Shinya Tsukamoto will receive the NIPPON HONOR AWARD at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (May 28th – June 02nd). Shinya Tsukamoto tweeted this news earlier in the month and it has been confirmed by a press release sent out on Tuesday this week. This is the fifth time the award has been bestowed on someone and it goes to a person who has made outstanding contributions to Japanese cinema. I can’t think of a better person at the moment!
Fans of Japanese films who have followed this blog for a while will know I am a big fan of the actor and director, editor and cinematographer. He was one of the first directors I went and wrote a biography for and reviewed a whole bunch of his films (my favourite being Vital). In fact, I met him at the Raindance Independent Film Festival a few years back and had my picture taken with him just before a screening of Fires on the Plain!
Anyway, according to the press release:
“Shinya Tsukamoto will receive the NIPPON HONOR AWARD in person at the closing ceremony on June 02nd, 2019 at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt am Main. His current film Killing, which was already lauded at the Venice Film Festival, will have its German premiere at the Nippon Connection Film Festival. Other works of his will be shown at the festival as well.”
The press release contains a bio for the director which I’ve made slight alterations to so I can plug my own reviews(!!!):
Shinya Tsukamoto was born in Tokyo in 1960 and is regarded as one of the most important representatives of Japanese independent cinema. He made his first steps as a filmmaker by shooting 8mm-films. Later on he founded his own drama group and at the age of 22 he started to work as a director in the advertising film industry. His cinematic breakthrough came in 1989 with Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Inspired by Blade Runner and Japanese monster movies, the experimental work succeeded as a cult film, which thrilled the crowds at numerous international film festivals and has since influenced many directors.
Tsukamoto is often the DOP, editor and lead actor of his films all at once. They are also often produced by his own production company Kaijyu Theater. His most known films are Tokyo Fist (1995), A Snake of June (2002) and Vital (2004). He was a guest at the Nippon Connection Film Festival to present his films Nightmare Detective (2007) and Kotoko (2012). As an actor he has worked alongside iconic directors like Takashi Miike (Dead or Alive 2, Ichi the Killer), Teruo Ishii (Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf) or Hollywood director Martin Scorsese (Silence). He also starred in the blockbuster Shin Godzilla (2016).
Killing (2018) is Shinya Tsukamoto’s latest work and his first attempt at making a samurai film. Tsukamoto was awarded the Mainichi Film Award for Best Supporting Role in his film.
Here’s info I wrote about Killing, last year.
Running Time: 80 mins.
Release Date: November 24th, 2018
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto (Screenplay),
Shinya Tsukamoto is back writing, directing, editing and producing his own films after a short spell acting in features like Shin Godzilla and Over the Fence. I’m a big fan of his works thanks to Nightmare Detective(2007), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), Tokyo Fist (1995), and Vital (2003) and his film A Snake of June, which was given the Special Jury Prize at the 2002 Venice Film Festival.
Synopsis: The ronin Mokunoshin Tsuzuki (Sosuke Ikematsu) is alive during the end of the Edo period where many samurai like him are finding their way of life losing its edge as the country exists in a state of peace. He lives in the suburbs of Tokyo where he helps out farmers and is acquainted with one farmer’s son named Ichisuke (Ryusei Maeda) who dreams of being a samurai. Tsuzuki spends his days farming and sparring with Ichisuke but, despite the tranquillity, Tsuzuki’s heart is in tumult because he is concerned about the questions of whether he could follow a lord’s orders and kill a man and, more importantly, passions are brewing as he is falling in love with Ichisuke’s sister Yu (Yu Aoi). Passions from further afield are also growing as the country is on the verge of a civil war when a mild-mannered and skilful ronin Jirozaemon Sawamura (Shinya Tsukamoto) arrives in town looking for warriors to take to Edo.
Killing as been picked up for distribution by UK label, Third Window Films, so expect to see it released some time in 2019!
All that remains to say is, congratulations! I hope Shinya Tsukamoto has a great time in Germany!
Stay tuned to this blog to get more news about Nippon Connection!