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Kenichi Matsuyama’s “Something Like Something Like It” sequel a ‘love letter’ to director Yoshimitsu Morita


©2015 TIFF

Something Like Something Like It starring Kenichi Matsuyama, was screened on October 29 as part of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival’s Panorama section. Matsuyama appeared together with heroin Keiko Kitagawa, co-star Katsunobu Ito and director Taiichi Sugiyama to present the film at Tokyo’s TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills.
The film is a sequel to Something Like It (No youna Mono) (1981) -the debut work of director Yoshimitsu Morita who passed away suddenly in December 2011. Actors and actresses who had close ties to the director came together for its production. Matsuyama who starred in the 2012 film Train Brain Express, spoke with deep emotions about the film. “On location, everyone who was there still seem to carry the characters in themselves (in Moriyama’s films). To do a sequel such as this, felt like an homage or a love letter. It was really moving.”
Keiko Kitagawa who had her acting debut as Yumi Honma in The Mamiya Brothers (2006) said of returning to the same role “I thought it was a joke of the ‘Morita team’ but when I went to the fitting, there was the same outfit which I had worn 10 years ago during The Mamiya Brothers. I thought that I should go into the role imagining what Yumi would have been like when she grew up.”
Ito who also took on the same role as he did in Something Like It said “It’s an unbelievable thing to be able to get back together and make a sequel after 35 years. Isao, Denden and others —Nobody (who appeared in Something Like It ) has passed away. If that wasn’t the case, it couldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t have been able to welcome this grand occasion. I’m thankful for being able to live longer as now.” Matsuyama and Kitagawa agreed “That’s for sure” eliciting laughter from the audience.
Sugiyama who made a directorial debut served as an assistant director on 16 films with Morita’s team. Filled with emotions, he said “Part of making this film was to repay tribute to our Morita. I think that the three cast members up here with me today who gave their performances have the same feelings.” He explained his intentions saying that at first “I was hesitant because I thought that I didn’t want fans of Morita and Something Like It to think that we had betrayed their expectations.” But a big smile rose up on his face as he continued “Morita himself have done a remake of director Akira Kurosawa’s film and when I heard Morita’s voice which said ‘If you want to make a sequel of mine, just do it’. I decided to just give it a try and use the cast and crew members who are from his legacy as many as possible.” Both he and the cast members looked proud of the final piece.
Something Like Something Like It is set in Tokyo’s Yanaka district and follows Shinden (played by Matsuyama) —an overly serious Rakugo (comic story) professional storyteller apprentice. He tries to persuade his former senior apprentice Shintoto to get back on stage and the pair move in together and begin an odd lifestyle. The film will be screened at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Piccadilly and other theaters nationwide beginning January 16.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
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