May 28, 2024

“The Quiet Yakuza,” is one of two late additions made by Japanese indie sales firm Free Stone Productions to its slate of films being pitched at TIFFCOM, the film rights market attached to the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Directed by Yamaguchi Kento, the two-part-film is adapted from the highly popular manga “Shizukanaru Don – Yakuza Side Story” by Nitta Tatsuo, which runs to 108 volumes and has sold nearly 50 million copies.

It sees Ito Kentaro as Shizuya, the only son of the Shinsen Group, the largest yakuza group in Kanto,. However, Shizuya has zero interest in the yakuza and wants to be a regular civilian. He is perfectly happy working at a design company, living a simple, puritan life and lusting after his colleague Akino. His ordinary life is threatened by a crisis within the Shinsen Group.

The two films were released one week apart in May. Despite both parts having been distributed in Japan, TIFFCOM is the market debut for the title.

Even newer is “Motion Picture: Choke,” a black and white thriller by Nagao Gen. Having had its premiere at the Yubari fantasy festival earlier this year, the film is soon set for its Japanese commercial release on Nov. 11.

“A woman living in an abandoned building leads a primitive life, sustaining herself in a world devoid of speech. She barters with peddlers using game caught while hunting, and is attacked by a bandit who comes foraging for food and women, but despite these inconceivable circumstances, she remains resilient. One day, a young man is caught in a trap set by the woman. When she takes him home, the young man becomes attached to her, and she to him. As they live together, human desire eventually comes to the fore. Violence, sex and appetites compound as their world begins to collapse,” says a synopsis. The cast is headed by Wada Misa, Hina Diaki and Nishina Takashi.

The company’s other market highlight is “The Moon,” which recently had its world premiere in the Jiseok section of the Busan International Film Festival.

The suspense drama film, directed by Ishii Yuya (“Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue”) stars Miyazawa Rie, Isomura Hayato, Nikiado Fumi and Odagiri Joe in the retelling of a true story in which 19 people were killed at a nursing home.

The narrative follows Yoko, who had won a literary award as a writer but has writers block and takes a job at Crescent Garden, a nursing home for people with severe disabilities. There she meets Sato, her young co-worker, and Kichan, a resident of the same age as Yoko. Kichan is blind, bedridden, and rarely moves. Sato has eccentric thoughts that are fostered and accelerated by his co-workers’ mistreatment of the residents. It released in Japanese theaters in the last ten days.

Maintaining another enclosed setting, but adopting a different tone, is “Qualia,” a black comedy that is set to reach Japanese cinemas next month. Directed by first time feature filmmaker, Ushimaru Ryo, it focuses on the strange relationships within a family who runs a chicken farm. These are triggered when a woman applying for a job reveals herself as the pregnant mistress of the farmer, and the family invites her to live with them in order to avoid scandal. The picture stars Sasaki Kokone, Ishikawa Ruka, Kiguchi Kenta, Kudamatsu Maya and Tho Chikara.

The seller’s other titles include: festival regular “Six Singing Women,” directed by Ishibashi Yoshimasa; Mishima Yukiko’s “Voice”; and “Casshern” director Kiriya Kaz’s sci-fi fantasy “From the End of the World,” which previously played at the Neuchatel Fantasy Festival.

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