Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thank you, Times of London...

...for another unsensationalized account of the release of a ponderous, plodding obscurity of little or no significance.
Riot fears over Hirohito film
The Times

From Leo Lewis in Tokyo - POLICE are preparing for potentially violent protests by right-wing extremists when a film portraying the human side of Emperor Hirohito is released next week.

Many academics believe that the film, which supposedly breaks numerous Japanese taboos in its portrayal of the Imperial Family, may represent an important step towards the “normalisation” of Japan and its ability to debate its wartime past. However, scenes that depict Hirohito as weak-willed and suggest that he bore moral responsibility for the Pacific War are likely to enrage Japan’s belligerent and vocal lobby of arch nationalists, who see anything that damages the Emperor’s image as deeply offensive.

The film, Solntse (The Sun), is the critically acclaimed work of the Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov, who has also made films about Hitler and Stalin. It has been around for almost two years but, fearing the kind of violent reaction anticipated by police, Japanese distributors have been reluctant to buy the screening rights. Just two cinemas — one in Tokyo, the other in Nagoya — are scheduled to show Solntse and instances of violence are certain to hamper a wider release.

"People were really worried about the chance of violence from right-wing groups, so companies were fearful of buying the rights," said Michio Koshikawa, who is distributing Solntse in Japan. "But I think the movie will be a good chance to discuss the whole issue of Emperor Hirohito."
Bloody hell!

Could someone wake up The Times editor in London and tell him or her he or she does not work for The Sun...so he or she had better start asking the correspondent some questions like, say, "Are you sure you're not being played for the PR angle"?

Can anyone recall the last "riot" Japan had--aside from the arrivals of certain South Korean male television drama stars at Narita Airport?

Riot fears? From the descriptions of the film, "Narcolepsy fears" sounds more apt!

Later - A choice nugget.

The name of the company distributing the film in Japan: Slow Learner, Ltd.

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