- Title: Bloodsoaked samurai film starring Japan's Takuya Kimura screens at Cannes
- Date: 19th May 2017
- Summary: MIIKE SEATED KIMURA AND SUGISAKI BEING FILMED (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE DIRECTOR TAKASHI MIIKE SAYING: "There are less samurai films being produced in Japan now. Yet I think the yakuza (traditional organised crime) and samurai films continue to be made because they're violent but express the human emotion directly. Because they're being produced less, I think it's a chance for me to have fun and it's very exciting to make them."
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2017 04:14
- Keywords: samurai Takashi Miike Hanna Sugisaki Takuya Kimura Blade of the Immortal Cannes film festival
- Location: CANNES, FRANCE/ VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: CANNES, FRANCE/ VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0026HD6TL9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: 'Blade of the Immortal', starring Japan's megastar actor Takuya Kimura as an immortal samurai, was welcomed at an out-of-competition premiere at the 70th Cannes film festival on Thursday (May 18).
The film, filled with bloody and violent scenes of swordfighting, received applause at the advance press screening at the festival.
Based on the Japanese manga series by Hiroaki Samura, 'Blade' is the 100th film by Japanese director Takashi Miike.
Miike spoke about the cathartic nature of violence in films and that he could not imagine anyone else playing the lead role, Manji, a highly-skilled samurai cursed with immortality.
"...If we were to actually have a Manji in this world, he'd probably survive two world wars and still be alive today. And that would probably be Takuya Kimura. When I walked around Tokyo after finishing this film, I felt as if I was still searching for Manji somewhere, and as far as know, Takuya Kimura is still the best man for the job."
The movie also features Hana Sugisaki, 19. She plays a young girl who enlists Kimura's character to avenge her parents' murder. Kimura, who brutally lost his sister, also played by Sugisaki, takes on the challenge.
"In the case with Rin (Hana Sugisaki's character), they're not brothers and sisters. They're a man and a woman, but the love between them is much deeper than a typical relationship. That's why they don't kiss or sleep with each other, but they can always feel in sync and understand each other, that's the kind of deep love I felt," Kimura said.
Kimura is a hugely popular actor in Japan and was a member of SMAP, who has legions of fans in Japan and Asia. After being together for almost 30 years, the members of the group decided to break up last year.
Sugisaki said she was nervous when she first met the star.
"I've been watching him on TV since I was a child, so it was hard for me not to be nervous. But I thought it would be rude to Kimura-san and the staff at the shoot for me to participate in the film with that mindset, so I tried not to think about it."
When asked about a possible reunion, Kimura said he had no idea, but urged people to move on.
"I do miss it, but if I hang on to that feeling and act, I think it would be rude for those who share the same feeling, so I think it's important to switch my mindset."
The film festival started on Wednesday (May 17) and will finish on May 28.
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