'Aku no Kyoten' receives standing ovation at the 7th International Rome Film Festival
On November 9th, Miike Takashi's live-action adaptation of Kishi Yusuke's mystery novel 'Aku no Kyoten' ('The Lesson of Evil') – starring Ito Hideaki – screened as the opening movie in the main competition of the 7th International Rome Film Festival in Italy.
The screening was attended by Miike, Ito, and actress Mizuno Erina, who plays one of the students in the movie. It took place at the Sinopoli Hall in Rome, which was packed with around 1,000 enthusiastic film fans. 'Aku no Kyoten' was very well received by this large audience who rewarded the three guests with a four and a half minute long standing ovation after the screening. It's also a very strong contender for one of the awards that will be announced on the 17th.
Ito commented, "It was really difficult to play the role of a psychopathic killer. However, thanks to the great help of the director, it actually was a lot of fun building the character of Hasumi." He continued, "It's a movie with a completely different language and culture (for the people here), but I'm really glad that everyone enjoyed it to that extent."
Miike is already a well-known guest at international film festivals, but even for him it's not given to receive such a response. He said, "During the past one to two years, I've really come to enjoy the work I'm doing. It has become an absolute pleasure for me to live in the world of movies. I'm glad that I was able to come to Rome experience such a heartfelt applause."
'Aku no Kyoten' is a violent and suspense-filled thriller that doesn't shy away from a domestic R-15 rating in order to stay as true to the original novel as possible. It already received a lot of positive criticism for being such a faithful live-action adaptation and is being put in the same group as 'Battle Royale' and the recent 'Kokuhaku' ('Confessions').
Ito plays an extremely popular high school teacher named 'Hasumi Seiji' who is adored by the students, their parents, and the teaching staff. However, the school is actually overflowing with various common problems such as bullying, monster parents, sexual harassment, and other obscenities. Hasumi himself is also suffering from antisocial personality disorder and lacks any sympathy towards the people around him. He isn't even afraid of murdering people in order to accomplish his own goals, even if that means killing all of the students in his class in order to save his image.
In Japan, 'Aku no Kyoten' already opened on the 10th and the first numbers hint at a very good result similar to 'Kokuhaku' and a cumulative revenue of at least 2 billion Yen (25 million USD).
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Source: eiga.com, Cinema Today
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