An unfinished 1983 documentary by famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa will be completed and released in time for the 100th anniversary of the filmmaker's birth in 2010.
Kurosawa began work on documentary Gendai No Noh (Modern Noh) during a suspension of filming of prize-winning period epic Ran (1985) due to financing and other problems.
The footage, shot in Iwate Prefecture, captures approximately 50 minutes of performance of the play Yashima, by Zeami Motokiyo - the 14th century originator of the modern form of mask-wearing, musical drama Noh.
Kurosawa was influenced by Noh's bold style, most noticeably in Throne Of Blood and Ran.
The production was halted once Ran resumed shooting. After Kurosawa's death the footage was gifted to the National Archive.
Approximately one hour of new footage will be shot following the original screenplay and production plan to complete the feature for release in 2010. Additionally, archivists have discovered approximately 8-12 minutes of footage of Kurosawa's work before he left the filming of 1970 US-Japan co-production Tora! Tora! Tora! due to conflicts with Twentieth Century Fox.
The unseen footage will also be released as part of memorial events. Under the banner of 'AK100 Project,' the films will be part of various memorial activities beginning later this year, including exhibitions of Kurosawa's work, newly published books and stamps, merchandise and tie-ups with TV broadcasters and video game companies. Kurosawa's son and president of Kurosawa Productions Hisao Kurosawa spoke at the press conference.
'My hope is that people, especially younger audiences, see the work of Akira Kurosawa. This memorial will be my final act of devotion.'