Review:「ゼロの焦点」(Zero no Shōten/Zero Focus) and Q&A

Zero Focus 1

Year: 2009
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Director: Inudo Isshin
Adaptation from:
Matsumoto Seicho’s bestselling novel of the same title (1959)
Screenplay:  Inudo Isshin, Nakazono Kenji
Cinematography: Takahiro Tsutai
Soundscore: Ueno Koji (Theme song:Nakajima Miyuki)
Cast: Hirosue Ryoko, Nakatani Miki, Kimura Tae, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kaga Takeshi, Nomaguchi Tori, Sugimoto Tetta, Kuroda Fukumi, Honda Hirotarō
Runtime: 131 min
Toho (Japan)


Seen at the ICA as part of the Japan Foundation’s 10th Touring Film Programme “Once Upon a Time in Japan”. The film screened February 3 (sold out) and 5 (nearly sold out), with a Q&A with the director following on both days. The JPF also organised a Director’s Talk with Inudo on February 6. For further screenings in the UK see Bonus Bits below.

To make an author’s most popular bestseller into a successful film can never be easy, but imagine the challenge if that the story has already been told on the screen multiple times – once as a film (1961, dir. by Nomura Yoshitaru), sixfold as a TV dorama (1961, Fuji TV; 1971, NKH; 1976, Nippon Television; 1983, TBS; 1991, again Nippon Television and 1994, NKH Nagoya). It also doesn’t help if the tale in question is a mystery drama and everyone, thanks to the original’s and the numerous screen adaptations’ popularity, already knows whodunnit. Yet this is the challenge that Inudo Isshin, commissioned by the production studio, took on when setting out to make another Zero no Shōten film in time for the 100th anniversary of the novelist’s birthdate. Continue reading “Review:「ゼロの焦点」(Zero no Shōten/Zero Focus) and Q&A”