Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ashikaga as a Movie Set

I had a pretty exciting meeting yesterday. Part of a movie titled Kanikosen is going to be filmed in Ashikaga and I and several of the other foreign English teachers are on the list to be extras. We met with the (an?) assistant director, Katsutoshi Hirabayashi, and did a bit of preparation. He took some pictures and some measurements for our clothing. Once our business was concluded, we had some time to chat and ask a couple of questions. Mr. Hirabayashi said that part of a ship would be constructed as a set, but the water the ship will sit in will be added later with computers. I asked him why they picked Ashikaga of all places to film, and he didn't have much of an answer for that. A bit mysterious. Maybe I'll get a better answer if I ask around a bit more.

The film has a page on over here, but its pretty bare at the moment. It does list Ashikaga as a filming location, though. Hopefully that will fill out as time goes by, or I might do so myself.

The movie is based on a novel of the same name, written by Takiji Kobayashi in 1929. Its the story of the crew of a crab canning boat. "Written from a left-wing point of view, it concerns the crew of a crab fishing ship's hardships as they struggle under capitalist exploitation". "Interest in the book has revived recently as the 2008 financial crisis has led to economic pressures on many Japanese workers." So sayeth the Wikipedia.

Where we come in (I think) is a scene where the Japanese ship encounters a Russian ship. So we are just random Russian fisherman on this boat. That calls for white guys, so unfortunately Clarence and Zishan are being left out on this one. That sorta sucks.

It's all really cool, but I am cautiously optimistic. I am wondering if they will be able to find clothing in my size, shoes especially. It would be a huge bummer if I went over there and didn't get to participate for some random reason. It's all going to happen in about a week and a half, so we'll see what happens then.

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