Sunday, October 30, 2016

Juzo Itami & Nobuko Miyamoto 1987 & 2016

Juzo Itami is a Japanese actor and film director. His most internationally famous film is his second, the 1985 noodle Western Tampopo. In October, 2016 Nobuko Miyamototo, the late director's wife and actress in most of his films, travelled to New York City for the premiere of the restoration of Tampopo (Dandelion) at the Film Forum. Following are pictures from that question and answer session which was filmed for inclusion on the upcoming Criterion release of the film. Until then, it can be heard here.

Participants in the Q&A included Ms. Miyamoto, moderator Bilge Ebire and Chairman of the Itami Juzo Museum (web site in Japanese), Yasushi Tamaki, a translator and me - the only audience member to ask a question at 27 minutes and 3 seconds.

In 1987, Itami's third film Marusa no Onna (A Taxing Woman) would have an American run. In anticipation of its theatrical run, the film was premiered on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Itami and Miyamoto came to the United States for a question and answer session following the screening. I took these pictures at the question and answer.

On December 20, 1997, Itami killed himself by leaping from the building in Azabu, Tokyo in which the offices of Itami Productions were located. News of an extra-marital affair in which he was allegedly involved was to be published that week. He left a suicide note which read "Death will prove my innocence." In my opinion, it has; why would anyone cheat on the magnificent Nobuko Miyamoto?