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Japanese director Takashi Miike will receive the maverick director award at the upcoming Rome Film Festival, a prize that honors filmmakers who are creating a new, unconventional style of cinema. He will also bring the world premiere of his new film As the Gods Will to the festival.
The latest film returns the prolific Miike to his gory roots, after delivering police thriller Shield of Straw last year in competition in Cannes. As the Gods Will is based on a manga by Muneyuki Kanshiro about teenagers who are forced to undergo a series of games where the penalty for losing is death. It’s already being described as the Japanese Hunger Games, with much more blood.
“Every one of his films is a breakneck race through an uncannily poetic and surprisingly political imagination,” said Marco Mueller, artistic director of the Rome Film Festival, on his decision to award Miike. “His sense of cinema and the pleasure of filming were already evident in his earliest works (straight-to-video movies and low-budget films); they have effortlessly edged in, despite his current creative speed (three to four films per year), hence his style continues to assert itself each time, both in his adaptation of hit mangas and in commissioned films honed to become blockbusters (which reveal moments of extraordinary figurative concentration).”
Miike’s wide filmography includes almost 100 films spanning the range of horror to yakuza thrillers to family films. The director was also at the Rome Film Festival in 2012 with The Lesson of the Evil, and in 2013 with The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji and Blue Planet Brothers.
Previous recipients of the Maverick Director Award include Tsui Hark and Walter Hill.
The Rome Film Festival runs from October 16-25.
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