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Cinema lenses – the Emperor of Japan

Known Russian film Director Alexander Sokurov starts shooting a new film about Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who is the third in the tetralogy on the theme of power. In 1999 came the painting “Moloch” about Hitler . and 2001 – “Taurus” about Lenin . The working title of the new film “the Sun” .

As in the previous two parts, the future hero of the film is shown in time of crisis. The film covers the events between the two historic decisions of Hirohito: the announcement of surrender in world war II and the renunciation of his divine status. The shock of the Japanese back then was so great that the country was overwhelmed by a wave of ritual suicides highest dignitaries, some of which was made right in front of the Imperial Palace.

Alexander Sokurov (Director): “We are interested in such details, which even today are not very interested in historians. And we should write all this in our film”.

Today the attitude to this period of history among Japanese mixed. According to the Director, information about these years are hard to find. For a long time in Japan, studies of this period were almost closed, and partly it’s the taboo still persists.

Alexander Sokurov consults with Japanese historians, however, said that they agreed to work on the condition of anonymity. The Director was preparing the painting for three years, during which he in particular met with former Chamberlain of the Emperor.

The bulk of filming will take place in pavilions “Lenfilm” near St. Petersburg, where will the restored interiors of the Palace of the Japanese Emperor, now lost. However, the environment in which he lived Hirohito, as it doesn’t seem amazing, very close to European.

Alexander Sokurov (Director): “We are dealing with a time when there was aggressive substitution of national [Japanese] of the entity to average European standards. The Emperor often wore European clothing and ate no national write, and simple eggs and bacon”.

Following the principle of historical accuracy, the film crew led by filmmaker did a tremendous research work. For example, within two months of the Director and his assistants found out who was the color of the tablecloth on the table of the Emperor during one of the meetings. In the end the tablecloth too bright. “I would have preferred a more subdued color – says the Director. – But there’s nothing you can do.”

In the picture will be removed Japanese, American and Russian actors. In Japan it is customary to show in a playful manner the Emperor, and Sokurov even said that not a single Japanese actor agrees to play Hirohito. However, the Director says that he tries not to the adequacy of the image, and to transfer the inner world.

Alexander Sokurov (Director): “Japanese actors distinguished by modesty, delicacy and subtle following of the requests of the Director. The very nature of Japanese people – it’s a miracle”.

In the end, the role of the Emperor was approved by a famous Japanese stage actor. “He is a unique person – says Sokurov, – fluent in the national theatrical form and tradition of Stanislavsky”. The role of the second protagonist of the film is the American General Douglas MacArthur approved by the American actor Robert Dolson. Shooting will go immediately in English and Japanese, according to where the language was spoken each of the characters. And then the picture will be either dubbed or subtitled.

Financing picture while the Ministry of culture of Russia, but, according to producer Igor Kalenova, negotiating and signing multiple sponsorship deals. However, the Japanese side in any case should not Finance the film. “We should be independent from any pressure,” says Sokurov.


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