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g@me
INTRODUCTION STORY PROFILE
RODUCTION NOTES MUSIC THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
Introduction

The unconventional mystery novel, "Game no Nawa Yuukai" (the Kidnapping Game) by best selling author, Keigo Higashino, was written purely from the point of view of the abductor. Now, this "tricky" novel will be adapted as the movie, "g@me." by Director Satoshi Isaka, known for his highly stylized direction of the award...winning "Focus" ('96) and "Hasen no Marisu" ('00).

"The casting is perfect" says novelist Higashino of Naoto Fujiki (in his first starring role) and Yukie Nakama. The movie will also treat viewers with a big line...up of surprise appearances.

A man's pride has been shattered. A woman's pride must be reclaimed. Their chance meeting leads to a vengeance scheme - a faked kidnapping. The kidnapper and his hostage play a game of abduction with a ransom of 300 million yen. It was the perfect crime executed exactly as planned. Until they fell in love...

The game is played in current day Tokyo, using only cell phones and the Internet as communication tools. Who will emerge the winner?

STORY

"I" am an advertising professional, Shunsuke Sakuma. With both the "brains" and the "looks", in both work and private, "I" am a "winner" in the game of life - that is how people see "me".
"I" was in charge of a mega project - a new product campaign for a big client, Mikado Beer.
But one day, the section chief, Shigeru Kotsuka (Ryudo Uzaki) dropped a bomb on me. He informed me that the campaign was called off. The 3 billion yen project, in its final stages, was wiped out on a single man's whim.
That man was Katsutoshi Katsuragi (Ryo Ishibashi), who opened up the China market in 2 short years and rose to the position of Vice President of Mikado Beer at the age of 49. Katsuragi negated "me" and every reputation I had built for myself with these words:
"I happen to be quite a hand at games. And I say that you need to rethink the plans. Don't disappoint me."
I was declared "incompetent" in front of my staff. To add insult to injury, I was taken off the project and replaced by someone not even worth mentioning. It was the ultimate indignity of my "winning" life.
That night, spurred by anger and alcohol, I headed aimlessly toward the Katsuragi residence...
Then, purely by chance, I met "her".

"I" am Katsutoshi Katsuragi's oldest daughter, Juri. (Yukie Nakama) A daughter by a lover to be exact, but the world doesn't know it. My mother died 3 years ago and I was adopted by the Katsuragi family - my father, his wife and their daughter, who is younger than me. My sister knows she has the upper hand, and always looks down on "me". Why did Katsuragi adopt "me"? There is no place for "me" in this house.
I'm almost finished with college, but I can't continue playing this charade with my "mother" and "sister" any longer. So one day, "I" finally decide to run away. I climb over the wall, sidestepping the security cameras. I have nowhere to go, but at least I'll be free...
Then, purely by chance, I met "him".

A man and woman who, for their own reasons, despise Katsuragi.
"Hey... do you want to kidnap me?"
"I happen to be quite a hand at games."
And so the game with Katsuragi begins ...... with "I", Sakuma as the abductor, "I", Juri as the hostage and 300 million yen as ransom.

"I" devise a fool...proof plan of getting the money without getting caught. That's how the game is won. And the only way to redeem myself from the humiliation I suffered - by beating Katsuragi at the game.

First, "I" create a ransom note on my PC and send it from a fictitious e...mail address. That way, it can never be traced back to us. I make Katsuragi respond on a specific BBS. Who would figure out that it's a kidnapping scheme? We go all the way to Yokosuka to let him hear Juri's voice with a train running in the background. And finally, the pay...off. Katsuragi must be the sole driver and bring the 300 million yen in cash. We send him instructions constantly changing locations so we cannot be followed. In case he has tampered with the bills, we make him exchange them all en route. And no one sees "us" as we make the pick up. We have a small hitch when Juri accidentally runs into a friend, IZAM, but we get through it.
Everything goes exactly as planned, and the game ends. Except for one miscalculation. Juri and "I" fell in love...

Did they play the game? Or were they played? The Kidnapping Game - it was only the beginning!!

PROFILE

Satoshi Isaka
Born in Tokyo, 1/2/1960
Graduated from Tokyo University's Literature Department and worked freelance as Assistant Director on various movies and TV dramas. Made his debut in 1992 with a Kansai TV Drama "Ranran Cinema Club" and his film directing debut with "Focus" in 1996 which won him two Best New Talent Awards in the Mainichi Film Competition. Abroad, he won both the Berlin Journalist's Award and the Netpack Award in the Berlin Film Festival as well as the Grand Prix Award in both the Russia Sochi Film Festival and the Italian Saleluno Film Festival. Other works include "Onnakeiji RIKOESeibo no Fukaki Fuchi" ('98), "Hasen no Marisu" ('00), "Doubles" ('01), "Mister Rookie" ('02), "Mana ni Dakarete" ('03).

Keigo Higashino
Born in Osaka, 2/4/1958
After graduating from an Osaka University in Electrical Engineering, Higashino worked in industry as an engineer while writing mystery novels. He made his literary debut in 1985 with "Hokago" which won the 31st Edgar Allan Poe Award. He then focused on his writing and produced "Himitsu" in 1998 which won the 52nd Japan Mystery Writer's Association Award. Higashino has continually fascinated his readers, transcending the borders of the conventional mysteries, exploring not only novels, but also original works for comics. Especially in his novel "Game no nawa Yuukai" (The Kidnapping Game) on which the movie "g@me." is based, the story is told completely from the point of view of the abductor, a first of its kind.
"g@me." is the second of Higashino's work following "Himitsu" ('99 Yojiro Takida, director) to be adapted to film. Other works of this popular novelist, including "Lakeside Murder Case" ('04 expected release, Shinji Aoyama, director), have already been earmarked for film and TV drama adaptation.

Naohito Fujiki as Shunsuke Sakuma
Born in Chiba, 7/19/1972
Fujiki made his acting debut in "Hana yori Dango" ('95) while still attending Waseda University, followed by roless in the popular TV drama "GTO" and NHK drama series "Asuka".
He developed his reputation as the "cool and handsome" type in the TV drama "Nurse no Oshigoto 3" playing the heroine's love interest, and then further solidified this image in "Love Revolution".
Fujiki's talent also extends to music. He made his 1999 CD single debut with "Sekai no Hate ~ the end of the world ~". His 11th single is due to be released on November 19th and in 2003, a "Live in Concert DVD" of his Tokyo Kokusai Forum performance is expected. Major film appearances include "That's Cunning" ('96), "Nurse no Oshigoto - the Movie (Leave it to the Nurses)" ('02) and "Dragonhead" ('03).

Yukie Nakama as Juri Katsuragi
Born in Okinawa, 10/30/1979
Nakama came to Tokyo after appearing in regional TV, and since her drama debut in 1995, has been active in film, dramas, commercials and music.
Film credits include "Love & Pop" ('98), "Ring 0 ~ Birthday ~" ('00), "Oboreru Sakana" ('01), "LOVE SONG" ('01), and "Trick - The Movie" ('02).
Her first starring role in the '00 serial drama "Trick" led to roles in "Trick 2", "Gokusen" and "Night Hospital" in '02 and another leading role in "Kao" in '03. She will also appear in the NHK period drama "Musashi".
Nakama is currently a highly sought after actress - the newest "Trick" series will be aired in October.
Her second pictorial, "20th", released in '00 and last year's "digi...KISHIN DVD Nakama Yukie" have also been long sellers.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Lifestyle of a "winner"
The hero, Sakuma, is a stranger to defeat. Fujiki says, "I want to portray a character who is cool. A man of few words. Someone who is unshakeable." How to reflect that in a lifestyle?
In the film, Sakuma lives on the 36th floor of a luxury high rise condominium and drives an expensive foreign car - he skimps on nothing. From the amenities in his apartment, to his AV system, to his accessories - everything smells of money. (to the tune of 15 million yen!) He wears only Dunhill and Zegna. His watch - Franck Muller. His shoes - Santoni. Every detail is a reflection of his lifestyle.

Sakuma's "Pad" - A panoramic view of Tokyo
The set of Sakuma's "pad" was modeled on an actual floor plan of a luxury condominium in Atago. On the 36th floor of a 42 floor high...rise, one has a breathtaking view of the Tokyo skyline including the Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge. The view is of course CG generated. Usually, a CG sky blue wall would be used for the view outside the window, but since this apartment is on the 36th floor, the floor had to be covered in CG blue as well. The stunning view of Tokyo from Sakuma's room is a must...see!

The Opening Scene in One Cut
The opening scene was shot on the last day of filming. A crane was set outside Sakuma's window, and the camera was replaced by a cameraman with a steadycam. The crane took the cameraman from up high outside, down through Sakuma's window, and into the center of his room in a one...cut sequence.
Toho Studio's Stage 7 with a 12 meter ceiling was used for the greatest allowance of movement. After many rehearsals, the director is ready and the camera starts rolling. At first, the cameraman has a hard time making a smooth landing and timing proves to be tricky. But they get it on the 4th take.

Meeting Juri
The first meeting between Sakuma and Juri at the Katsuragi residence was shot on location in a suburb of Chiba. Two cranes were used for the lighting in this quiet, residential neighborhood, so that even at night, the area was flooded with light.
Cicadas began humming, thinking it was daytime. Local residents gathered around forming a crowd. In the scene where Juri runs away from home, Nakama climbed the wall - countless times - until they got it right. To a worried staff standing by, she smiles, "No problem!"

The entire event takes place through the eyes of the abductor.
What attracted Director Isaka to Higashino's novel "Game no nawa Yuukai" (the Kidnapping Game) was its unique approach. The entire event unfolds through the eyes of the abductor, not the police. "It's the exact opposite of Akira Kurosawa's 'Heaven and Hell' ('63). That's what I want to achieve", says Director Isaka.
But since most of the film takes place solely between the kidnapper and the hostage, Fujiki and Nakama, filming required technical sophistication and attention to the minutest detail.
Director Isaka took us by surprise with his innovative storytelling in his debut film "Focus" and then once again with an entirely different film, "Mister Rookie" ('02). Only with his breadth of directorial talent could this unconventional mystery be successfully adapted to film.

MUSIC

Theme Song "It's all a game" by ZEEBRA
The MC of the legendary hip...hop group KING GIDDRA ('95 debut).
As one of its pioneers, ZEEBRA took Japanese rap to a new dimension.
Since his '97 solo debut, ZEEBRA has dominated the charts, attracting a huge following by always reaching higher, stretching the boundaries of his music. Highly respected by his peers, he is featured in many of his contemporaries' works, and also creates his own collaborations. ZEEBRA released his 3rd single since returning as a solo artist in January '03 and will release his long awaited 3rd album, "TOKYO'S FINEST" this September. He will also start his "LIVE ANIMAL '03" national concert tour in mid November.

THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

In 1973, a bank in Stockholm, Sweden, was robbed and several people were taken hostage. After a one week standoff, the perpetrators were arrested by the police, but strangely, all the hostages' testimonies were protective of the offenders. The police were treated not with gratitude, but with hostility. Furthermore, one of the female hostages shocked the world by marrying one of the abductors.
From this incident, the bizarre psychological phenomenon of hostages developing empathy and compassion for their abductors, and at the same time, fear and resentment toward the police, was named the "Stockholm Syndrome". There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the Syndrome as it lacks historical research.

 

OFFICIAL SITE:http://www.game-movie.com

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