by MATHEW SCOTT
A still from Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow PHOTO/FEFF
Listening to …
Japanese director Yoshitaka Mori and star Kenichi Matsuyama impress first with their Italian and then with their collaboration on Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow. The film recounts the tragic life of Japanese shogi player Satoshi Murayama, crippled by health issues and dead at the age of 29 before he could fully realize his dream of becoming a Meijin (or master) of the board game, often compared to chess but more complex.
Matsuyama is a heartthrob back home thanks to role in the likes of the Death Note franchise and the film adaptation of the Haruki Murakami novel Norwegian Wood. He revealed he’d put on around 25kg for the part, the sort of dedication to the craft that made Robert De Niro the actor he is – most famously when he packed on the pounds when playing the boxer Jake La Motta in director Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, and picked up and Oscar for his efforts. Mori revealed he had taken some inspiration from that film, too, and boxing has deep historic links in the Fruili region where FEFF’s host city of Udine in northern Italy can be found. It was just up the road from here that the giant Primo Carnera began life as a carnival strongman before “The Ambling Alp” went on to become Italy’s one and only world heavyweight champion back in the 1930s, and ending his career as a bit part player in Hollywood.
Thinking about …
How great it was to see Hong Kong veteran Michael Hui back on the big screen in Taiwanese director Chung Mong-hong’s moody and languid black comedy-cum-thriller Godspeed. The actor-comedian and one-time staple of Hong Kong box office smashes such as The Private Eyes (1976) and Security Unlimited (1981) doesn’t appear much these days and found the role – as a aging taxi driver seemingly on the road to nowhere – a perfect fit.
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