Some time last year, there was a bit of news about director Nakashima Tetsuya's (KAMIKAZE GIRLS & MEMORIES OF MATSUKO) new flick: PAKO AND THE MAGIC PICTURE BOOK (aka. Pako to Mahou no Ehon パコと魔法の絵本) when the cast was announced (see link here for details). After that the info trail went dry and that was that.
Well, after finally getting around to watching one of the last Nakashima films that I had missed, BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY (aka. ビューティフルサンデー) (capsule review forthcoming perhaps?) I went on-line to check up on PAKO. And guess what? Toho now has a homepage up for it.
Set to come out this fall (2008), there isn't a trailer up on the site yet, but there is a brief story description which makes the film sound alternately wacky and kind of depressing. It goes something like this**:
There's this hospital where lots of strange folks hang around. A young girl named Pako (Ayaka Wilson) becomes a patient there after she and her parents are in a traffic accident and they're killed. Hospitalized with some kind of brain damage (ala Memento?) she's only able to remember things for a day.Because I'm a big fan of Nakashima, I'm looking forward to seeing this. But I'm starting to wonder what is up with all of these cute girls getting beaten up in his movies.
As a result (or is it because of this?) she becomes obsessed with a picture book that she likes to look at while sitting on a bench... and some sort of insanity ensues. (I think involving some of the wacky patients at the hospital.)
- HAPPY GO LUCKY - (1997) - A junior high school girl gets bullied.
- BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY - (1998) - A little girl gets bullied.
- KAMIKAZE GIRLS - (2004) - Girls getting beat up.
- MEMORIES OF MATSUKO - (2006) - Largely about a woman who gets beat up.
Link to the Japanese website.
(**This is a distillation from the Japanese not a direct translation or press release. Any screw ups are mine only. Duh.)