Director: Hajime HASHIMOTO
Cast: Yuya YAGIRA / Min TANAKA / Hiroshi ABE / Hiroshi TAMAKI /
Eita NAGAYAMA / Miori TAKIMOTO / Kanji TSUDA / Munetaka AOKI
Theatrical Release in Japan: May 2020
[2020 / Color / HD / 1:1.66 / 5.1ch / 129 min. / Japanese with English subtitles]
In the Edo-era, young impecunious artist Katsushika Hokusai lived in downtown Edo. He was shabby and lived from hand to mouth with little money he earned by selling his painting on the streets. But Tsutaya Juzaburo, the one of a kind publisher, discovered Hokusai’s hidden talent and led him to unleash his potentials. With Juzaburo’s help, Hokusai found the essence of drawing and his talent bloomed.
Meanwhile, the entertainment ban came in effect by the Edo shogunate. While Hokusai became older, he built a strong relationship with Ryutei Tanehiko, the popular playwright, who was born as a samurai and was distressed in creating new plays because of the prohibition. Eventually Tanehiko got executed by the shogunate. Hokusai came out with all his repulsion against the Edo shogunate on his vivid drawings.
-Hokusai was not born talented but through many fruitful relationships, he learned the essentials of creation, originality, passion and inner urge. Eventually, He got recognized as a true painter at age 70 and kept drawing until his death at the age of 90. Nowadays, we live a longer life. This film shows us that we can make a change at any point in your life and it’s never too late.
-Despite the artists were oppressed by the Edo shogunate at that time, Hokusai fought against the power with his pop-art drawing at the risk of his life. This is shown emotionally and heart-stirringly in this film.With his universality and originality, this is exactly why Hokusai has become so influential to the world still today.
-The shooting work of Hokusai is very unique. We put the camera at the other side of the paper (in fact an acrylic plate) to catch actors’ detailed facial expressions and its performance. Two actors play young and old Hokusai and tell the story in parallel editing. This film shows every character’s feelings in colors, in lightings, in the set details, and in camera angles.
-This is not a typical historical costume drama nor a bio-pic you have seen before. It is a dramatic fiction about blood, sweat, and tears to find your passion, and about true artists fight for freedom of expression.