SciFi Japan

    THERMAE ROMAE New York Premiere Today

    Source: Japan Society, Subway Cinema, Pony Canyon Special Thanks to Shannon Jowett, Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix The hit Japanese time-travel comedy THERMAE ROMAE (????????, Terumae Romae, 2012) makes its New York Premiere today (Sunday, July 14) as a co-presentation of 2013 New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. The screening will take place 5:15 pm at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street - Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium, New York, NY 10017). The following text comes from the English promotional materials for THERMAE ROMAE and are courtesy of the film`s international sales agent, Pony Canyon... Hiroshi Abe -- as an ancient Roman??? An epic bath fantasy transcends time and space. Hiroshi Abe and Aya Ueto star in the phenomenal live action film adaption!!! INTRODUCTION

    An ancient Roman architect (specializing in baths) struggling to invent new ideas for baths accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a public bath house in modern day Japan!? Traveling back and forth between ancient Rome and modern day Japan, this hilarious, highly original "time slip bath-driven" manga -- Thermae Romae (serialized in Comic Beam Monthly) will be miraculously transformed into a live action film starring Hiroshi Abe and Aya Ueto!! The film is an adaptation of the wildly popular manga that won both the "2010 Manga Grand Prix” and the "14th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize Short Story Award.” (6 Volumes / Enterbrain, Inc.) The title Thermae Romae means "Roman Bath.” The series has sold over 5 million copies to date and is hailed by the media as the "hottest” manga today. Thermae Romae is the brainchild of up-and-coming manga artist Mari Yamazaki, whose husband is Italian. Hiroshi Abe (GODZILLA 2000, TRICK: THE MOVIE, HAPPILY EVER AFTER) is perfectly cast in the lead role of ancient Roman Lucius while Aya Ueto (AZUMI) plays the adorable heroine Mami, an aspiring Japanese manga artist. The screenplay is by Shogo Muto, who also scripted the film CROWS ZERO and dramas TRAIN MAN and HANAZAKARI NO KIMITACHI E. The film is directed by Hideki Takeuchi of film and drama NODAME CANTABILE and dramas TRAIN MAN and KAMISAMA, MOU SUKOSHIDAKE. The project brings together a star-studded cast and staff, and features scenes shot on the colossal open set of ancient Rome at Cinecitta Studios, the premiere film studio in Italy. Proud ancient Roman architect, Lucius, is flabbergasted by every aspect of Japan`s bath culture, and his beliefs are shaken to the core. His every move, rife with humor and wit, is sure to make you laugh, but the story also explores in depth the origins of the Japanese and ancient Roman "bath” cultures. Witness the birth of an epic, fantastical comedy masterpiece that is both uproariously funny and deeply touching!

    SUMMARY Ancient Roman architect Lucius (Hiroshi Abe) is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bath house to cheer him up, Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern day public bath in Japan. There, he meets aspiring young manga artist Mami (Aya Ueto) along with others of the "flat-faced clan.” ( = Japanese). Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan`s bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garners tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern-day Japan, Lucius` reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow...

    Comment from Hiroshi Abe I loved the original manga`s idea of comparing Japan`s bath culture with ancient Rome`s "thermae” culture. The concept of crossing over time and space and people interacting "in the buff” is somehow both heartwarming and comical, but I intend to play the role of ancient Roman Lucius with great seriousness. Comment from Aya Ueto The premise of traveling back and forth in time between ancient Rome and modern day Japan, and Hiroshi Abe playing an ancient Roman, Lucius, is too hilarious. As a representative of the "flat-faced clan” I will do my best in my portrayal of Mami. Comment from manga artist Mari Yamazaki Actually, I’m shocked because the film adaptation may surpass my original work. Hiroshi Abe plays the ancient Roman architect Lucius to perfection. Even the Italian staff on location was overheard saying, "He’s like a real Roman!” Amazing!! CREDITS Japanese Theatrical Release: April 28, 2012 Running Time: 108 Minutes

    CAST Lucius: Hiroshi Abe Mami Yamakoshi: Aya Ueto Ceionius: Kazuki Kitamura Tateno: Riki Takeuchi Antoninus: Kai Shishido Shuuzo Yamakoshi: Takashi Sasano Hadrian: Masachika Ichimura Yumi Yamakoshi: Midoriko Kimura Marcus: Katsuya Kishimoto: Bunmei Tobayama Nagura: Kei Iinuma Mogami: Taro Iwate Onishi: Takao Kinoshita Old Man: Hiroshi Kanbe Michiko Hirai: Shungiku Uchida Noboru Itami: Satoru Matsuo Ujino: Yoshiyuki Morishita Department Head: Yoshikazu Ebisu STAFF Directed by: Hideki Takeuchi Produced by: Chihiro Kameyama, Minami Ichikawa, Atsushi Terada, Hirokazu Hamamura Producers: Naoto Inaba, Miyoshi Kikuchi, Kaoru Matsuzaki Based on the comic by Mari Yamazaki: Thermae Romae (ENTERBRAIN) Screenplay by: Shogo Muto Music by: Norito Sumitomo Director of Photography: Kazunari Kawagoe Lighting by: Toshio Suzuki Sound by: Yamato Kato Production Design by: Mitsuo Harada (N.V.U) Edited by: Hiroshi Matsuo A Fuji Television Network, Toho, Dentsu, and Enterbrain Presentation Distribution: Toho Co., Ltd. International Sales: Pony Canyon Inc. © 2012 "THERMAE ROMAE” Film Partners

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