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Always: Sunset on Third Street 2

(Always zoku san-chôme no yűhi )

Canadian Premiere

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Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Screenplay: Takashi Yamazaki, Ryota Furusawa (from Ryôhei Saigan)
Cast: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Koyuki, Maki Horikita, Masako Motai
Producers: Chikahiro Ando, Shinpei Yamagiwa, Nozomu Takahashi, Takaya Kurata
Distributor: NTV

Part of...

From Manga to Film   

From Manga to Film


A film called ALWAYS wouldn’t live up to its title if it wasn’t quickly followed by a sequel, would it? Especially if it’s a tremendous box-office success, inspired by one of Japan’s most beloved mangas. So here it is, folks, the next round of interlocking tales from a humble little neighbourhood in Tokyo, at a fondly remembered moment in time, that has a special place in the heart of a nation since its manga debut in 1973.

It’s springtime in 1959, or year 34 of the Showa era, four months after the events of the first ALWAYS film. Japan’s vigorous renaissance following the war is building steam. In fact, the near future holds a major event for the nation, both economically and culturally, and that’s the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics. These are times of great change, but there are things you can count on to stay the same. For instance, the quirky and lovable personalities who inhabit the Yuhi, or “evening sun,” district, under the watchful eye of the just-completed Tokyo Tower. Suzuki Auto and the clan that manage it is there, as is Chagawa the writer and his ward Junnosuke. Chagawa’s pining over Hiromi, who left their lives, and the Suzuki household is about to find itself again making a home for new visitors. And what’s Dr. Takuma up to, meanwhile?

Yamazaki Takahashi, the special-effects wizard who first turned heads as a director with the neat sci-fi thriller RETURNER, and his topnotch team outdo themselves with ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 2, which goes further still in digitally creating, down to minute details, an accurate presentation of Tokyo in 1959, and then infusing it with a vividness and warmth reflective of Japan’s plucky optimism in that era. A true cinematic treat is back—may the sun always rise again on the ALWAYS movies!

—Rupert Bottenberg