with only a junior college education and a lack of qualifications and experience it proves to be more difficult than she expected, and eventually ends up getting fired from the only part-time job she can find. Komaki grows despondent over her humiliating situation, but when a friend takes her to a pub, by chance she encounters the one thing that will change her life: saba no miso-ni (mackerel simmered in sweet miso)....


  1. [...] Ryuganji has more on director Akira Ogata’s first film since the 80s, which will begin shooting this [...]

  2. such wonderful news; i absolutely adored the feeling Milkwoman left me:) Synopsis of the new film sounds very realistic - lots of such obachans live this way in japan today.

  3. seen this bit from last year?

    "His new project as director is an adaptation by scriptwriter Takuji Suzuki of Kiwa Irie's manga NONCHAN NORIBEN, published by Kondasha between 1995 and 1998. NONCHAN NORIBEN tells the story of Komaki Nagai, a troublesome 31 years old divorced mother who returns with her 5 years old daughter Noriko to her hometown in the traditional neighbourhood of Kyojima, downtown Tokyo. Without any kind of qualifications or job experience, she will try to make a radical change in her life by opening a small restaurant, Totoya, in the neighbourhood. NONCHAN NORIBEN had already been adapted for the small screen by TBS, the first series broadcast between 3 February and 28 March 1997 and the second between 1 June and 31 July 1998. The cast and the release date are not confirmed yet."

  4. Thanks Logboy, I wasn't aware of that site.

  5. The manga by Irie Kiwa is excllent.
    She also authored another manga called "Hai Kibun! Sakana Hime杯気分!肴姫”
    Which is a classic in itself.

    Irie is wife of another manga artist,Hideki Arai新井英樹
    of the monster epic manga"The World is Mine",of which late Kinji Fukasaku was dreaming to make it into a film.