Movie version of novel Cocktail Party more than 10 years in the making
April 5, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
In the United States, film director Reggie Life has made a movie version of author Tatsuhiro Oshiro’s 1965 novel Cocktail Party, the first literary work from Okinawa to win the Akutagawa Prize in 1967.
In 1995, Oshiro made a play version of the book set in 1971. Katsunori Yamazato, the president of Meio University, made an English translation of the play that was performed in Hawaii in 2011. Life has been working on making Cocktail Party into a movie since 2005, filming primarily in the United States.
Upon the film’s completion, Oshiro praised Life on his tenacity as a director in his 10 plus years of work on the movie. He went on to say the final product is a collaborative work between Life, Yamazato, and himself. His hope is that, “people all over the world will come to know about Okinawa’s unresolved base issues.” Yamazato mentioned that he wants viewers to consider the film and the original book as separate works, because they have added recent occurrences to the movie.
Since the time that Cocktail Party won the Akutagawa Prize, three more literary works from Okinawa have won. These are An Okinawan Boy by Mineo Higashi, The Pig’s Retribution by Eiki Matayoshi, and The Crying Wind by Shun Medoruma. These works also have film versions directed by Taku Shinjo, Yoichi Sai, and Yoichi Higashi, respectively.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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