Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s psychological thriller Penance (Shokuzai) first aired on Japanese TV early last year as a serial drama. Music Box Films will release it theatrically in summer 2014 after snagging distribution rights for the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland, followed by DVD and digital rollouts. It’s the latest addition to Music Box’s slate of foreign TV acquisitions joining Sweden’s Wallander, Germany’s Generation War and France’s The Returned. Penance begins when a mysterious stranger approaches a group of young girls, then kidnaps and brutally murders one of them. Wracked with grief, the victim’s unhinged mother demands that the four survivors identify the killer or face a penance of her choosing. They grow up in the shadow of that tragic debt. Music Box president William Schopf negotiated the deal with Miyuki Takamatsu of Free Stone Productions on behalf of Japanese network WOWOW.
NEW YORK, August 23, 2013 —The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Real has been added to the lineup for the previously announced Main Slate Official Selections for the 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13). REAL is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first feature since his 2008 TOKYO SONATA (which was an NYFF Main Slate selection as was his film, LICENSE TO LIVE in 1999), and is at once the most romantic and tender film of his career, and entirely consistent with the rest of his unparalleled body of work. It is also, as always, as visually and tonally exquisite as it is unsettling. A star manga artist (Haruka Ayase) is in a coma, the result perhaps of a suicide attempt. In an experimental medical procedure, her husband (Takeru Satô) enters her unconscious in an attempt to awaken her. But when one psyche merges with another, mirror opposites are the possible, troubling result. A haunting successor to the mother of all time travel films, Chris Marker’s LA JETÉE, with a tip of the hat to Bong Joon-ho’s THE HOST, REAL finds its mysteries in the ordinary.