A Master Returns With First Teaser For Mitani Koki's KIYOSU KAIGI

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Japanese writer-director Mitani Koki is - in my opinion - one of the world's truly great overlooked masters. He is one of the absolute best at what he does and has been for many, many years now and yet he gets very little respect or attention outside of his native Japan?

Why? Because critical praise, it seems, is reserved for directors who make movies about people being sad and Mitani likes to make people laugh, instead.

The director of Suite Dreams and The Magic Hour - also the writer of University of Laughs - Mitani's specialty are super classy comedies that would have fit right in to Hollywood's Golden Age, the sorts of films that delight in poking fun at social strata and good manners and take great joy in being witty and clever rather than going for the big punchline.

And now Mitani is back with his Kiyosu Kaigi - an adaptation of his own novel - a period set picture featuring a massive cast of stars - including regular player Yakusho Koji along with Asano Tadanobu and Terajima Susumu - arriving at Kiyosu Castle to deal with logistical matters following the death of a local lord. It's a vintage Mitani setup, one that involves multiple characters with conflicting motivations and will enable him to set multiple plates a-spinning and the first teaser looks simply fantastic. Take a look below.
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  • Kindai

    Looking forward to this, I enjoyed reading it in book form when it came out last year and this cast look like they'll do it justice on the screen. Unfortunately, despite the high hopes I had after 'The Magic Hour', still my favourite of his films, I found 'Suteki na Kana Shibari', his last film, pretty awful. It suffered from cliched characterisation and little development of what was an interesting idea. Hopefully the strong story here will keep this one from similar pitfalls.

  • You mean the ghost samurai one? That's the only one of his films I haven't seen, actually, though I have a copy sitting on my desk waiting for a viewing ...

  • Will

    "Because critical praise, it seems, is reserved for directors who make movies about people being sad and Mitani likes to make people laugh, instead." — I just won't think humour translate as easily to other cultures as drama does.

  • That is very often the case and in probably 70% of cases I would be in total agreement with you but Mitani's humor very definitely DOES translate. The problem in his case is that he's caught in this nether region where he's not arthouse (to draw the a-list festivals) and he's not cult (to draw the genre fests) so everybody overlooks him.

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