causing trouble in Japan
Silence from above
I was watching a chat show the other day and one of the guests on the show was the current スパイダーman. He mentioned that Martin Scorsese will be directing a film based on the classic Japanese novel Silence by Shusako Endo. This actor will be the Portuguese priest who is the main protagonist.
I think I mentioned this novel before but anyway it is about Japanese Christians in 17th century Japan who are forced to renounce Christianity by the xenophobic Shõgun in situ at the time. Renounce or face torture, and sure death (Japanese people could not leave Japan without permission so escaping was perilous but the priests could, in fact it was expulsion or torture for them). The priest himself faces the dilemma of whether to renounce his faith and avoid torture. The title relates to the silence from the God these Christians have come to worship, silence in the face of their suffering.
I`m not that surprised that it is Martin Scorsese directing as he has a very wide range of interests. So bring it on.
For the role of the local Daimyo (Lord) in Nagasaki, I think that, of the predictable pickings, they should pick Koji Yakusho over say Ken Watanabe or Hiroyuki Sanada. The latter two I just can`t picture in cruel roles but I have not seen them in any cruel character roles so I can`t say. I`m not saying they could not stretch to it as they are both talented actors but I think Yakusho would be more suitable given his appearance (he`s ruggedly good-looking and a daimyo can`t be too pretty-boy looking – or can he? Don`t know any haha), his experience (which the other two have as well) of being in a Hollywood film (two in Yakusho`s case, more for the other two). If they`re going to be speaking English, he`s good at that from what I saw in Memoirs of a Geisha and though that is only one film – from 8 years ago! – his English seemed really natural in that. Acting in a language that is not your own can`t be too easy and I think it shows extra dedication in an actor to even try it (how many `great` Hollywood actors would bother trying it? Kristen Scott Thomas is the only actress I can think of but she`s not really much of a Hollywood head herself – she has starred in quite a few French films). You might say `yeah yeah but they probably get a hundred takes to get it right and they get paid loads of money to sit around in trailers and practice*` but still there is probably pressure to get it right as quick as possible and getting it not just right but natural is another battle altogether, I imagine. And I think Yakusho looked really comfortable with English in that film (though a little uncomfortable at the same time with such awful dialogue, which can`t really be blamed on the actors). The other two actors have obviously also been in English speaking films as I`ve mentioned but I`m voting for Koji Yakusho here.
I`m not exactly sure what age the Daimyo is supposed to be. I must check that out. Well they can make him whatever age they like really for the film but if it`s the 50s age group, Yakusho is the man. Are you listening Martin Scorsese? On the other hand, if they pick a younger Japanese man, they should go for Ryo Kase (he can look pretty sinister I think) or Tadanobu Asano. Shidou Nakamura as I said before is guilty of overacting at times so he might a bit over the top (there`s another guy who has acted in another language – having starred in Red Cliff).
Well, it has probably already been decided who will star as who (apart from the Priest role played by スパイダーman). I`ll definitely be going to watch that film when it eventually comes out. Interesting story, great director. Anyone else interested?
* Quiz: `I will practice my English with you` – says Ken Watanabe in what film?
Postscript: looked up the film and Ken Watanabe is in it but as to which role that is not clear.