Hirokazu Kore-eda Discusses His Upcoming Samurai-Themed Project

Hirokazu Kore-eda Discusses His Upcoming Samurai-Themed Project

Japanese filmmakers Hirokazu Kore-eda was a big winner at last night’s Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. For the second consecutive year, Kore-eda captured the Best Director title, this time for his latest feature, Monster. The prolific director had won the prize a year ago for Broker, a Korean-language film.

Discussing his most recent award, Kore-eda was quoted in Deadline as saying “I’m in a really good spot right now. I’m not forcing myself at all. I’m constantly working. I have good stamina.” As for his future projects, he added that “I’m currently working on a streaming drama I shot last autumn. I’m in the editing phase for that now,” but offered few details other than to say: “We aren’t sure which streaming service is going to get it yet. But it’s based on a popular NHK series made 40 years ago. It’s a very samurai story. In total, there will be seven episodes.”

On a more somber note, Kore-eda lamented the problems being encountered by his colleagues in the Japanese film industry.

“We are seeing a lot of new people entering the industry,” he said. “However, if people think that means there is a renewal in audiences or the movie scene is happier than before, I can say that is not true. Staff are not making a living in the industry, and it is very hard to keep them working on films. There are now a lot of shows, but they’re not making a living at all. That is the point we have to work on and improve, otherwise it will be very difficult to keep making Japanese movies in the future.”

With a screenplay by Yuji Sakamoto, Kore-eda’s Monster debuted at Cannes last year, winning a Best Screenplay award. “It was a dream to work with Sakamoto, Kore-eda declared. “I have always admired his work and saw similarities between us. I learned a lot from him.”

Both Kore-eda and Sakamoto have recently inked deals with Netflix. Kore-eda’s first project with the streaming service was a series titled The Makanai Cooking for the Maiko House. Sakamoto debuted on Netflix with the romantic murder mystery In Love and Deep Water.

At last night’s Asian Film Awards ceremony, Ryosuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist won him the trophy for Best Film, a year after his Drive My Car took top honors. He became only the third Japanese director to be nominated for an Academy Award. Hamaguchi first gained international recognition for Happy Hour (2015) and Asako I & II (2018).

Check out more of Edward’s articles. 

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