The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017

Odd Obsessions - Desires, Hopes and Impulses in Japanese Cinema

3 February to 29 March 2017

Uzumasa Limelight

太秦ライムライト (Uzumasa Limelight)

An award-wining film telling the admirable story of Seiichi, a ‘kirareyaku’ actor whose main job in samurai movies is simply to be killed-off by the lead star. When the studio where Seiichi works decides to discontinue its samurai epics, Seiichi finds himself at a loss but hope arrives in the form of a young woman named Satsuki, who soon becomes his disciple.

Using Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight as an underlying theme, this film pays homage to the unsung heroes of Japanese movies filmed in Uzumasa film studios (Kyoto), Japan’s Hollywood. The semi-autobiographical performance by real-life kirareyaku, 71-year-old Seizo Fukumoto, who is said to have acted out 50,000 on-screen deaths, earned him the best actor prize at the Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal, in 2014, with the film also winning the festival’s Cheval Noir for best film.

物語の舞台は、かつて多くの映画会社が時代劇の撮影所を設置していた京都市の太秦。テレビの時代劇番組が次々と打ち切られていく中で、いわゆる斬られ役の需要も減った。そんな状況下で、経験豊かな斬られ役と、殺陣の指導を請う駆け出し女優が師弟関係を結ぶ。50年以上にわたって斬られ役を務めてきたことから「5万回斬られた男」との異名を持つ福本清三が初主演。

監督: 落合賢
出演: 福本清三、山本千尋、萬田久子

Distributor: Third Window Films

Director: Ken Ochiai
Seizo Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Goda
2014, 103 min, English subtitles

Showing at:

ICA
16 February 2009

QUAD
16 February 2013

Watershed
16 February 2015

mac birmingham
16 March 2021

Dundee Contemporary Arts
16 February 2022

Aberystwyth Arts Centre
16 February 2022

Showroom Cinema
16 February 2023

Phoenix
16 February 2026

Filmhouse
16 February 2027