TALKING THE PICTURES Info and Photos From Toei
Source: Toei Co., Ltd.
Official Site: katsuben.jp (Japan)
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Toei Co. has provided information and photos from TALKING THE PICTURES (カツベン！, Katsuben!). The film is set roughly 100 years ago, when motion pictures were still silent and in monochrome. Silent film narrators, or “katsuben” (Katsudo Benshi) were a huge thing; they created a unique world with their narrative to draw the audience into the film and captivate them. Here, everything begins when a young boy who dreams of becoming a silent film narrator, ends up at a theater of a small town.
TALKING THE PICTURES is directed by Masayuki Suo, who has received many awards with SUMO DO, SUMO DON’T (シコふんじゃった。 Shiko Funjatta, 1992) including Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize. SHALL WE DANCE (Shall We ダンス？, Shall We Dansu?, 1996) was awarded in 13 categories at the Japan Academy Prize. I JUST DIDN’T DO IT (それでもボクはやってない, Soredemo Boku wa Yattenai, 2007) was listed as the best Japanese film in Kinema Junpo, sweeping many film awards. Suo was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon for academic and arts by the Government in 2016.
Shuntaro Someya, who idolized a katsudo benshi he watched at a motion picture house during his childhood, dreams of “captivating the viewers with narrations that stir their hearts.” However, he currently works with a group of thieves as a phony katsudo benshi.
Shuntaro, who can’t bear being a phony anymore, runs away from the thieves and finds himself at Aoki-kan, a small-town movie theater. The screenings at Aoki-kan are always practically empty since it lost its staff and customers to a rival theater in a neighboring town. Shuntaro starts working at Aoki-kan and is excited at the prospect of finally becoming a real katsudo benshi. However, the theater is full of quirky, over-the-top individuals — the owner of the theater and his wife who treat him like a slave, a drunk katsudo benshi, a vain and arrogant katsudo benshi, and a cantankerous, hard-to-please projectionist. On top of that, Shuntaro is targeted by a vicious thief because of a large sum of money he stole from the group and is even marked by a relentless police detective who is working on the case. He must survive the biggest crisis of his life before he can focus on pursuing his dream.
Then one day, he is reunited with his first love, a friend with whom he spent his childhood discussing their dreams.
Will Shuntaro be able to achieve his dream professionally and romantically?!
Japanese Release Date: December 13, 2019 (Roadshow)
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Shuntaro Sometani: Ryo Narita
Umeko Kurihara: Yuina Kuroshima
Tomio Aoki: Naoto Takenaka
Toyoko Aoki: Eri Watanabe
Shusei Yamaoka: Masatoshi Nagase
Takayuki Motegi: Kengo Kora
Kotoe Tachibana: Mao Inoue
Torao Yasuda: Takuma Otoo
Shozo Makino: Koji Yamamoto
Buntaro Futagawa: Sosuke Ikematsu
Shigezo Tachibana: Fumiyo Kohinata
Tadayoshi Kimura: Yutaka Takenouchi
Director: Masayuki Suo
Screenplay: Shozo Katashima, Masayuki Suo
Producers: Kazuhito Amano (Toei), Takao Tsuchimoto, Shoji Masui, Shintaro Horikawa, Takao TSUCHIMOTO (Altamira Pictures, inc.)
Cinematographer: Junichi Fujisawa
Editor: Junichi Kikuchi
Music: Yoshikazu Suo
Production 2019 TALKING THE PICTURES Production Committee (Toei Company, Altamira Pictures)
Distributor (Japan): Toei
International Sales: Toei
©2019 TALKING THE PICTURES Production Committee
About Toei Company, Ltd.
Established in 1951, Toei Company is not only producing and distributing films, but is also one of the major exhibitors in Japan. The company owns two film studios located in Tokyo and Kyoto. The films produced cover a wide range of genres, exceeding 20,000 titles.