The Guardian (UK)'s obituary about Kon Ichikawa is rich in detail. "Dora-Heita" is mentioned here:
In 2000, the chain-smoking director was awarded the Berlinale Camera award at the Berlin film festival, where he presented his latest
film, Dora-Heita, an entertaining samurai drama. "If Dora-Heita contributes to a revival of the costume-drama genre, which seems to
be just around the corner, I'll be very happy," he commented. "But my own project hasn't really changed. I always try to show human
beings the way they really are. That's what I always hope to achieve."
Together with The New York Times' obituary, you will see a photo of Koji Yakusho and Kon Ichikawa at
the time of shooting "Dora-Heita" in 1999.
February 14, 2008
Kon Ichikawa died of pneumonia on February 13 at the age of 92. Here is the obituary.
February 2, 2007
"Dora-Heita" DVD (R 1) is due to be on sale from April 10, 2007. (Twitch Film net)
Please check Amazon.com.
***It's his first costume play film. ***
On TV, Yakusho has long been known as a costume play actor, but this will be his
first costume play film set in the EDO period, where he will play a role of a strong samurai named
Mochizuki Koheita. Dora-Heita is his nickname. DORA was often added to the first name to describe a
play-boy or lazy type of man in the old days.
***Four major film directors wrote the scenario. ***
The film was first planned by the four well-known film directors, Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke
Kinoshita, Masaki Kobayashi, and Kon Ichikawa, in 1969, when they formed a group named
YONKI-NO-KAI meaning "Four warriors on horse-back."
Aiming to direct an epoch-making film to stimulate the stagnant Japanese movie world
in those days, they had completed a scenario entitled DORA-HEITA based on a short story
by Shugoro Yamamoto, to begin with. However, they couldn't go on from that stage.
Reportedly they couldn't reach an agreement on various matters.
Thirty years have passed since then. Now that three of those directors have passed away, the only
remaining one, Kon Ichikawa has finally won the opportunity to realize their long-cherished dream. He is
now 84 years old.
With this sort of history, we rejoiced to hear the remark by Ichikawa that he is sure that his beloved friends
must be quite satisfied with the casting of DORA-HEITA.
Koji Yakusho - Koheita Mochizuki
Yuko Asano - Kosei
Bunta Sugawara - Nadahachi
Ryudo Uzaki - Gijyuuro Senba
Tsurutaro Kataoka - Hanzo Yasukawa
Directed by Kon Ichikawa
Based on the short story by Shugoro Yamamoto, called,
"Machi Bugyou Nikki".
Running time:110 min.
Release Date: May 13, 2000
Dora-heita (koji Yakusho) and Kon Ichikwa
Dora-heita and Kosei (Yuko Asano)
Yasukawa (Tsurutaro Kataoka) and
Dora-heita at a cheap inn.
Dora-heita, now as Mochizuki Koheita and the
2000 Berlin International Film Festival:Dora-Heita
Updated on October 6, 2008