Japanese Films at Cannes Film Festival 2014: Still the Water Trailer and Details

Genki Cannes Film Festival 2014 Banner

The films playing at the Cannes Film Festival were announced earlier today and as expected Naomi Kawase’s latest feature is in Competition. She is competing against a field full of very strong directors like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, David Cronenberg and Jean-Luc Godard. Kawase’s film looks the most intriguing to me, although Mike Leigh’s film about JMW Turner has me interested as well. Here are the details on Kawase’s film (alas, no trailer. I guess we’ll have to wait):

Still the Water                        Still the Water film sale poster

Japanese Title: 2つ目の窓

Romaji: Futatsume no Mado

Release Date: Summer, 2014

Running Time: N/A

Director: Naomie Kawase

Writer: Naomie Kawase (Screenplay),

Starring: Nijiro Murakami, Jun Yoshinaga, Tetta Sugimoto, Miyuki Matsuda, Makiko Watanabe, Jun Murakami, Hideo Sakaki, Fujio Tokita

It is the full-moon night of August and on Amami-Oshima traditional dances take place. A 14-year-old boy finds a dead body floating in the sea. With the help of his girlfriend, the two set about trying to solve the mystery. As they investigate the two grow into adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.

Naomie Kawase is familiar with Cannes since she won the Camera d’Or in 1997 with “Suzaku”, the Grand Prix with “The Mourning Forest” in 2007 and her last feature, “Hanezu,” was at Cannes 2011. She was at last year’s Cannes Film Festival as a judge and was expected to return with her latest feature, “Still the Water”, a film shot on the Japanese island of Amami-Oshima, a place her grandmother grew up on. The personal roots run deeper since the film is inspired by a story from her grandmother… The setup reminds me of the film “Goth: Love of Death what with the two teenagers coming of age during a murder mystery.

The cast is first rate with Makiko Watanabe (Love Exposure, Capturing Dad), Jun Murakami (Bounce Ko Gals, Isn’t Anyone Alive?, The Land of Hope) and Tetta Sugimoto (Zero Focus) and the colour scheme looks gorgeous – most films set on the islands are typically gorgeous. It’s “Goth: Love of Death in Paradise”.

I love the poster and the images released are delectable.


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The Short Film Competition has one Japanese entry in the form of Happo-en while Chie Hayakawa’s film Niagra which is in the Cinefondation selection which gets its entry from film schools. What makes her film stand out to me is that it’s from ENBU seminar. Japanese Atsuko Hirayanagi who is representing a school based in Singapore is also attending. She has attended plenty of festivals and made lots of shorts. Expect more news when it comes.

UPDATE (22/04/14):

The full list is out and only one more addition. Directors’ Fortnight sees Princess Kaguya screened. It was released back in Japan last November.

The Story of Princess Kaguya  The Story of Princess Kaguya Film Poster

Japanese: かぐや 姫 の 物語

Romaji: Kaguya Hime no Monogatari

Running Time: 137 mins.

Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Aki Asakura (Kaguya), Kengo Kora (Sutemaru), Nobuko Miyamoto (Ouno), Takeo Chii (Okina)

 Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, writer and director of Only Yesterday, Pom Poko Grave of the Firefliesand Little Norse Prince Valiant, made an adaptation of a famous ancient Japanese folktale originally called Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) which is about a princess named Kaguya who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a growing plant by a bamboo cutter and adopted by the chap and his wife.


Update 25/05/14

Congratulations go out to Atsuko Hirayanagi who came second in the Cinefondation Competition.

Also, I quite like the poster for this year’s festival!

Cannes Film Festival 2014 Poster

4 thoughts on “Japanese Films at Cannes Film Festival 2014: Still the Water Trailer and Details

  1. I love the sound of this – and in particular I think it’s really cool that it’s based on an island where Naomie Kawase’s grandmother grew up and is about a story she used to tell! I love little things like that – it makes me think it will be a good film just purely because NK will have loved to make it and will have put something extra into it because of her own feelings.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I share your belief that it will be a great story since it’s personal to Naomie Kawase and not one done by committee or adapted from somebody else’s novel. The pictures are great so I’m eager to see the trailer.

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