Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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L: Change the World

Sponsored by: Ztélé

Canadian Premiere

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Director: Hideo Nakata
Screenplay: Kiyomi Fujii, Hirotoshi Kobayashi (from Tsugumi Ôba, Takeshi Obata)
Cast: Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Youki Kudoh, Mayuko Fukuda, Kiyotaka Nanbara, Masanobu Takashima
Producers: Nobuhiro Iizuka, Takahiro Kobashi, Takahiro Sato, Tadashi Tanaka
Distributor: NTV


Following his diabolical duel of the intellect with the brilliant and murderous student Light Yigami, possessor of a death spirit’s lethal notebook, the enigmatic teenage genius hermit-detective L is faced with a terrible truth: his pursuit of justice has cost him the life of his friend Watari, and L himself has only 23 days left to live. And they will not be days of rest and contemplation. A horrifying disease has wiped out a community in Thailand, killing all in the village save a single boy. The trail leads back to a dire terrorist group with apocalyptic intentions. L, until now so safely sealed off from the world in his hermetic realm, will be forced to venture out into the real world to pit his powerful mind against this awful threat.

If, like millions the world over, you’re gripped by the momentous, morbid mind games and starling originality of the world of DEATH NOTE—originally a hit manga series by writer Tsugumi Ôba and illustrator Takeshi Obata, recently adapted in two parts for the screen by the great Shusuke Kaneko (both big hits at Fantasia 2007)—you’ll be happy to know that its protagonist L is back in this fascinating offshoot. And guess who’s in the director’s chair! None other than Hideo Nakata, the very same who crafted the prototypical J-horror sensations RINGU, RINGU 2 and DARK WATERS. There’s no questioning the delight Nakata takes in poking about in the mind’s darker corners, making him highly suited to tackling this eerie addition to the phenomenally popular DEATH NOTE canon. His focus is fleshing out the complex character of L, so convincingly embodied by Ken’ichi Matsuyama—“like a demon in our dreams,” Nakata’s been quoted as saying, and from him, that’s no idle threat.

—Rupert Bottenberg