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Live-Action Blade of the Immortal Film Screens Out of Competition at Cannes

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Naomi Kawase's, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films also screen

The Cannes Film Festival revealed this year's official film selection on Thursday. The festival will screen the live-action film of Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal "neo period drama" manga out of competition. The Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 17-28.

Prolific filmmaker Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Yatterman, As the Gods Will, Crows) is directing the upcoming film. Miike's live-action film adaptation of Ikki Kajiwara's Ai to Makoto (Ai and Makoto) romance manga screened as part of the "Midnight Screenings" section of the festival in 2012. His Ichimei — a live-action 3D film remake of the 1962 film Seppuku (Harakiri)competed for the main Palme d'Or award in 2011.

Samura's original Blade of the Immortal manga follows Manji's journey of revenge as the yōjinbō (bodyguard) of Rin, a young woman who swears vengeance against a group of sword fighters who murdered her parents.

The film's lead actors include Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki. Kimura (Howl's Moving Castle, Redline, live-action Space Battleship Yamato) plays the lead character Manji, a rōnin warrior cursed with an immortal body. Sugisaki (When Marnie Was There, live-action Humanoid Monster Bem, Tsukuroi Tatsu Hito) plays both the heroine Rin Asano and Manji's sister Machi.

Filming took place in Kyoto in extremely cold weather, and the climax of Manji and Rin versus 300 enemies took about 15 days to shoot. The film will open in Japan on April 29.

In addition to Blade of the Immortal, the festival will also screen two other Japanese films. Naomi Kawase's Hikari (Radiance; pictured left) film will screen in the event's main competition for the Palme d'Or. She received the Caméra d'Or award at the festival for Suzaku in 1997. Her fourth full-length film, Mogari no Mori (The Mourning Forest), won the Grand Prix in 2007. Additionally, the festival has screened Kawase's Hanezu no Tsuki, Still the Water, and Sweet Bean films.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (Before We Vanish) film will screen in the "Un Certain Regard" category. Kurosawa received the Best Director award for his Kishibe no Tabi (Journey to the Shore) film, which competed in the same category in 2015.

The "Prix Un Certain Regard" competition was founded in 1978 to encourage young talent, and it runs parallel to the main competition. The Red Turtle (La Tortue rouge), the animated film directed by Michael Dudok de Wit and co-produced by Studio Ghibli, won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section last year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited both Kawase and Kurosawa (Juon: The Grudge creative department) to join last year.

Source: Variety (Peter Debruge, elsa Keslassy)

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