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PLATONIC SEX
PRODUCTION NOTES STORY PROFILES CAST & STAFF
INTRODUCTION

The Impact and Universality of the Original Work

"Platonic Sex," Ai Iijima's (28) autobiography, became a bestseller, selling over a million copies only eight months after its publication. It has also become a hit in the overseas nonfiction division in Taiwan and Korea, a very exceptional achievement. The book is a frank account of her eventful life: she runs away from home, engages in prostitution, cohabits, works as a bar hostess, appears in pornographic videos, and becomes pregnant. She has gone through a lifetime of experience in half the time, and the astounding narrative attracted much public attention. When one is young, one inadvertently hurts others and is hurt in turn from loneliness and insecurity, and because one cannot find the proper outlet for the impassioned longings within. The author faces her past without flinching, never trying to embellish the facts, and this stance against the backdrop of the eternal turmoils of youth has brought about universal support. The title combines two opposite words, platonic and sex, which describes the book very well: it is at once straightforward and devious, shocking yet full of universal truth. It is certainly worthy of the project which aims at creating a new kind of TV program and motion picture.

Realities of Life in View of the 21st Century

Nowadays, people, especially young people, seem to have opted for the easy way out. They seem to think they can blot away their past as if pressing the reset button in a computer game when they are faced with real life problems, troubles, and demanding relationships. They refuse to grapple with their problems and turn away at the first sign of difficulties. The stance is symbolic of the age and is a contributing factor to increasing deliquencies and violent crimes that seem to have been hatched in the world of virtual reality. On the surface, "Platonic Sex" reads like a very violent tale, but the narrative is based on a firm stance that refuses to avert one's eyes from facts. The author acknowledges everything that has happened to her, the ways she has chosen, the people she has become involved with, and accepts them all as a part of her life, her true self. The autobiography is about the realities of life that all generations can relate to, without any moralizing or pretense at being in the thick of things.

THE MOVIE "PLATONIC SEX"

The leading actress for the poignant and shocking movie "Platonic Sex" was chosen at an audition. After the initial screening, interviews, and testing, Saki Kagami, sixteen, was selected out of 12,083 applicants from throughout Japan. She was chosen because she had "decisive eyes" and because she gave an entirely different impression during the interview and the testing. When she acted, she became a wholly different person, showing much promise as an actress. The staff could not hide their amazement at her composed replies during the interview despite having no former experience in acting, not even as a photograph model, and were impressed at the glimpse they had into her forceful personality. Masako Matsuura, who has demonstrated her superior skill in directing star actresses, with "Secret Liaisons,” starring Michiko Hada (1995), "Deborah, the Rival," starring Hinano Yoshikawa (1997), and "Dan-ball House Girl," starring Ryoko Yonekura, to be released in 2001, will be directing "Platonic Sex." Look forward to how she will polish up Saki yet in the rough and depict the poignant world of the adolescent.

STORY

It is Aoi's (Saki Kagami) seventeenth birthday. She has been raped by her friends and deeply shocked. She turns to her family for support and comfort only to be rejected. She decides to do away with herself and is about to jump from the roof of the school building, when she receives an e-mail message on her cell phone. It was a wrong number, but she finds consolation in the message and decides not to kill herself. However, she cannot bring herself to go back home and wanders the streets. She is picked up by Kanai (Taishu Kase) who was scouting around for girls, and begins to work at a bar as a hostess, calling herself "Ai." She starts selling herself and encounters Ishikawa (Hiroshi Abe), a shady character who spends a lot of money in a reckless way. Ai leads a day-to-day existence for money with Akemi (Maho Nonami), the most popular hostess at the bar. Her sole consolation was in exchanging e-mail messages with Toshi (Joe Odagiri), the one who had sent her that e-mail by mistake. Ai does not tell him how she makes a living, but comes to love him, and moves in with him. However, the production of the five pornographic videos, which she had agreed to do in exchange for five million yen, had already begun by then....

PROFILES

Saki Kagami
Born in Chiba prefecture on February 26, 1985. A lucky girl, who was selected out of 12,083 auditioning for the leading role in "Platonic Sex." At first glance, she seems quiet and unobtrusive, but displays impressive commitment to the movie saying, "When I read the autobiography, I was moved by the transition of emotions described by Ms. Iijima. I want to emerge as a different person by taking part in the movie."

Joe Odagiri
Born in Okayama prefecture on February 16, 1976. After graduating from theĀ@Department of Theatre Arts, Drama, Dance, College of Arts and Humanities, California State University at Fresno, made a debut in 1999. In 2000, he played the hero in "The Masked Rider Kuuga", which made him very popular. Has appeared in "OL Bijuarukei (Stunners in the Office)" and variety shows since then. This will be his second movie performance, following "Jubaku –Spellbound-."

Masako Matsuura, Director
Born in Ishikawa prefecture in 1960. Began directing plays while still a student at Yokohama National University. Trained at the Scenario Center, and finished Shochiku Scenario Institute. After working for a commercial film production company, became a free-lance director of commercials and directed numerous television commercials for major corporations. Made her debut as a movie director in 1995 with "Secret Liaisons,” followed by "Debora, the Rival" (1997), and "Dan-ball House Girl" (2001). Received the Cinema 100/Sundance International Prize, Award of Excellence for “Yellow Forest" (1995) for which she wrote the script.Ā@Ā@She is one of the foremost women directors in Japan.

CHARACTERS

CAST:

Saki Kagami (Aoi Kadokura)
Joe Odagiri (Toshimi Iwasaki)

Maho Nonami (Akemi Yamaguchi)
Kenjirou Ishimaru (Yoshio Kadokura)
Tohie Negishi (Yukiko Kadokura)

Taishu Kase (Makoto Kanai)
Hiroshi Abe (Hideyuki Ishikawa)


STAFF:

Original story / Supervisor :Ai Iijima
Executive producers :Chihiro Kameyama, Miki Watanabe
Director:Masako Matsuura
Scriptwriter:Yoshiko Morishita
Director of Photography:Hiroshi Takase
Lighting:Mitsuo Watanabe
Recording:Hideo Nonaka
Production design:Hajime Oikawa
Editing:Shozo Kawashima
Assistant director:Takashi Inoue
Music:Toshihiko Sahashi

Produced by Fuji Television Network, Watanabe Entertainment and Shogakukan
(C)2001 Fuji Television Network/Watanabe Entertainment/Shogakukan

(C)PONYCANYON