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Cannes hopefuls return empty-handed, but not disheartened

http://images.teamsugar.com/getty/p7/2011/05/19/DV_To_Getty_4940471_0_xxlarge.jpg
(Takashi Miike with actor Eita on the red carpet at Cannes in May)

While failing to snare any awards at the Cannes Film Festival, two world-acclaimed Japanese directors said they are undaunted by their failure to impress judges this time around and won't change their directing styles just to suit foreign audiences.
Takashi Miike, whose samurai epic film "Ichimei" (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai) was entered in the Competition lineup, and Naomi Kawase, whose drama "Hanezu no Tsuki" (Hanezu) was entered in Competition, Director and Screenplay among other categories, spoke with The Asahi Shimbun soon after the festival last month.
http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Naomi+Kawase+Hanezu+No+Tsuki+Photocall+64th+39icDR0JkS8l.jpg
(Actress Yoko Oshima, left, and Tota Komizu flank director Naomi Kawase, at a ceremony at Cannes last month.)

Both directors are no stranger to the international film circuit. Kawase won the Camera d'Or at Cannes for "Moe no Suzaku" in 1997, and the Grand Prix in 2007 for "Mogari no Mori" (The Mourning Forest).
For Miike, this is his second year in a row to participate in the three major film festivals--Cannes, Berlin and Venice.
"Through their eyes, I suppose this movie was seen in a different light, much different from what we would expect," said Miike.
http://www.asianbite.com/News_Images/First_Scandal_Hits_Japanese_Actor_Eita-20080820113346.jpg
(Actor Eita)

"But that's how it should be. If we started trying to think about how to please audiences abroad, we wouldn't be able to create anything," he added.
"Ichimei" follows the struggles of a lower-ranked samurai, while "Hanezu" follows the lives of people who live in harmony with nature.
Both films deal with complicated themes, the former attempting to shed the glorified image of bushido, or way of the samurai, while the latter draws upon the Manyoshu, the ancient anthology of poetry considered the base of Japanese thinking.
http://www.liveactioncosplay.com/sites/default/files/Hanezu-no-Tsuki.jpg?1303633108 http://www.askactor.com/images/casts/Japan/Yoko_Oshima_actor.jpg

"Even if people do not understand the Manyoshu, if they can follow the plot that follows three people, two men and a woman, surrounded by nature, with something happening, then I suppose that's all right," Kawase said.
While Japanese films have benefited from the strong appeal of exoticism among many Western viewers until now, the latest outcome may suggest that the cultural difference can sometimes blind the viewer's ability to understand and to feel compassion.

By TS on Jun 25, 2011
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tag : Cool Japan

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