Dazed Digital

Tokyo / 日本語

Shuichi Okita's The Woodsman and the Rain

October 24, 2011

Premiering at this week's Tokyo International Film Festival is the surreal new comedy from the acclaimed young director behind The Chef of the South Polar

  • Text by Ayumi Seki

The young and inspired director Shuichi Okita made us all laugh with “The Chef of the South Polar” in 2009. Two years later, he decided to make a new film about “an old lumberjack and a young film director, and sometimes zombies”. The story follows a film crew going to shoot a zombie film in a small village, surrounded by mountains, a surreal plot that then centres on the relationship between a 60-year-old lumberjack and the film-inside-a-film's 25-year-old movie director. Two men of different ages and occupations, who touched each other's lives with a renewed sense of life altering joy.

“If you try hard enough to write about people struggling to live their lives, you can put their humour into the script without trying to be pushy, but naturally” says the 34-year-old director Okita. The film's director character is played by Shun Oguri (who himself directed “Surely, Someday” in 2010) who says he studied the real life Okita on set, who was pushed to the edge of a nervous breakdown much like the director in the film. 

In “The Chef of the South Polar”, the on-screen food was one of the essencial characters. In “The Woodsman and the Rain”, seasoned-seaweed, Japanese sweets, and lunchboxes each have their role, and portray a comedic essence of the movie.

“The Woodsman and The Rain” premieres at this week's Tokyo International FIlm Festival and will open across Japan on February 11, 2012.

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