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FILM :
EMPEROR
Krasnoff Foster Productions, Fellers Film's Drama, History, War directed by Peter Webber starring Matthew Fox "General Bonner Fellers", Tommy Lee Jones "General Douglas MacArthur", Eriko Hatsune "Aya Shimada". Screenwriters: David Klass, Vera Blasi. Producers: Gary Foster, Yoko Narahashi, Eugene Nomura. Co-Producer: Tim Coddington. Director of Photography: Stuart Dryburgh, ASC . Production Designer: Grant Major. Costume Designer: Ngila Dickson. Editor: Chris Plummer. Composer: Alex Heffes. RELEASE DATE: COMING SOON (USA)
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The Perilous Journey To Peace The journey of EMPEROR began with producer Yoko Narahashi (THE LAST SAMURAI) who has long been interested in the fertile territory where East and West. As a child, Narahashi had been riveted by stories from her grandfather, Teizaburo Sekiya, who served in the high palace as a key member of Emperor Hirohito's Ministry of the Interior – and played a role in bringing MacArthur and the Emperor together for the meeting that would change their fates. Decades later, the war-scarred Japan that Narahashi's grandfather described seemed almost unimaginable – and she became fascinated by just how it was that the most dire of enemies had been transformed with blinding speed into the closest of allies as Japan rebuilt from the ashes. Narahashi knew there were many personal stories about how the occupation integrated the past into a new future for both Japan and the U.S., but one in particular caught her eye. This was the story of Bonner Fellers, who from the outside might seem to be a minor figure among General MacArthur's newly arrived team in 1945 -- but turned out to have made himself into a history-changing human bridge between two ways of life in those days of peril and mistrust. "I was very intrigued by what I saw as a truly international story, a story about both Japan and the West," says Narahashi. "I'm always fascinated by unsung heroes and when I learned about Bonner Fellers, I realized that here was someone who no one really knows yet, but he had a great deal to do with the changing of history. That was a very compelling start." As Narahashi began to research Fellers and to read some of his writings from the war, she found that he sometimes wrote about visiting an unnamed "friend" in Japan and she wondered if perhaps there was a love story lurking within. There could be no proof, but Narahashi saw an opportunity for a writer's imagination to take the next step. Thus was born the seed of the fictional character of Aya, the alluring schoolteacher who reveals to Fellers a side of Japan that will forever change his mind about the country – even as the pair is star-crossed by war. Narahashi's instincts were affirmed when she told her 101 year-old uncle, Teizaburo Sekiya's son, about the movie. She recalls: "He gave his blessing to us and when I asked him if he had a message to give us, he said, 'Make it a burning love story.'" Narahashi brought the idea of a burning, cross-cultural love story in occupied Japan to the novelist and screenwriter David Klass, known for such thrillers as KISS THE GIRLS and DESPERATE MEASURES, but who also had worked as a schoolteacher in Japan himself. Klass drafted the first screenplay. In the meantime, a stellar production team came into place including Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment, known for a wide range of high-profile films spanning from SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and THE SOLOIST to GHOST RIDER DAREDEVIL and actor / film producer, Eugene Nomura. Each was drawn by the potential for blending history, intrigue and romance – and by a truth-based tale that has never before been told on the screen. "I've always wanted to do a movie about this period," says Foster, "and I found the story of how MacArthur and Fellers had to make this profound decision about the Emperor in such a short period of time, under the most extreme pressures, very dramatic. Then, I fell head over heels for the script's love story." Foster was especially captivated by the idea of bringing to light a part of World War II that has so far largely escaped cinematic exploration. "People have seen a lot about life during the war, but the story that hasn't been told is how after the war ended, the peace was negotiated," he notes. "This story is something fresh that illuminates a period many people thought they knew in a different way – and I find that very intriguing." Producer Eugene Nomura saw the story not only as historical – but also as compellingly relevant to our own times of international conflicts, global uncertainty as well as unprecedented natural disaster in Japan. "This is a story about how Japan was rebuilt after the war, and Japan after the tsunami of 2011 in some ways looks similar to Japan in 1945," he observes. "So I think it means a lot to tell this story right now about the country trying to rebuild and make it work for the right reasons." To further hone the script, Foster brought in screenwriter Vera Blasi, known for her passionate love of history and finesse with psychologically rich characters. Right away, she found the heart of the story. "To me it's about how justice and truth are juxtaposed with political expedience and what will be the greater good for the world," she explains. "I just find that fascinating and it continues to be very important in our world." Blasi saw the love story between Fellers and Aya as the perfect vehicle to tell the story of two seemingly disparate cultures who must find common ground to co-exist. "The political story and the love story bring in two different views of the world in 1945," she comments. Indeed, in the final script, the depth of Bonner Fellers' yearning to find Aya is both the source of his respect for Japanese culture and his inspiration for trying to uncover if the Emperor might have tried to halt the terrible consequences of the war. Aya's spirit haunts Fellers' every move, even if he does not yet know her fate. "A love story is always universal," sums up Narahashi, "but the beauty of the love story in EMPEROR is that it leads an American man to make a momentous decision for Japan." Love, War And Neo-Noir With a story traversing political suspense, the quest for lost love and the murky days just after the end of World War II in Japan, the filmmakers knew they would need a director for EMPEROR who could evoke both its intricate themes and its rarely seen period. They chose Peter Webber, the British director who turned GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING into a hypnotic cinematic painting. "We loved his passion," says Gary Foster. "We met with a number of directors and there were different points of view on making the film more of a love story or more of a political thriller, but Peter found a way to integrate both. He was able to bring in both the muscular feel of a thriller and the lyrical romanticism of a relationship that might have changed history." The screenplay had entranced Webber. "I'm sent a lot of scripts but I'm interested in very, very few of them," he admits. "When this landed on my doorstep, I instantly felt 'I'd really like to make this film.' It was real page-turner. I knew a bit about MacArthur and the occupation. I'd read about post-war Japan and the dismantling of their empire. But here was a dark little corner of history that had previously been un-illuminated and I thought it would be exciting to shine a light into it." He continues: "But this story isn't only about past history. I think it has something quite contemporary and relevant to say about the differences between revenge and justice." Indeed all the moral shadows and tricky romance in the story put Webber in mind of classic film noirs, in which the gritty mood of mystery reflects both what the characters are going through and the dramatic uncertainty of the world at large. "There was something in the script that reminded me of THE THIRD MAN," notes Webber, referring to the Carol Reed classic of love and deception set in post-war Vienna. "This is more of a political thriller, but I really wanted to make a kind of neo-noir out of it in the detail and the atmosphere. To me it's at once a political thriller, a love story and a dark film noir." Once he took on the production, Webber immersed himself in research, delving into history books and every different kind of visual reference he could find from the period, scouring rare archival footage as well as making several personal journeys to Japan. Since the story is fictionalized, he had some visual freedom, but authenticity in the period details remained vital. He was committed to honoring the complexity of the Japanese culture that Aya reveals to Fellers with such resonant results. "I've tried to avoid easy cultural clichés in the film such as delicate, oriental flowers and the like," says Webber. "Prior to 1945, Japan was actually a quite modern, already slightly westernized country. But there was still a clash of cultures with the Americans. Because the film is seen through the eyes of Bonner Fellers, it's really about a man trying to penetrate an imperial culture that seems at first impenetrable." While historical consultants, including war historian and military archivist Pedro Loureiro, helped to keep the film true to the overall sweep of events, Webber says he was most interested in being true to the spirit of the characters. "Although we wanted to get all the broader details correct, we were focused on creating an intelligent entertainment," he explains. A believer in the adage that "you're only as good as your collaborators," Webber began that process with casting, looking for actors who could cut to the core of the characters' strong, colliding personalities rather than their photographic appearances. Jones On MacArthur General Douglas MacArthur is perhaps the most iconic American military figure of all time – renowned equally for his brilliant victories and for his complicated and controversial personality. Flamboyant and egotistical he also displayed unmovable courage and intelligence, and in 1945 it seemed a foregone conclusion he might one day run for President of the United States. To play a figure most Americans already know from history books, the filmmakers knew they needed someone with a larger-than-life personality. This is what led them straight to Academy Award® winner Tommy Lee Jones, known for creating indelible characters from the relentless deputy chasing a wanted man in THE FUGITVE to the laconic sheriff investigating a crime spree in rural Texas in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN to the alien Agent K in the action-comedy MEN IN BLACK series. "I laid siege to Tommy," jokes Peter Webber. "He was intrigued and interested in the script but it took a while to hook him and then reel him in – but we finally got him. And it's been amazing how he's been able to channel the spirit of MacArthur. He's immensely charming, immensely charismatic and a bit intimidating – but this is MacArthur so he is meant to be scary. I had a great time working with him." Jones admits that it was an irresistible undertaking. "MacArthur has intrigued people for half a century and he's played an important role in the development of world history," he says. But he also knew he would have to come at the man from the inside out. "I bear no real resemblance to MacArthur but when you put on the military uniform with lots of fruit salad on the front and smoke a corncob pipe – that's the image that he cultivated and it became iconic." As Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan, MacArthur has been credited with running the most peaceful occupation in the history of war – a tone that was set at the end of summer in 1945, when the General made his momentous decision about the Emperor. After reading a variety of biographical writings, Jones came to believe that MacArthur had many different motivations for taking the risky course he did, from his need to keep the peace to his own political prospects. "I don't think personal feelings were as important to him as strategic thinking," he observes. "To have deposed the Emperor and put him on trial would have created a lot more problems for MacArthur than it would have solved. Yet, it was also the morally right thing to do. It was an intelligent and far-reaching stride towards peace." The stunning reversal of Japan's fate that made its rapid rise into a peaceful world power possible is the part of the story that most moved Jones. "I think people will be fascinated to see the beginnings of the deep Japanese and American friendship," he concludes. "It's an important part of the last century – and as we go forward." For Gary Foster, Jones brings the kind of gravitas, as well as humor, to the role that brings all of that out vividly and allows MacArthur a complex humanity. "I was riveted watching him work," says the producer. "He's just one of those actors who shows great strength in very compelling ways. MacArthur is a role that demands that kind of strength and Tommy really got it. He understood the period, he did his research, he knows a bit about Japan and he was a great collaborator. His MacArthur is a fantastic character to watch because, there are a lot of different games he is playing." Aya's Love While General MacArthur and Bonner Fellers are historic figures, the lead character of Aya is more of an enigma – a fictional love who becomes Fellers' entrée into all the wonders and beauty of Japanese culture. The search was on for an actress with the allure to drive both Feller's search and his momentous decision about the Emperor – a fresh Japanese actress who would be a discovery for international audiences. Ultimately, Eriko Hatsune, a rising young star in Japan who was previously seen in Ang Dhun Tran's film adaptation of NORWEGIAN WOOD, won the role. "Eriko is a gem," describes Yoko Narahashi. "When you see her you think, where did this woman come from? She is such a beautiful creature." "When I met her I was quite simply entranced," adds Peter Webber. "She has a fresh and natural acting talent, there is nothing fake about her in the slightest. I think she brings something incredibly special to this film." For Hatsune the film was a huge journey, one that began with having to learn English and continued as she pierced the vibrant spirit of Aya, which becomes a kind of ethereal specter woven through the entire film. "I learned from Aya how wonderful it is to love from your heart and to enjoy each beautiful moment in life," she says. "And I'm grateful to the filmmakers who let me have the freedom to be me and find the innocence of Aya." Although Aya herself did not exist, Hatsune did her fair share of research on the time period and specifically on the typical life of a young, single teacher. "I even observed some classes taught by a friend of my mother," she explains. "I saw how the teacher tried to teach with love and I felt this would be the same for Aya in any time or place." Yet, even the life of a schoolteacher was not exempt from the effects of war. War might separate Aya from Fellers, but it could not stop their emotions, Hatsune notes, even when everything else between them has changed. "What didn't change was the immense love Fellers had for Aya," she says. "Even when they could not see each other, I think she felt supported by his love. There couldn't have been anyone else for one another." Like Matthew Fox, Hatsune was thrilled that such an organic chemistry seemed to unfold between them. "Matthew brings a warm, calm atmosphere with him," she comments. "He is very honest and polite, but more than that, in him I was able to feel the life that Fellers had lived. I have great admiration for him as an actor." She also feels that Peter Webber did the utmost to capture that chemistry. "He gave us so much freedom and openness," she observes. "In my scenes with Matthew, he was very sensitive to our space. It was as if he would move around us – carefully walking on a piece of glass. I was able to explore a depth of love as I haven't before." That comes across on the screen says Foster. "Eriko understands the subtle art of working in front of a camera," the producer concludes. "As Aya, she has to represent many things in this story and she has the classical, ethereal quality that can do that." A Cross-Cultural Cast An international cast joins Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones and Eriko Hatsune in EMPEROR, including Masayoshi Haneda (47 RONIN, THE RAMEN GIRL) as Feller's right hand man in Japan, Takahashi; the leading Japanese screen star Toshiyuki Nishida (OUTRAGE 2, THE MAGIC HOUR) as Aya's Uncle Kajima; New Zealander Colin Moy (UNDER THE MOUNTAIN) as the fictional composite character Major General Richter, who vehemently opposes protecting the Emperor; Isao Natsuyagi (MY WAY) as the high palace official Sekiya, who in real life was producer Yoko Narahashi's grandfather and producer Eugene Nomura's great-grandfather; and Takataro Kataoko (BEAUTY UTSUKUSHIMONO, EMPIRE OF THE SUN) in the pivotal role of Emperor Hirohito. Much of the Japanese casting was overseen by Narahashi and Nomura, who have experience working within the Japanese film world. "Yoko really knows a lot about the Japanese acting scene and she has very good relationships with actors, so she and Eugene were able to bring us some amazing choices," says Peter Webber. "It's one of the things I'm really excited about in EMPEROR; it will bring some wonderful Japanese actors to Western audiences for the first time." "It was hard getting some of these actors," confesses Narahashi. "It was like trying to move mountains at times. But I wanted to make this film so much that nothing would get in the way. I would plead until no became yes." In the case of Kataoko, who plays the Emperor, the filmmakers were won over in an early audition; only to find out he was a star Kabuki actor's son who did not want to release him from their troupe's regular shows. "Luckily, Yoko kept hanging on, telling them 'he's the guy for the film,'" recalls Nomura. Kataoko says he was motivated by a story he is excited for people around the world to see. "It's a beautiful film based on what really happened," he says. "I'd like young people to discover this history and elder people to remember." As for playing the Emperor, Kataoko took the opportunity very seriously. After all, for many Japanese, Emperor Hirohito was not only a monarch but the divine "son of heaven." Having become the Crown Prince at the age of 15, his life had been steeped in imperial traditions and rituals that held a sacred importance to the entire structure of the society. He had largely been a silent enigma even in Japan until August 15, 1945, when he made his first-ever public radio announcement – telling the people the incredible news that their nation had surrendered to the Allies. Only then did the debate begin as to how much control the Emperor had over military operations and the conduct of the war . . . and whether he should be put on trial. "As a real person we greatly revere, this role put a lot of pressure on me. I felt a lot of responsibility," says Kataoko. Nishida, who plays Uncle Kajima, was drawn to a script that feels is unusually true to the essence of the Japanese spirit. "I was amazed by how well the script conveys the Japanese mentality," he says. "It understands our culture and offers insight into it." Adds Haneda, who portrays Takahashi as one of Fellers' links to the feelings of the Japanese people: "There has never been a project like this in Japan. It is a movie that expresses hope." Moy took on the challenge of bringing out another side of the Japanese Occupation – those who believed only executions could set things right – through the fictionalized character of General Richter. "Richter is someone who grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong and I think he's looking for some kind of righteousness," Moy explains. "That's why he feels so compelled to stand his ground." Natsuyagi, who won the key role of the Emperor's envoy Sekiya, marvels at how the story of EMPEROR seems to represent all sides in the battle for the future. "The core of the film is how people create a new era," he summarizes. "It took two sides – MacArthur and his associates, and the Emperor and his associates – cooperating together for Japan to be reborn." Out of the Ruins: The Design In the years since 1945, Japan has changed dramatically, rebuilding to the point that the shattered landscape of those days is no longer recognizable as the same terrain. No matter where they shot the film, the filmmakers of EMPEROR knew they would have to start from the ground up, recreating a lost world – and a period not seen in Hollywood films since 1956's TEAHOUSE OF AUGUST MOON starring Marlon Brando. They did so on the Pacific island of New Zealand, which offered both some unique locations and a highly skilled workforce. Leading the effort to bring to life the noir atmosphere and romantic mood of the film were three acclaimed award-winners: Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, Oscar® winning production designer Grant Major and Oscar® winning costume designer Ngila Dickson. "Stuart is a world-class DP and cameraman, Ngila is a master with period and Grant did a stellar job of recreating the era," says Gary Foster. "When you get the best people, you can overcome any challenges." The challenges were substantial at the outset. "We had to conjure an apocalyptic, bombed-out Tokyo of 1945 inside 21st Century Auckland," muses Peter Webber. In keeping with his instinct to frame the love story within a film noir, Webber wanted that world to be seen though the sharp angles, dense shadows and expressionistic landscapes that so richly reflect fear, anxiety and moral uncertainty. He worked closely with New Zealander Stuart Dryburgh to define the look of the film, which shifts in palette. "We shot it so that 1945 is more bleak, grey and apocalyptic whereas 1941 is more sort of a real-world palette and 1935 is very vivid, like a youthful memory," he explains. Dryburgh loved the creative challenges of the film's scope. "One of the things I enjoyed most about EMPEROR is that there is such a diversity of landscapes and storylines. I loved the dark, grittiness of it and also the beauty, especially of Eriko Hatsune playing Aya." The vast diversity of the film became a gauntlet for Grant Major, who is best known for his work bringing the fantastical worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien to real life in Peter Jackson's LORD OF THE RINGS series. He began by poring through historic photos to immerse himself in 1945 Japan. "The scope of what we were trying to create was huge," Major confesses," and Peter had a rich vision for the look of the film. We started with the contrasts between the massive devastation on the ground versus the worlds of MacArthur and the Emperor in the upper echelons." To bring audiences into the chaos and danger of a shattered cityscape, Major turned a burnt-out industrial site known as Southdown into the streets of Tokyo. "Southdown had been a freezing works in the past but it had burnt to the ground about a year ago," he explains. "It was a choice location because we had these devastated, collapsed buildings and all these hauntingly twisted bits of metal to work with. We used that for several different locations and also built a bar and restaurant in this bombed-out atmosphere. And we built the exterior of Aya's apartment in there – we found a beautiful, little cove that we managed to convert into Japanese architecture." An old Ford factory provided another site where Majors recreated the firebombed section of Tokyo the Emperor must drive through on his way to the American Embassy. These harrowing landscapes make a stark contrast with the grand Imperial Palace, the long-secret innards of which were re-created based on a handful of rare historic photographs. "The main scene in the Imperial Palace is in Sekiya's meeting room, where he confronts Fellers," explains Major. "Yoko sent us some special books filled with photos and we chose a certain room and recreated that as faithfully as possible. Of course, the photos were in black & white so we imagined a color scheme." The photographs were introduced to Narahashi by the Japanese Minister of the Interior. "Even Japanese people have never seen this room before," she muses. The interior of Aya's apartment before its destruction allowed Major to use his imagination. "I had a great time inventing this personal space that says a lot about the character," he says. For the house of Aya's Uncle Kajima, Majors was excited to have the chance to create a more classical Japanese space. "He lives in a house that was probably built around the turn of the century," notes Major, adding, "It's been fun learning more about Japanese architecture works and all the nuances and details of it." Among the other key sets Majors and his team created are MacArthur's offices (based on the office that remains preserved on the 6th Floor of Tokyo's Da-Ichi Insurance Building); the American Embassy in Tokyo; Ohio's Douglastown College, where Fellers first falls for Aya in the 1930s; the bunker of the Temporary Palace, where Hirohito is briefly seen during the war; and the interior of the C54 Skymaster prop plane that MacArthur and Fellers flew into Atsugi Airport, the very same base where kamikaze pilots trained. Each of the sets had a transporting quality that impacted cast and crew. "I was spectacularly happy with the sets Grant built," Webber summarizes. "It just lifts you up in the morning when you go to work on sets full of detail, mood and atmosphere. They really help to set the tone of this world." EMPEROR also brought Majors into collaboration again with Ngila Dickson, the Oscar®-winning costume designer with whom he has worked frequently including on THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It was also a reunion for Narahashi who worked with Dickson on THE LAST SAMURAI. "Ngila is so artistic and talented. I love her sensitivity and attention to detail," says Narahashi. "I was just dying to work with her again." Dickson started by journeying back in time and also to Japan, learning about Japanese styles both common and imperial. "We did masses of research," she says. "Whenever you do something historical, for me it's about always knowing that whatever choices you make, you can back that up with information." The more she learned, the more she saw Japanese influences on Western fashion. "The man in the street in 1945 Tokyo had these very high waistbands, which in our vernacular is a 50s period style. But then you go, hang on, it looks like the American soldiers picked up on this style and brought it back home. That was the beginning of that style," she muses. She and Webber also talked at length about the feeling they wanted from the clothing, both agreeing that the film should have an almost palpable texture. "We used a lot of patterned knits for Fellers. It became an important element running throughout," she explains. A lot of attention was also paid to the authenticity of the military uniforms, both American and Japanese, as well as to giving Aya her own sense of style as a young Japanese woman who has been to America yet deeply values her Japanese traditions. For Webber, the way Dickson kept all the costuming authentic but full of character and devoid of cliche was a great match for his design aesthetic. "She's got an amazing eye and she really understands costuming depth," he concludes. "The experience just shines out of her and she does not suffer fools gladly. I would work with her again at the drop of a hat." Finishing touches were put on the design by the team of Visual Effects Supervisor Julian Dimsey, whose work includes GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, KILLER ELITE, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and AUSTRALIA. Dimsey helped to generate key backgrounds including Atsugi Airfield, Tokyo Bay filled with American ships and the ruins of bombed-out Tokyo. "We coordinated with Yoko and Eugene on a lot of historical material," says Dimsey. "We wanted it to look real and photographic but also artistic in a way that works with Peter Webber's eye." As all of the film's elements came together, topped with a score by Alex Heffes (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, STATE OF PLAY), there was a lot of thought not only about America and Japan in 1945, but also about what Japan has been going through since the devastating tsunami of April, 2011. "When I walked through the ruins of the tsunami, it felt similar to scenes in our movie," says Yoko Narahashi. "And yet, Japan rebuilt. I wanted to kind of make this film my dedication to the people of Japan in this tragic time. I hope this story can give people a feeling of hope, courage and energy. These events have made the film even more meaningful to me." A Brief Note About The Japanese Occupation and Aftermath "We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure," began the Emperor Hirohito on his first-ever radio speech -- given August 15, 1945 to announce Japan's unconditional surrender to Allied Forces in World War II. By that time, Japan had lost the lives of more than 2 million soldiers, 800,000 civilians and seen its historic cities and pastoral countryside reduced to broken shards of what they had once been. As that speech was made, a world shaken by years of global battles waited anxiously to see if Japan could make a peaceful transition into a new reality. The day before Emperor Hirohito's speech, President Harry S. Truman had appointed General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. It was MacArthur who had the responsibility of leading an occupation that would allow the Japanese people the hope of rebuilding, while demilitarizing the nation, opening the way to democracy and addressing some of the root causes of the war. He arrived with an immediate understanding that he would have to find a way to break the intense psychological tension of a country taken over by its long-time enemy, a country in which 3.5 armed soldiers had just been told to surrender. For the next six years, the United States would remain in Japan overseeing a bold experiment that would not be without serious controversy and challenges but is still considered the foremost model of what an occupation might accomplish. In those six years, feudal Japan became a modern democracy- a fresh constitution came into being, women were given the right to vote, land reforms and labor unions created opportunities and a starving populace fired up a new economy that would turn Japan into a technological powerhouse. Once it was decided that the Emperor and other members of the imperial family would not stand trial, he became an asset to the occupation, backing the new constitution and referring to himself as "Japan's first democrat." On New Year's Day of 1946, Hirohito made a formal statement that the role of the Emperor had changed and that the divinity of the Emperor was a "false concept." He then continued to be an active public figure in Japan, often playing a diplomatic role with world leaders, while also conducting research as a marine biologist. Emperor Hirohito passed away on January 7, 1989 after a battle with cancer. General MacArthur handed power back to the Japanese government in 1949, but remained in Japan until 1951. During this time he also became Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command, overseeing the war between North and South Korea. He butted heads with President Truman over the conduct of the war and when casualties mounted, he was relieved by Truman of his duties, ending 52 years of military service. Nevertheless, he came home to a hero's welcome. Despite long-running speculation that he would run for President, he never did, though he continued to counsel politicians on military matters. He passed away April 5, 1964. Bonner Fellers left Japan in 1946, retired from the army and became active in Republican Party politics. He passed away in 1973. As for Japan and the United States, the friendship forged in those difficult early days of 1945 has continued to this day with a profound impact on both nations.
TRAILER (VO)
TM & ©2012 Roadside Attractions LLC. All Rights Reserved.
THE BAY Automatik Entertainment, Hydraulx's Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller directed by Barry Levinson starring Nansi Aluka, Christopher Denham.
STAND UP GUYS Lakeshore Entertainment, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment's Comedy, Crime directed by Fisher Stevens starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken.
ABOUT THE CAST: MATTHEW FOX (General Bonner Fellers) is an actor cut from the proverbial leading-man cloth, carrying himself with strong charisma and a powerful presence. Fox will next be seen starring opposite Brad Pitt in Marc Forster's WORLD WAR Z, an adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie-infestation novel. He most recently starred opposite Tyler Perry in the thriller ALEX CROSS, based on the popular James Patterson detective novel series, and in 2011, he made his West End debut in the original play In a Forest Dark and Deep written and directed by Neil LaBute. Fox starred on the Emmy Award winning ABC adventure/drama LOST for six seasons. The story followed the battered survivors of a plane that crashed on a large, forbidding island somewhere in the South Pacific. Fox played a doctor and the de facto leader of the group, striving to keep them together as stress and fear pull them apart. In 2005, Fox shared the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award and was nominated for Golden Globe and Television Critics Association Awards for achievement in dramatic acting. In 2010 he was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Leading Man in a Drama Series." Fox first rose to prominence on television, starring in FOX Network's hugely successful series PARTY OF FIVE, winner of the 1996 Golden Globe for Best Drama. His other feature film credits include Andy and Lana Wachowski's SPEED RACER, the live action update of the 1960's cartoon; the thriller VANTAGE POINT opposite Forest Whitaker and Dennis Quaid; and McG's WE ARE MARSHALL opposite Matthew McConaughey. ERIKO HATSUNE (Aya Shimada) is a Japanese actress who graduated from Tokyo's entertainment-focused Horikoshi High School. She began her career in 1998 when she appeared in several Japanese television commercials. Shortly afterward, in 1999, she made her acting debut on the NTV drama Labyrinth. Hatsune has acted across various genres including film, TV, and stage play. She is best known for her roles in SPIRAL (2000), directed by Higuchisky, APARTMENT 1303 (2007), directed by Ataru Oikawa and NORWEGIAN WOOD (2010), directed by Tran Anh Hung.
TM & ©2013 Roadside Attractions LLC. All Rights Reserved.
EMPEROR Matthew Fox stars as Gen. Bonner Fellers in Peter Webber's EMPEROR.
EMPEROR Krasnoff Foster Productions, Fellers Film's Drama, History, War directed by Peter Webber starring Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune.
FILM CLIP #1 "Another Way" (VO)
FILM CLIP #2 "Approval" (VO)