|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
Masayuki Suo (周防 正行, Suo Masayuki, born October 29, 1956 ) is a Japanese film director. He is best known for his two Japan Academy Prize-winning films, 1992's Sumo Do, Sumo Don't and 1996's Shall We Dance? .
In 1982, along with filmmakers Yoshiho Fukuoka, Itsumichi Isomura, Toshiyuki Mizutani and Akira Yoneda, Suo founded a production company called Unit 5.Suo worked as an assistant director and appeared in the cast of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's directorial debut, the pink film Kandagawa Pervert Wars (1983). At this early stage in his career, Suo also wrote scripts for the pink film genre, such as Scanty Panty Doll: Pungent Aroma (1983). Suo first film as director was also in the pink film genre: Abnormal Family: Older Brother's Bride (1984), a film designed as a tribute and satire of Yasujirō Ozu's Tokyo Story . In his book on the pink film, Behind the Pink Curtain (2008), Jasper Sharp calls Abnormal Family: Older Brother's Bride an early masterpiece, and one of the wittiest films ever made in the genre. Suo not only pokes gentle fun at Ozu's story, but also mimics many of his stylistic techniques, such as shooting his actors from a low, tatami -mat angle, stiff and static characters speaking to each other with mis-matched eye-angles, and a simple, sentimental melody which accompanies the film. In the years since its release, the film has amused film students with the activity of locating and identifying Suo's many nods to Ozu and his oeuvre. Abnormal Family was Suo's only directorial work in the pink film genre.
He next worked for Juzo Itami, to film "making of" pieces for that director's A Taxing Woman (1987) and A Taxing Woman 2 (1988).He made his regular feature film debut with Fancy Dance in 1989, and won the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award for his next feature, Sumo Do, Sumo Don't , in 1991.
Suo's 1996 Shall We Dance? won fourteen awards at the Japanese Academy Awards including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Filmand performed strongly in U.S. theaters. In 2006, Suo directed I Just Didn't Do It , a legal film starring Ryo Kase. It was followed by the 2012 medical-themed film A Terminal Trust . His musical film, Lady Maiko , screened at the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival.
In a 1997 interview with IndieWire, Suo talked about his filmmaking style:
"The most important thing for me in movie making is to love the characters of the movie, so even though you only have a few seconds with a character, that person has to have his own life. Therefore, I want to respect it, I want to make movies where each character has his own individuality."
"Naze Ozu Dattanoka" in Ozu Yasujiro Taizen (The Complete Book of Ozu Yasujiro) by Matsuura Kanji and Miyamoto Akiko (Asahi Shimbun Publications Inc. 2019) ISBN 9784022515995
Yasujirō Ozu was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He began his career during the era of silent films, and his last films were made in colour in the early 1960s. Ozu first made a number of short comedies, before turning to more serious themes in the 1930s. The most prominent themes of Ozu's work are marriage and family, especially the relationships between generations. His most widely acclaimed films include Late Spring (1949), Tokyo Story (1953), Floating Weeds (1959), and An Autumn Afternoon (1962).
Ryo Kase is a Japanese actor.
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Pink film in its broadest sense includes almost any Japanese theatrical film that includes nudity or deals with sexual content. This encompasses everything from dramas to action thrillers and exploitation film features.
Shall We Dance? is a 1996 Japanese romantic comedy-drama film directed by Masayuki Suo. Its title refers to the song "Shall We Dance?" which comes from Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. It inspired the 2004 American remake of the same name.
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Sumo Do, Sumo Don't is a 1992 Japanese film directed by Masayuki Suo. It was chosen as Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize ceremony. It is one of the few notable depictions of sumo in film.
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Abnormal Family: Older Brother's Bride is a 1984 Japanese Pink film written and directed by Masayuki Suo and released by Shintōhō Eiga.
Kandagawa Pervert Wars is a 1983 Japanese pink film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who would later go on to a career directing mainstream horror films.
Lady Maiko is a 2014 Japanese musical comedy film written and directed by Masayuki Suo, starring Mone Kamishiraishi, Hiroki Hasegawa, and Sumiko Fuji. It screened in competition at the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival on June 16, 2014. It was released in Japan on September 13, 2014.