Chronicle of a blockbuster foretold: from Far East Film to its homeland, Japan, off to a predictably happy future! Thermae Romae, the irresistible peplum-fantasy directed by the talented TAKEUCHI Hideki, after the world premiere here in Udine, is released today (April 28th) on Japanese screens.
While the film partly sails under the Italian flag (it was also shot in Cinecittà), local marketing got to see FEFF 14’s own flag waving: in fact, in Tokyo and in its environs, promotional clips were made with an editing of images shot during the Friulian Festival. Just the umpteenth confirmation of the tremendously solid bond between the East and the West that, thanks to fourteen editions of Far East Film, successfully developed on cultural and film grounds.
Thermae Romae, welcomed by Teatro Nuovo’s authoritative sold out and by the audience’s enthusiasm, between loud clapping and loud laughing, tells the deeds of architect Lucius (super star Abe Hiroshi, a perfect fit with his meticulously buffed-up-for-the-movie body!) who, all of a sudden, finds himself thrown from Ancient Rome into today’s Japan with all the consequences of that!
Produced by Fiji TV and distributed by Pony Canyon, the eccentric comedy by Hideki is based on a manga, that is also very popular in Italy as well, and resorts to Classical Latin and opera arias (among them, the Triumphal March from Aida). The plot builds on joke after joke and doesn’t skimp on turns of events, taking advantage of the narrative device of time travelling with enviable creativity, while digital miracles take care of the rest, together with various Roman sets and a thorough attention to detail in the entire production.
Cecil B. DeMille, the undisputed king of Hollywood peplum, would have surely approved with a smile!