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Monday, 8th September 2014
In Japan Entertainment News,

Japanese film thrills Venice film festival

The Japanese film industry has a reputation for producing some of the most impacting and thrilling motion pictures, and the latest offering from cult director Shinya Tsukamoto is no exception.

Entitled Fires on the Plain, the film is a war story that focuses on the struggles of one soldier - his desperate bid for survival and desire to cling onto humanity during the chaos, in spite of enduring unspeakable things.

The picture is winning plenty of acclaim from the Venice film festival, where it is currently premiering, with critics praising the use of shock imagery to truly convey the horror of war. 

"I didn’t decide to make it based on what is going on in the world today, I already had the project in mind 20 years ago," commented Mr Tsukamoto, who has achieved success through cult movies such as Hiruko the Goblin and Tetsuo the Iron Man.

Fires on the Plain is his first attempt at remaking a classic film - the source material being Kon Ichikawa's 1959 effort of the same name which focused on the fates of defeated Japanese troops in the Philippines at the end of World War Two. It is widely considered a classic.

"Rather than base it on my experiences of war films, I wanted to find out more about those who survived this tragedy in real life, what they thought, how they felt pain that it’s not possible for us to imagine," Mr Tsukamoto said. He conducted extensive research for the project.

Plains of Fire is in competition for the Golden Lion award at the Venice film festival, the oldest celebration of film in the world. It sparked enthusiastic applause at its hard-hitting debut last week.

Tsukamoto himself plays lead character Private Tamura, who has been abandoned by his platoon because he suffers from tuberculosis.

Visitors to Tokyo and other cities in Japan will have plenty of opportunities to discover the nation's exciting and vibrant film industry, with venues such as the Studio Ghibli Museum proving particularly worthwhile.


Related news stories:
Three Japanese directors to compete at Venice Film Festival (31st July 2008)