SciFi Japan

    Japanese Wheelchair Serial Killer Movie LATE BLOOMER on Region 1 DVD

    A New Spin on the Japanese Horror Film Source: Tidepoint Pictures, LLC Official Movie Site: Late Bloomer Special Thanks to Shade Rupe and Tetsuki Ijichi

    He was disabled with Cerebral Palsy, but all he wanted was to hang out with his friends, just like anybody else. Beer, rock and roll, and women. But when his best friend steals his secret love, he launches into a cold-blooded rampage of revenge. Directed by the powerful new Japanese talent Go Shibata, LATE BLOOMER features stark and highly stylized camera work and a soundtrack by World`s End Girlfriend. Fresh from week-long runs in New York, Seattle, and Chicago, director Go Shibata`s critcially acclaimed cult hit LATE BLOOMER (Osoi Hito, 2004) comes to DVD from Bone House Asia and Facets. “Weird, wicked and wonderfully perverse”—THE NEW YORK TIMES “ ***1/2 ” —ROGER EBERT “Gets under your skin, then immediately starts eating away at your internal organs."—TIME OUT NEW YORK “One of the best films that has come out of Japan recently"—MIDNIGHT EYE “Highly unusual spin on the serial killer/horror film mix”—VARIETY Bone House Asia`s DVD presentation of LATE BLOOMER includes a greeting from director Go Shibata, interviews with the director and actors, and a trailer gallery. In Japanese with English subtitles. Available on 3/24/2009, $24.95 Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC Language: Japanese Subtitles: English Number of discs: 1 Studio: Tidepoint Pictures Run Time: 83 minutes

    Press Notes

    Introduction When I first met the star of the movie, Sumida, one of the first things we talked about was how society has a certain image of handicapped people. The typical film would show a crippled person overcoming great odds. We thought, "wouldn`t it be interesting to see a film about a handicapped killer?" -Go Shibata, Midnight Eye Interview In his powerful second feature, Japanese filmmaker Go Shibata explores the complex emotional conflicts of a murderer. But LATE BLOOMER sets itself apart from the common run of psychological thrillers with its conception of the main character, remarkably portrayed by disabled actor Masakiyo Sumida. A truly collaborative effort between the writer/director and his star, LATE BLOOMER articulates the isolation, desires and frustrations of Sumida as he traces an emotional journey into the depths of anguish and rage. LATE BLOOMER is a potent, original vision of startling depth – working on multiple levels as it squeezes the audience in its iron grip, and forces our identification with its most unlikely of subjects. Synopsis LATE BLOOMER is the story of Sumida-san, a severely handicapped man, and his downward spiral into hell. Marked by his wheelchair, his electronic voice box, his rampant alcoholism, and his appetite for porn, he is the object of pity among friends and the abject to most everyone else. Despite his physical limitations, Sumida has all the personality, and desires, of a physically normal man. He enjoys an active life that includes regular drinking with his friends and attending hardcore concerts by his caregiver Take’s band.

    However, Sumida`s life begins to fall apart when student caregiver Nobuko begins coming in part time for research purposes and he mistakes her harmless flirtation for true love. There is little he can do to stem his growing attraction to the girl, which he first tries to conceal. As the three spend time together Sumida’s feelings deepen painfully into love. As Nobuko and Take get to know each other, Sumida’s sense of isolation becomes more acute, and he finds that he is losing control of himself. Nobuko`s eventual rejection sends Sumida on a downward spiral in which his repressed rage erupts in outright revenge. Sumida’s first act of lethal violence goes undetected, opening the way for more bloodshed to come. After all, who would suspect a man who can barely move without assistance? And, as his also disabled friend and mentor Fukunaga-san notes, it is impossible to know what is going on in the mind of someone who is always smiling… Go Shibata Biography Go Shibata was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1975. He began shooting 8mm films when he was in High school. He graduated from the Osaka University of Arts and was involved with film projects like Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s KICHIKU (1997) and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s DECAYING WOMAN (1997). His first short film ALL YOU CAN EAT screened at the 2000 Fantasia Festival in Montreal. His debut feature NN-891102 (1999), about a man who becomes obsessed with an audio recording of the atomic bomb blast in Nagasaki was shot on 16mm and was shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2000. After an absence of four years, he returned with his second feature LATE BLOOMER. Director’s Comments Until I became satisfied with my film editing, I needed time to face an astonishing number of images and to review them anew. By removing unnecessary pieces which had already been sorted out in my mind during shooting, the simplified images gradually formed into a concise and incisive film. You could say, “Here comes another soppy love story of a heartbroken disabled man.” However, what I tried to depict was how Sumida sees his neighbors and his surroundings, as well as how his neighbors feel and understand each other’s existence on more than a superficial level.

    Sumida and Fukunaga-san appear in the film under their real names, but it was only when we finished editing and watched them on the screen that we remembered that fact. Their spirited performances had such a special power that none of us had any doubts. The striking presence of the main character Masakiyo Sumida especially, a disabled actor, was strong enough to lead us to make this film. Thanks to him, LATE BLOOMER was made. Encountering him inspired me a lot. He is such a knockout. We all got interested in him, and then became big fans. Actually… we are totally possessed by his charm now. If I were to compare this film to a picture, it is as if I mixed colored pigments. It is not a painting, but the paint tubes. LATE BLOOMER is a film that needs to be colored by feedback from the audience to be completed. To that end, the director’s intention is sometimes easily misunderstood, though… So I feel compelled to state that my aim is to make the audience live out a fantasy without any excessive preoccupation or psychological distance after watching this film. This is a drama of “Masakiyo Sumida in fantasy,” which is visualized with my ideas and thoughts inspired by his overwhelming presence while we were working together.

    LATE BLOOMER Credits

    Masakiyo Sumida as Sumida Mari Torii as Nobuko Naozo Horita as Take Toshihisa Fukunaga as Fukunaga-san Sumiko Shirai as Aya Ariko Arita as Oba-chan Production Company: Shima Films Director, Writer: Go Shibata Producer: Toshiki Shima Cinematography: Masaaki Takakura Music: World’s End Girlfriend Editors: Keita Ichikawa, Keisuke Suzuki, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri Sound Editor: Takashi Ueno Tokyo FILMeX 2005 International Film Festival Rotterdam 2005 Le festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal 2006 Philadelphia International Film Festival 2005 Hawaii International Film Festival 2005; The Dream Digital Award NY Asian Film Festival 2005

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