Closed Ward aka Family of Strangers was released on DVD and Bluray on May 13. On top of the featured film (with Japanese subs and audio commentary for visually impaired people), it offers a 40′ long documentary with interviews of the main cast, supporting cast and of course Director Hideyuki Hirayama. The filming of this moving tale, set in the psychiatric ward of a hospital in the Nagano Prefecture, took 27 days.
You can get the DVD/BR from online stores such as Amazon Japan.
Plot (from Asian Wiki): Hidemaru Kajiki (Tsurube Shofukutei), Chu-san (Gou Ayano) and Yuki (Nana Komatsu) are patients at a psychiatric hospital in Komoro, Nagano Prefecture. Hidemaru Kajiki killed his mother and daughter-in-law. Chu-san used to work as a salaryman, but he suffers from auditory hallucinations. Yuki is a high school student and she refuses to go to school. Due to that, she receives outpatient treatment. Patients at the psychiatric hospital try to live brightly, but things suddenly change. A murder takes place at the hospital.
Hideyuki Hirayama‘s movie will be released on DVD and Bluray on Wednesday 13th in Japan. Closed Ward aka Family of strangers is the moving tale of in and out patients of a psychiatric ward somewhere in the Nagano prefecture. Welcomed by critics the film is based on the novel ‘Heisa Byoutou’ (閉鎖病棟) by Hosei Hahakigi, starring Go Ayano, popular veteran actor Tsurube Shofukutei and Nana Komatsu.
The young actress was praised for her solid performance as Yuki. In the ‘Supporting Actress’ category, she received an Excellence Award at the 43rd Japan Academy Film Prize, won the 44th Hochi Film Awards and was also nominated at the 62nd Blue Ribbon Awards. Bluray or DVD available from Amazon Japan or CD Japan.
November 1, Closed Ward aka Family of Strangers has finally hit Japanese theaters, nationwide. The production chose the TOEI Cinema in Marunouchi, Tokyo for the official opening. Tsurube Shofukutei, Go Ayano, Nana Komatsu, other cast members and Director Hirayama were there to entertain the audience. Special ‘guest’ was a Sake barrell full of packs of kintsuba, a Japanese deli generally stuffed with sweet red beans.
Less than 24 hours to go before the Premiere and the national release, actress Nana Komatsu has been busy promoting and giving interviews lately so here is a selection of links and pictures. (possible updates soon)
Plot from Asian Wiki: Hidemaru Kajiki (Tsurube Shofukutei), Chu-san (Gou Ayano) and Yuki (Nana Komatsu) are patients at a psychiatric hospital in Komoro, Nagano Prefecture. Hidemaru Kajiki killed his mother and daughter-in-law. Chu-san used to work as a salaryman, but he suffers from auditory hallucinations. Yuki is a high school student and she refuses to go to school. Due to that, she receives outpatient treatment. Patients at the psychiatric hospital try to live brightly, but things suddenly change. A murder takes place at the hospital. The murderer is Hidemaru Kajiki.
Filmaga interview: Director Hirayama and Nana Komatsu
Closed Ward -international working title ‘Family of strangers’- is to be released in Japan on November 1rst, nationwide. On Monday October 28 (Japan time), movie magazine Filmaga released an interview with Director Hideyuki Hirayama and his lead actress, Nana Komatsu. Below is a very brief summary on top of the pics from the photo session. Please check the original article (in Japanese)
We learn from Director Hirayama that his script was basically a blueprint and it was adapted on the spot while actually filming with the staff and the actors. Filming took about a month.
Nana Komatsu says she was glad to be offered the role and felt impatient to interact with co-stars Go Ayano and Tsurube Shofukutei to build up the close relationship they have in the movie.
The young actress has a very long scene while in court in the second half of the film. Director Hirayama told her in advance he wanted to have it done in one single cut to keep the flow and level of emotion. Confessing* she is not the type of thespian that can do things properly without rehearsals, she still remembers the tension, yet, the scene was shot in one take. *(TN: humbly)
Director Hirayama often discussed with the actors about the nuances in their respective lines.
Nana Komatsu adds that Mr Hirayama shows a lot of respect for his comedians and that made her feel comfortable. The actress adds that she did communicate a lot with the director and the staff throughout the shooting.
The interview ends up with Director Hirayama mentioning a feeling of achivement as he has been working on the projet for months. Nana Komatsu stresses again her love for movies and being on a film site.