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Actress Maho Yamada jumped at the chance to play in classic melodrama “areno – the wilderness”: “It was a theme I always wanted to try”

areno - the wilderness

©2015 TIFF

Melodrama film areno – the wilderness, based on French literary master Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin, was screened at Roppongi Hills on October 25 as part of the ongoing 28th Tokyo International Film Festival’s Japanese Cinema Splash section. Cast members Maho Yamada, Kiyohiko Shibukawa and Satoru Kawaguchi joined director Michio Koshikawa to present the film.
Having been adapted from the original setting to modern-day Japan, the film follows the fate of a woman who tries to murder her husband after falling into a romantic relationship with her childhood friend. The role as murderous wife was different from Yamada’s usual characters, and it was her first time challenging an intense love scene. She said she made a quick decision after receiving the offer. “It was a theme I had always wanted to try, and I felt I could trust both the cast and crew, so I thought it would be fun to do.” Shibukawa, who tackled the love scene together with Yamada, joked with the audience, “The director himself instructed us throughout the scene, and when he got excited really close, his beard was scratchy and painful.”
This was Koshikawa’s directorial debut, having worked as producer in the past on Our Homeland and The End of Summer. He explained, “I’m 50 years old, so I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about it as my ‘debut’. But when we started talking about making a film with Yamada as the star, I prepared a script based on one of my favorite old classics. I thought that Yamada suited a classic.” He said with a satisfied look, “It (filming) was fun.” It was Kawaguchi’s first time working with Koshikawa, and he sung praises of the production. “More than anything, the location was wonderful. He (Koshikawa) chose a place where it was so easy to perform naturally just by being there, so I didn’t find anything very difficult. Ms. Yamada also took time to enjoy the serenity of the place.”
areno – the wilderness will be released in theaters nationwide beginning November 21.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)