Update on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's LOFT, starring Miki Nakatani, Etsushi Toyokawa, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yu

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Thanks to ScreenAnarchy's own logboy for bringing to my attention the fact that a teaser trailer for Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Loft - a.k.a. "Rofuto" and "Shi no otome" (working title) - has been added to the official website for the movie. As was reported here on ScreenAnarchy back on September 12th of last year, there's a downloadable English-subtitled theatrical trailer (as well as nine stills) for the movie on the website of production company/international sales agent Mirovision Inc.. The movie had its world première at the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) on October 8th of last year. Phantom Film Co. Ltd. (K.K. Fantomu Firumu) plans to release it theatrically in Japan in September.

The screenplay for Loft was written by Kurosawa. The movie stars Miki Nakatani, Etsushi Toyokawa, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yumi Adachi, Sawa Suzuki, Haruhiko Katô, and Ren Ôsugi.

Here's a synopsis for Loft from Mirovision's website: "A prize-winning writer, Leiko (NAKATANI Miki), moves to a quiet sub-urban house to finish up her new novel with a help from the editor. That night while sleeping, she sees a man in a storage room transporting an object wrapped in cloth. She soon finds out that he is a renowned archaeologist, Professor Yoshioka (TOYOKAWA Etsushi), researching ancient mummies, and that object was a recently discovered mummy. Working late on her book, Leiko witneses a ghost and finds out that her room once belonged to a woman who had been misssing for a while. This brings unexplainable fear to Leiko as she starts to uncover more stories from the past."

Here's a review of Loft by Yong-min Kwon that was on the PIFF website: "The pieces of the puzzle in [Loft]: a lady vomiting mud, the novelist Haruna Reiko, the new house in the countryside, the suspicious university facility in the back, another person's unpublished manuscript, nightmares, the archeologist Yoshioka Makoto, the 1,000-year-old mummy, the lady who drinks mud for beauty, the eternally youthful body, suicide, murder, ghosts, a writer's pride, plagiarism, an obsessive editor-in-chief, soul salvation, rebirth, delusion, the curse. Nakatani Miki and Toyokawa Etsushi head the ensemble cast. ¶ After having opened the 8th Pusan International Film Festival with [Doppelganger], Kurosawa Kiyoshi's latest film tells of a female novelist who has a mysterious and uneasy experience after moving into a warehouse-type home in the country. As she goes through inexplicable physical abnormalities and sees a suspicious man, her mental state slowly deteriorates. ¶ Restraining from over-stylizing, Kurosawa presents the fear that approaches her. It's not a feast of excessive killing filled with blood and screams but, rather, it's a process of scrutinizing the essence of fear and the psychology of the character. A quiet world with restrained sound effects and an economical use of the camera. At a place where reality and imagination coexist, the character acts more and more violently, while the worn-out inner walls of the building speak for the dryness of society, and nature's scenery speaks out on behalf of the human and the ghost. It's not boisterous. But it gives such shivers down the spine when you step foot into it. The world of fear presented by Kurosawa Kiyoshi has become even more profound in depth."

As was previously reported here on ScreenAnarchy, Kurosawa's (other) upcoming movies include Retribution (Sakebi), which apparently stars Kôji Yakusho, Manami Konishi, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Hiroyuki Hirayama, Joe Odagiri, and Ryô Kase.

Loft theatrical trailer (Japanese w/ English subtitles; downloadable 5.9 MB WMV file)
Loft teaser trailer (Japanese w/o subtitles; streaming Windows Media)
Loft stills gallery (w/ 9 GIFs)
Loft official website

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ijafferyJuly 25, 2006 8:09 AM

I had the honor of meeting and learning from Kurosawa a couple of months ago at a J-Cinema workshop at Yale. He screened LOFT for only the 3rd or 4th time so far (it hasn't even began press screenings in Japan) and though it's far from his best work, even minor Kurosawa is at least interesting. It's quite a departure from his genre bending films he's become famous for and instead is unashamedly celebrating a half-dozen genres or more...mostly Horror and Romance.
It's kind of a brilliant mess that sparked an interesting post-film Q&A;. Looking at the film he said himself that it was made by a mad man. Even he didn't know what to make of it as the film was built as a lead up to the final shot which he has had in his mind for a very long time. What precedes it is a hodge-podge of ideas and images that cannot be easily understood if at all.
Like I said it's a distinct departure from Kurosawa's previous offerings. I'm interested in seeing what this crowd makes of it when it's finally released.

El DuderinoJuly 25, 2006 9:52 AM

I saw it in Turin last year. It's a total disaster.

GabrielJuly 25, 2006 2:03 PM

Etsushi Toyokawa is awesome. I kept replaying the part where he wakes up and goes "uagh!"... it makes me laugh.