This Saturday, a drama-comedy starring Oguri Shun and Yakusho Koji about filmmaking called Kitsutsuki to ame, or The Woodsman and the Rain, will be hitting theaters in Japan.
Kitsutsuki tells the heartwarming story of an encounter between two people who were never meant to meet: Katsuhiko, an old-fashioned, 60 year old lumberjack (Yakusho Koji) and Koichi, a young, inexperienced film director (Oguri Shun). One day, Koichi and his film crew appear in Katsuhiko’s small mountain village to shoot a zombie film. One thing leads to another and Katsuhiko ends up having to help the crew around town and eventually even appear in the film as a zombie.
Katsuhiko is stubborn and quaint. He’s confident at what he does but since he’s spent his whole life doing one thing, he doesn’t know much else outside his domain. On the other hand, Koichi is fidgety, timid and unsure of himself even at his own job. His hair is unkempt and his crew doesn’t treat him like a director. When the two meet, their differences initially cause conflict. But, of course, through the course of the film, they interact re-conciliate, and even learn a thing or two from each other.
Yakusho Koji is most famous State-side for Shall We Dance?, the quirky drama about a timid Japanese salaryman who begins taking ballroom dance classes in secret, which was later remade by Hollywood with Richard Gere. You can also see him in Babel, 13 Assassins, Tokyo Sonata, The Uchoten Hotel, and many, many more.
Oguri Shun is, as you may know, a Japan Flix favorite. He made his break with his sweet face and heart-swoon roles in jdramas like Hana Yori Dango and Hana-Kimi. His talents go beyond just looking pretty, though, as Oguri has shown with his parts in Crows Zero and Neighbor No. Thirteen.
Directing the two is 35 year old Okita Shuichi, who made his filmmaking debut with Ryoichi and Kiyoshi, also about two unlikely people becoming friends. As a relatively inexperienced director, perhaps he could see a bit of himself in the Koichi character.
Kitsutsuki to Ame made its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October, where it won the Special Jury Prize. Kitsutsuki makes its wide release in theaters February 11th in Japan. Let us know what you think of the trailer or more in the comments below.