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PRODUCTION NOTE SEGMENTS OF THE FILM STAFF STORY
PRODUCTION NOTE

[Background]

Over ten years ago, in April 1990, Japan's leading broadcaster, Fuji TV, put to air a new format series, "Tales Of The Unusual Ever". The program quickly acquired a loyal audience, particularly younger viewers, and garnered consistent ratings of over 20%. These loyal fans will be thrilled to hear that Fuji is about to release a brand new feature film version of "Tales Of The Unusual Ever."
It all began back in 1989 when "The Strange Occurrence", a thirty minute show in the midnight time slot, began to draw a loyal audience of younger viewers. In 1990 the series was revamped into a one-hour program and moved to the "golden" evening time slot. Under the title "Tales Of The Unusual Ever", the producers presented 3 fifteen minute segments interspersed with commentary. The theme song is now a Japanese TV classic and signature tune for the popular presenter, Tamori, who guides the audience through the various stories. And varied they are! Stories of horror, romance, science fiction, even pathos, all with an element of the bizarre, the supernatural and the strange...

With viewer ratings in excess of 20%, the first 6 month series was an unrivaled success. Fuji TV repeated this with a second series in 1991 and a third in 1992, for a total of 70 programs with over 200 separate segments. In addition, Fuji has presented 26 two-hour specials with over 120 separate segments throughout the duration of the series.
A loyal audience has consistently kept the ratings in the high 20's, even for repeats, giving "Tales Of The Unusual Ever", one of Fuji TV's most popular and longest running programs, a well-deserved place in Japanese TV history.

 

SEGMENTS OF THE FILM

The four stories chosen by the producers and directors retain the style and format of the TV series but also include several features which could never be realized on the small screen. Four different directors, one for each segment, have employed high production values and the richness and depth of film to create this stunning film version.

"One Snowy Night" is a deeply disturbing horror story that was considered too graphic and horrific for TV. "Chess", with its vast set and complex shots needed to accomplish it, was considered unsuitable for TV but perfect for film. "Samurai Cellular" is a full-scale historical play and "The Marriage Simulator" is a love story by one of Japan's leading writers.
The range of talent is incredible and the seasoned crew have done their very best to bring these complex stories to the big silver screen.

STAFF

Produced by :
Jiro KOMAKI, Takashi ISHIHARA, Yuji IWATA, Kiichi IGUCHI, Osamu TEZUKA("Samurai Cellular")
Associate Producers: Madoka TAKIYAMA, Daisuke SEKIGUCHI
Production company: Kyodo Television Ltd.
Presented by : Fuji Television Network Inc. Toho Co., Ltd. Pony Canyon Inc. IMAGICA Corporation Kyodo Television Ltd. Nikkatsu Corporation

2000/color/vista/Dolby Digital/130min
(C)2000 FujiTelevision/Toho/ Pony Canyon/IMAGICA/ Kyodo Television/Nikkatsu

STORY

Story teller : TAMORI

"One Snowy Night"

Director:Masayuki Ochiai
Starring: Akiko Yada, Kazuma Suzuki, Ren Osugi, Akira Takarada

An aircraft has crashed-landed on a rugged snow-capped mountain. Five passengers have survived the crash but will freeze to death unless they make a break to the safety of a nearby mountain hut. This means they have to leave Mari, Misa's best friend, who is still trapped within the wreckage. A blizzard begins to blow and the four wretched souls have to battle extreme cold and tricks of the mind if they are to reach the safety of the hut. Deep numbing coldness and the drowsiness that signsals approaching death are their constant companions as they suffer through the most horrifying twenty five minutes ever put down onto film.

 

"Samurai Cellular"

Director:Masayuki Suzuki
Starring: Kiichi Nakai, Megumi Okina,
Keiko Toda, Tomohito Yajima

"Chushingura", or the 47 Loyal Samurai, is as well-known to Japanese audiences as Robin Hood is to westerners.
"No, never!" Oishi is at a loss.
If at all possible, the samurai Oishi would rather not carry out his sacred duty of taking revenge for the sordid killing of his lord and master. Oishi would rather stay and play with his mistress, the beautiful and seductive Karu. The thought of laying down his life almost makes him faint with fright!
While coming to terms with his own cowardice, Oishi sees a strange silvery object fall from the sky. A mobile phone in the 17th century! Oishi's fate takes an alarming turn in this highly comical and very moving twenty five minute segment.

 

"Chess"

Director:Mamoru Hoshi
Starring: Shinji Takeda, Renji Ishibashi

Killed by Chess!
Akira, an ex-world champion chess player has been summoned to a game by an aging billionaire. But this chess game is for real and the chess pieces are intent on killing each other which gives Akira a lot to worry about in a world he can barely understand.
Twenty five minutes of sudden twists, turns and tingling suspense.

 

"The Marriage Simulator"

Director:Hisao Ogura
Starring: Izumi Inamori, Takashi Kashiwabara

If you could simulate a marriage before you actually say "I do", imagine all the hassles you would save yourself! And it's simple, just download all the data of the couple; DNA, psychological profile, background and upbringing, put it all into a computer, press the button and see what happens. The loving couple will soon realize just what problems they will have to face and overcome in the years ahead.
Twenty five minutes of heartwarming and touching love story.
Twenty five minutes of sudden twists, turns and tingling suspense.

 

(C)PONYCANYON