Monday, December 15, 2008

Inudo Isshin has Zero Focus

No-one seems to have covered this yet, so here's the skinny: Matsumoto Seicho's novel "Zero no Shoten" (Zero Focus, out on DVD in the U.S. from Home Vision) is getting the silver screen treatment again, this time with Inudo Isshin ("Josee, the Tiger and the Fish", "La Maison do Himiko") running the show. It'll be a major entry in Toho's 2009 lineup, with a release set for autumn commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Matsumoto whose works have formed the basis for 35 films to date. The original "Zero no Shoten" film was directed by Nomura Yoshitaro for Shochiku back in 1961, with a script by none other than Yamada Yoji and screenwriting legend Hashimoto Shinobu (who recently rejigged his own scenario for the remake of "Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai" (I Want to Be a Shellfish). Inudo is co-writing the screenplay for the new version with TV scribe Nakazono Kenji, whose sole film credit came from another adaptation of sorts: Miike Takashi's "Salaryman Kintaro".

Here's a synopsis pilfered from the San Sebastian Film Festival, where Nomura's "Zero no Shoten" screened this year as part of their Japanese Film Noir retro:

Teiko, a young newlywed, bids farewell to her new husband, Kenichi, in a Tokyo station, as he leaves to conclude business in Kanazawa, promising to return on December 12. But the 12th comes and goes with no word from Kenichi. Teiko's only clue to her husband's whereabouts is a couple of strange postcards she finds among his belongings. When Kenichi’s employers invite her to Kanazawa to help them locate him, Teiko finds herself embroiled in a complicated mystery.

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