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Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 11, "Never Gonna Give You Up"). - Photo Credit: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_611_2359.R.JPG Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 11, "Never Gonna Give You Up"). - Photo Credit: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_611_2359.R.JPG

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Ray Donovan cast members’ upcoming films, TV shows in 2019

Photo Credit: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

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The icy frost between seasons of Ray Donovan is breathing through the window sill, no better comfort than the cast’s outside projects to warm the soul.

A pendulum swings ever so leisurely inside of its grandfather clock, remembering times successors forgot. “I was there. Don’t tell me I wasn’t there,” Mickey recalls along with the show’s veteran fanbase, practically family. Honorary Donovans gathering around the tube sans their customary Sunday staple, the chilly lull of a conversation piece in the air. Living on reruns, delving into the past, scrutinizing every moment until Ray Donovan’s seventh season commences.

Yet, opening night of lucky number #7 is miles away, frozen in place. Melting one minute at a time till its premiere, barely taken out of the fridge. Production on Ray Donovan season 7 doesn’t begin until the foliage of springtime in New York but the craft of acting is water not a solid. Forever, adapting to circumstance. During the time of winter separation, the show’s cast have been hard at work on new film and television projects for you to watch.

* The following list will be actively updated as new information becomes available. Only cast members who have appeared in season 6 (flashback cameos included) and have outside projects are featured in this piece. Ray Donovan cast alumni from seasons prior will have their own article in the future.

– February 2019 –

Alyssa Diaz

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The Rookie as Angela Lopez

Alyssa Diaz’s Teresa just finished placing her wrestling boot on Bunchy’s heart for the 1-2-3 pin on Showtime but on ABC there’s another life. One where Diaz plays Training Officer Angela Lopez on ABC’s The Rookie.

The series recently had 7 additional episodes ordered by ABC following strong ratings according to Deadline. It can be surmised then that Diaz will likely maintain the role for a while in-between seasons of Ray Donovan. You can catch Diaz on The Rookie’s latest episode “Caught Stealing” (season 1, episode 12) this Wednesday, February 5 on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.

The episode will be available online through ABC’s official live stream. Prior episodes of The Rookie’s first season are available for viewing at this ABC link. The show originally premiered its aptly titled “Pilot” episode back on October 16, 2018.

Katherine Moennig

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grown-ish as Professor Paige Hewson

Lena, fresh off her eye for an eye revenge against ‘fixer’ Vinny, is already back on our airwaves as of last week. Actress Katherine Moennig has a fresh, recurring role on hit comedy grown-ish as Professor Paige Hewson.

Moennig’s CalU based Gender Studies professor officially debuted on season 2, episode 5 “Girls Like You” on January 23, 2019. You can watch the episode on Freeform. There’s a new episode uploaded every Wednesday on Freeform’s official grown-ish website. Episode 6 “Love Galore” is already uploaded at the time of this article’s publishing.

Paula Malcomson

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Deadwood film as Trixie, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Stella Russell, Wooley Faces, character unknown

Abby Donovan’s appearances on season 6 of Ray Donovan were evanescent, living beyond the grave through the power of memory. Ray’s mementos of Abby pieced her back together, a figment of his imagination turned post traumatic jigsaw puzzle. It would certainly be to no fan’s surprise to see Abby making sporadic cameos throughout season 7, eternally part of Ray.

Actress Paula Malcomson has an immense year ahead of her, riding a wagon back to the no-law town of Deadwood. Trixie is finally returning home on HBO’s feature film reprisal of the ace television series sometime in 2019. Deadwood is currently in post-production as of December 14, 2018, no official release date yet.

No need to fret however, Malcomson will star in an upcoming episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as character Stella Russell. The episode titled, “The Flying Dutchman” (season 20, episode 14) will air on NBC at 10 p.m. ET on February 7, 2019. She previously played Susan Ross on the series in season 10, episode 8 “Retro” back in 2008. You can watch the upcoming episode online at NBC’s official live stream.

Malcomson is currently signed on to a Comedy / Drama film titled Wooley Faces along with actors Ciarán Hinds [Red Sparrow] and Michelle Fairley [Game of Thrones]. The film’s description is quite intriguing but no guarantee of a 2019 release date as of yet.

Wooley Faces Synopsis:

A mother struggles to raise three kids in Belfast in the early 1980s while her husband’s in jail.

The project which is written and directed by Pearse Elliott [The Mighty Celt], is only in the script phase.

Domenick Lombardozzi

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Cold Pursuit as Mustang, The Irishman as Anthony Salerno, Power as Benny Civiello

The ink is still dry on Mac’s exit chapter on Ray Donovan but Domenick Lombardozzi’s career is as grand as ever. The star actor portrays character Mustang in new thriller Cold Pursuit featuring the iconic Liam Neeson.

The picture is based on 2014 Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance directed by Hans Petter Moland… Who also happens to be directing this adaption. Talk about staying true to the source material!

The feature film releases in theaters on February 8, 2019. Check out Cold Pursuit’s official website for more info, including the movie’s action-packed trailer.

Cold Pursuit Synopsis:

A snowplow driver seeks revenge against the drug dealers he thinks killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film ‘In Order of Disappearance

Lombardozzi plays Anthony Salerno in upcoming Netflix mega heavy-hitter The Irishman by legendary Director Martin Scorsese. The Irishman features Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Romano among its dynamite cast.

Scorsese’s latest is set for release by Netflix sometime in 2019, and is one of the streaming services most anticipated projects.

On the television side, Lombardozzi will reprise Benny Civiello (* alternative spelling: Civello) in at least two episodes (season 6, episodes 5 and 6) of STARZ hit show Power this summer. The character was first introduced in season 5 of Power, and featured in episodes 6 and 8. The show is currently filming said episodes. You’ll need a STARZ subscription to watch the show online or on cable when it airs.

Brian White

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Dear Frank as Frank, A Shot for Justice as Brandon Williams, Black Privilege as Alderman Tryone Burke, Ambitions as Evan Lancaster

Brian “Jay” White, is starring in, co-directing, and producing upcoming film Dear Frank, releasing in U.S. based theaters on February 12, 2019. The thriller also co-stars Claudia Jordan [The Hills] and Columbus Short [Scandal] among its cast with White playing the lead role of Frank. The picture’s description alludes to a high-octane styled film.

Dear Frank Synopsis:

After Frank’s wife is mysteriously poisoned, he discovers a diary with indicating all of her previous lovers who also are potential murder suspects.

White is also starring in and producing new picture A Shot for Justice, which at the time of this article’s publishing, has a tentative 2019 release date. He portrays character Brandon Williams in the film.

On the television side, White is featured in upcoming TV Movie Black Privilege as Alderman Tryone Burke and starring in an Ambitions episode (season 1, episode 2) as Evan Lancaster. You can catch the episode online on The Oprah Winfrey Network’s official live stream.

– March 2019 –

Eddie Marsan

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Feedback as Jarvis, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, character unknown, Emperor as Martin Luther

Eddie Marsan is kicking off March 1 with a starring role as Jarvis in Feedback, a Horror / Thriller film slated for release in Spain. The picture co-stars Paul Anderson [Peaky Blinders], Barcelona-born Ivana Baquero [The Shannara Chronicles], and Alana Boden [I Am Elizabeth Smart] among its cast. Feedback is directed by Pedro C. Alonso who directed two prior film shorts La teoría del espejo (2004) and Ver con los (propios) ojos (2003).

This coming August, Marsan is set to appear in Hollywood blockbuster Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The film which features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reprising his role as Luke Hobbs, currently has Marsan playing an untitled character. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is set for an August 2, 2019 release date.

Marsan will also be featured as Martin Luther in upcoming Adrien Brody fronted film Emperor. The description of Action / Epic picture appears to signal it will be based on history of the 16th century with some liberties.

Emperor Synopsis:

Action epic about a young girl who seeks revenge on the holy roman Emperor Charles V for the death of her father. It happens in a world of wealth, debauchery, violent retaliations, sex, manipulation and treason… it’s the 16th century revisited.

Emperor is directed by Lee Tamahori [ 007’s Die Another Day]

Sandy Martin

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Dumbo as Verna The Secretary, Medicine Men as Annie

The ever charming straight talker, Sandy Martin, is back to the silver screen this March with Disney’s live action reboot of a hand drawn classic in Dumbo. The new Ray Donovan fan favorite will portray Verna The Secretary in Dumbo, which releases in cinemas across the U.S. on March 29, 2019.

Dumbo is directed by Tim Burton and also stars Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, and Michael Buffer among its highly recognizable cast.

Martin will also be featured in upcoming film Medicine Men as character Annie. The 93-minute Drama is directed by Guy Malim [Battle for Skyark] and features Liza Weil, known for her role of Paris Geller on Gilmore Girls. Medicine Men is slated for release sometime in 2019 and is currently in post-production.

– April 2019 –

Dash Mihok

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Whiskey Cavalier, character unknown, Inherit the Viper as Kyle Knox, Sleeping in Plastic as Oz Bacco

Dash Mihok will join The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan on ABC’s new series Whiskey Cavalier for episode “Spain, Trains and Automobiles” (season 1, episode 8) this April. The episode will likely air on Wednesday, April 10 barring ABC spacing out the episodes. The show is currently in the post-production phase and debuts on February 24, 2019 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. You’ll be able to watch the upcoming episode featuring Mihok online at NBC’s official live stream.

Mihok is set to star on the silver screen in new Crime / Drama film Inherit the Viper as character Kyle Knox. The film co-stars two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern [Nebraska], Josh Hartnett [Lucky Number Slevin], The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs, Margarita Levieva
[The Lincoln Lawyer], Tara Buck [True Blood], and Gabriel ‘G-Rod’ Rodriguez [The First Purge] among its cast. The film is currently in its post-production phase but doesn’t have a set release date past 2019 at the moment.

According to Oklahoma Film + Music, filming recently completed on Oklahoma based movie Sleeping in Plastic which features Mihok as character Oz Bacco. The picture co-stars Tina Parker [Better Call Saul], Addison Timlin [Stand Up Guys], and Paige McGarvin [End of the World], among its cast. The movie is due out sometime in 2019.

Sleeping in Plastic Synopsis:

A Texas town awakes when a high school wrestler gets entangled with a drifter and her psychopathic lover. Lives then intertwine and spiral violently out of control once he becomes her escort driver.

The Ray Donovan star is also signed on to upcoming Dark Comedy film Deception Road, where he’ll be playing he’ll be playing Trooper Jack. The movie features Thomas Haden Church [Spider-Man 3], Alice Eve [Replicas], and Finn Wittrock [American Horror Story] among its cast.

– Spring 2019 –

Jon Voight

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Roe v. Wade as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, Reagan as Viktor Novikov

Jon Voight’s starring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger in the upcoming Roe v. Wade movie was recently officially unveiled in a three-minute teaser. The picture was reportedly filmed in secret due to backlash fears, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film is targeting a Spring 2019 theatrical release and co-stars Stacey Dash [Clueless TV series], Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa [Mortal Kombat], Jamie Kennedy [Son of the Mask], Nick Loeb (who also co-directed/co-wrote the film with Cathy Allyn), Robert Davi [Die Hard], Mindy Robinson (who’s co-producing), and Jessica Serfaty [Ride] among its cast list. The movie is currently in post-production.

Voight will also portray Viktor Novikov in an upcoming biopic on President Ronald Reagan titled, Reagan. Dennis Quaid is set to play President Ronald Reagan in the film and Robert David (who also worked with Voight on the above Roe v. Wade film) will star as Leonid Brezhnev.

The movie’s last updates on production were on Feb 24, 2017, when it was still pre-production. It’s rumored that the picture directed by Sean McNamara [Chesapeake Shores] will release sometime in 2019. Find out more information at the Reagan: The Movie official website.

– November 2019 –

Pooch Hall

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All the Way with You as Keith

Ray Donovan’s Daryll, Pooch Hall, will play Keith in upcoming Thriller film, All the Way with You, which is currently in the pre-production phase but already has a release date set for November 8, 2019.

The picture co-stars Martin alumni Tichina Arnold (that’s right arch-rival Pam!), Brandon T. Jackson [Tropic Thunder], and Regina King [Ray] among its cast.

All the Way with You Synopsis:

Boris meets a woman named Gloria who wants to help him kill a man who has owed him money for years but their actual assignment is to kill each other. Together they go on a expedition that is breath taking.

Strangely, no director or writer is listed as attached to the project as of yet, despite the cast and published release date. It’s likely the film is delayed into 2020 given that fact unless both are signed soon…

Alexandra Turshen

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Another Year Together as Sophie Reavis, Galaxy 26 as Sierra (unconfirmed)

Ray Donovan’s bombshell beauty, Alexandra Turshen, will be back on the silver screen this November as Sophie Reavis in Comedy / Drama film Another Year Together.

The picture which co-stars Richard Masur [The Thing], Marilyn Sokol [Crocodile Dundee II], Kiva Dawson [Turnabout], Amy Bettina [The Detour], and Robin Rose Singer [Mirage], among others releases on November 28, 2019.

Another Year Together Synopsis:

The stress of the holidays puts love to the test, as a 30-ish couple struggles to take things to the next level while “relationship hell” takes it toll on their family and friends.

Another Year Together is directed by Dan Simon [Emily Lazarus] and co-written by Simon and Patrick Davin [Shark Bite]. Simon, Davin and actress Kiva Dawson previously worked together on 2016 film, Lonely Boys. Another Year Together is currently in post-production.

Turshen is rumored to play Sierra in Sci-Fi film Galaxy 26. The upcoming picture is directed, written, and produced by Ilay Ron [2094].

– 2019 Release Dates: To Be Announced –

Liev Schreiber

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A Rainy Day in New York, character unknown, Human Capital, character unknown

Ray himself, Liev Schreiber, was billed to have a role in Woody Allen’s upcoming Comedy film A Rainy Day in New York along with a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Elle Fanning [The Neon Demon] and Jude Law [A.I. Artificial Intelligence], Selena Gomez [Spring Breakers], Suki Waterhouse [Billionaire Boys Club], Diego Luna [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story], Timothée Chalamet [Lady Bird], Rebecca Hall [The Town] among others.

Production was complete as early as October 2017 according to IndieWire, and it might not never be released. Amazon shelved the film in 2018 indefinitely. It’s unclear if the film will see the light of day in 2019… Or potentially ever.

Schreiber is starring in and producing upcoming Drama film Human Capital, and co-stars none other than Marisa Tomei [The Wrestler]. The picture owns a tentative release date of 2019 and an intriguing plot.

Human Capital Synopsis:

The lives of two different families collide when their children begin a relationship that leads to a tragic accident.

Human Capital is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by author Stephen Amidon. You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon. Marc Meyers [Harvest] is directing the film adapting written by Oren Moverman [Love & Mercy].

Susan Sarandon

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Going Places, character unknown, Blackbird, character unknown, Butterfly in the Typewriter as Thelma Toole, Slipping Away as Dr. Sylvia Mansfield

The incomparable Sam Winslow, Susan Sarandon, will star in Going Places, a spin-off of The Big Lebowski centered on memorable bowler, Jesus Quintana. The project is written and directed by John Turturro, who has quite a few credits to his name as an actor to say the least.

Sarandon also stars in upcoming film Blackbird, a remake of 2014 Danish film, Silent Heart. Both pictures own a tentative release date of 2019 and are in their post-production phase. However, no official character name is listed publicly for Sarandon as of yet.

The Oscar-winning actress will portray Thelma Toole in upcoming Biography / Drama film, Butterfly in the Typewriter, about author John Kennedy Toole. Thelma was John’s mother, and was determined to get his novel published posthumously after he had taken his own life. John was destroyed emotionally after multiple rejections of his manuscript, time after time.

Butterfly in the Typewriter, which is directed, written, and co-produced by David DuBos [Leprechaun 3], is currently in its pre-production phase. The film might not release this year but time will tell.

Sarandon will play Dr. Sylvia Mansfield in an upcoming film-short Thriller titled, Slipping Away. The project written by Tiffany Hodges [Dream State] and directed by Philip A. Ramos [The Kidnapping of a Fish] is currently in its pre-production phase. It’s currently unknown if the film-short will release in 2019.

Slipping Away Synopsis:

A schizophrenic man struggles with his own psychosis and his wife’s extramarital affair as the lines between his violent hallucinations and reality become increasingly blurred.

Zach Grenier

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Devs as Kenton

Mayor Ferrati, Zach Grenier, will play Kenton in upcoming TV Drama series Devs on FX. The show is created, written, and directed by Alex Garland. The same writer behind 2014’s masterful Ex Machina. Joining Grenier will be co-stars Sonoya Mizuno [Ex Machina], Nick Offerman [The Founder], Karl Glusman [The Neon Demon], Aimee Mullins [Stranger Things], Alison Pill [Scott Pilgrim vs. the World], Stephen McKinley Henderson [Lady Bird], and Jin Ha [20 Years] among its cast.

Mizuno and Offerman will be playing the lead characters, Lily and Forest, according to Deadline.

The show reportedly follows computer engineer Lily [Mizuno] investigating a secret division of her employer Amaya, which she believes is responsible for the disappearance of her boyfriend. Grenier plays Head of Security at the Amaya Corporation as Kenton while Offerman plays Amaysa’s dedicated CEO. Devs is due out sometime in 2019, airing on the FX Network. You’ll be able to catch episodes online through FX’s official live stream.

Lola Glaudini

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She’s in Portland as Ellen

Ray Donovan’s Anita Novak, Lola Glaudini, stars in Comedy / Drama film, She’s in Portland as character Ellen. The picture was due out to be released on January 1, 2019 but it doesn’t seem to have been officially released… Although the Marc Carlini [Victoria] directed movie possibly screened at local film festivals.

She’s in Portland co-stars Minka Kelly [500 Days of Summer] and François Arnaud [Blindspot] among its cast.

While its release date remains unclear, the film should be widely available soon. Information should become available on the official She’s in Portland website, where the teaser is currently set to private.

Chance Kelly

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Inside Fighter as Johnny ‘Bomb’ Hayes (rumored), Gutterbee, character unknown

Sam Winslow’s Ray replacement fixer, Chance Kelly, is set to write, produce, and potentially star in upcoming Drama film, Inside Fighter. He’s rumored to play the lead role of Johnny ‘Bomb’ Hayes in a tale about boxing. There is no release date for the film as of yet, only the script has been finalized.

Inside Fighter Synopsis:

Survival and redemption harnessing boxing as a metaphor for struggles and challenges life can present. A tale of love, honor and family. The day you stop fighting is the day you start dying.

Ole’ Vinny will also be featured in upcoming Comedy film, Gutterbee, which is written, directed, and co-produced by Ulrich Thomsen [Darling]. The picture co-stars Deadwood’s W. Earl Brown and Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremner among its cast. No release date on this project as of yet.

Tony Curran

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Deadwood film, character unknown

Sgt. Mikey ‘Rad’ Radulovic, will potentially encounter Abby Donovan in another on-screen life, as actor Tony Curran is set to co-star in the upcoming Deadwood film.

Curran’s official character name hasen’t been revealed yet but the Ray Donovan season 6 antagonist couldn’t be more thrilled! In fact, Curran’s so hyped to be part of the franchise, he placed “Actor #DeadwoodMovie” first on his bio over at Twitter.

Deadwood is one of television’s greatest works of art after all. Akin to receiving a role in an unexpected new chapter to Homer’s The Iliad, an absolute honor. The movie adaption of David Milch’s creation is currently in the post-production phase.

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Tora-san’s Runaway 4K Film Restoration at Japan Society Impressions

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Tora-san's Runaway - Pictured from left to right: Aiko Nagayama as Setsuko, Kiyoshi Atsumi as Torajiro Kuruma, and Chieko Baishô as Sakura Suwa - Photo Credit: © 1970 Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Photo Credit: © 1970 Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Tora-san’s Runaway returned to the silver screen 49 years later after its 1970’s debut in crisp 4K at New York City’s Japan Society last Friday. The dark overtone message of the comedy film? Hard work doesn’t necessarily pay off at all. Romantic, fairy tale style endings are for the imagination. Tora-san’s imagination that is…

This article contains spoilers for Tora-san’s Runaway.

Tora-san’s Runaway is an exhibit of fallacy in the promise of hard work always paying off. Throughout the film, lead character Torajirō Kuruma is pushed by his sister Sakura Suwa to make an honest living. That a man is meant to toil under the sweat of his brow. She urges Tora-San to stop living day-to-day, lackadaisically wandering through life, with no true planning for the future. 

Tora-san takes his sister’s words to heart, knowing she wants the best for him… In fact, Tora-san takes the words so literally, he desires a job where he ‘can sweat and become oily’ over the course of the work day. Thus, Tora-san played by star Kiyoshi Atsumi, decides to reform his street life ways, first superficially through wearing a sharp suit and hat. Then eventually by taking a job selling fried Tofu. More on that later!

Initially, he consults with his uncle Tatsuzō, aunt Tsune, and sister Sakura on the most fitting job for him over dinner. His uncle suggests tempura if he wants to get “oily working” but Tora-san waves the idea off. Making it clear he dislikes tempura. Tora-san’s uncle is already skeptical of Tora-san’s grand, seemingly overnight promise to change… 

Lack of uncle Tatsuzō’s blessings for Tora-san

Tatsuzō, played by Shin Morikawa, is not exactly the biggest supporter of Torajirō, outside of getting him out of the house. At the onset of the film, Tora-san’s aunt plays a relatively cruel practical joke on him… Informing Tora his uncle was about to pass on over a phone call.

Tora-san wants to do right by his uncle, and actually sets up all funeral arrangements… Only to discover his uncle is completely fine and well, just sleeping. As a result, his uncle is embarrassed by local town residents arriving to grieve and pay their respects.Though Tora-san’s uncle is mad at his wife for leading the practical joke in the first place, he is furious at Tora-san. Stating he’d rather be dead that have to see him. Even getting a full blown makeshift rope noose around his neck to make a statement. A vulnerable, weakened Tora-san decides to leave but more than hints he’d like someone to stop him, and sister Sakura [Chieko Baisho] obliges.

Why Tora-san really decides to change his life

Tatsuzō later goes to see his old boss, who’s actually dying… And has a railroad conductor son who refuses to see him. At first, Torajiro pushes and pushes for the railroad conductor to go with him and his vagabond street pal to see his dying boss. However, after the railroad conductor speaks of how he went to see his father once in his youth, only to see his dark side, beating on someone… Tora-san gives up silently. This moment changes Tora-san’s life. His boss passes on and never sees his flesh and blood to apologize, which his son called a selfish demand.

Tora-san tells his fellow vagabond street pal to leave, go back home to his father. In fact, hitting him when he wants to stay with Tora-san. From this point forward, Tora-san returns to his sister’s words and wants to be the type of person she spoke of. Instead of drifting through life and ending up like his boss.

Reality Hits for Torajirō Kuruma

After being rejected for several local jobs post-reform, Tora-san leaves in shame to the next town over. There the people don’t know of his reputation, and he gets a job as a bicycle-riding fried tofu salesman. The true apple of his eye, however? His new boss’ peer-aged daughter, Setsuko [Aiko Nagayama] who seems to take a liking to Tora-san. She laughs at all his jokes and visits him each night. Tora-san works harder than ever, and proudly tells his sister he might settle there over the phone.

Tora-san’s Runaway – Pictured from left to right: Aiko Nagayama as Setsuko and Kiyoshi Atsumi as Torajiro Kuruma – Photo Credit: © 1970 Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Everything seems to be going in storybook fashion for Tora-san, his sister was right all along… Or was she?

A local tofu costumer arrives for dinner one night when Torajirō is at his most happiest… Torajirō had been asked the prior night if he’d be willing to stay on with the family’s Tofu business on permanent basis instead of as a replacement. When he said yes, Setsuko was grinning from ear to ear, telling Tora-san how happy he’d made her. 

Tora-san comments at his most confident that the tofu costumer reminds him a lot of his sister Sakura’s husband Hiroshi [Gin Maeda]. A smiling Setsuko then explains how she and the ‘customer’ (a railroad conductor) had actually been meaning to get married for a while now. However, they needed a replacement at her mother’s tofu shop. Setsuko’s mother Tomiko [Tokuko Sugiyama] tells Torajirō they need to find a nice girl for him too, what type does he like? He replies, “someone like you” joking but crushed.

Moonlight Devastation and a Broken Heart

Tora-san’s Runaway – Pictured from left to right: Aiko Nagayama as Setsuko and Tokuko Sugiyama as Tomiko – Photo Credit: © 1970 Shochiku Co., Ltd.

The next day, a devastated Tora-san heads back home. His sister chases him down as he leaves his uncle’s residence for a moonlight aimless walk. Tora-san earnestly tells her how he tried so hard but the honest life is not for him, holding back tears. He reunites with his younger vagabond pal the next day on the beach. 

The more Tora-san attempted to escape his fate, the more life pulled him right back on track to his destiny. No happy ending to be found. In fact, Setsuko seems partially oblivious why Tora-san left in the middle of the night. Only starting to comprehend the feelings Torajirō held for her… But she does not go searching for him in some kind of audience warming epiphany. Rather, the credits roll just as Tora returns to the comfort of his old life. Hard work failing him.  

The 4K Restoration Film Screening of Tora-San’s Runaway occurred on November 1, 2019 in New York City’s Japan Society. A new 4k screening of film, Tora-san Meets His Lordship, will be playing at Japan Society on December 6, 2019 at 7 p.m. EST. Purchase tickets to the event at this link.

Follow along Japan Society’s busy Film Schedule as part of their Tokyo Stories: Japan in the Global Imagination series.

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P.J. Soles talks Candy Corn, acting career, her life, Princess Leia audition

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P.J. Soles as Marcy Taylor in Candy Corn - Photo Credit: Epic Pictures
Photo Credit: Epic Pictures

P.J. Soles is back as Marcy Taylor in new retro-themed horror, Candy Corn, and spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about the film, her life as an actress and everything in-between.

The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: There was a time in your life when you stepped away from acting. What brought you back to the horror film genre and ultimately playing Marcy Taylor in Candy Corn?  

P.J. Soles: I was happy to do the fan conventions, which are wonderful, and spend time with my grandkids. I didn’t want to really work in movies anymore. I felt the conventions kept me connected to that part of my life. I was also busy doing other things, always toying with the idea of writing my autobiography… It’s just so hard to get going on a project about yourself! The first one to approach me for Candy Corn was actually Director Josh Hasty. He just made it sound so appealing and I liked him, we had a really nice conversation on the phone. But I laid it out! I said, “You know, I don’t work that great, I’m getting old, I might forget my lines!” It takes a lot of energy to pull it together. For me, making the moment real, being realistic on screen, and presenting a character that’s not you, not myself is important to me. But Josh convinced me! 

What struck me first about Candy Corn was the beautiful cinematography. I always look at that, then I look at the characters and everybody was just painted amazingly.  A great cast of characters! I liked the story and setting in the ’70s. I thought Director Josh Hasty was going for that retro look, which is appealing to me because it’s kind of familiar. [laughs] In terms of special effects, I thought they were beautifully done… If you can assign the word ‘beautiful’ to a ‘terrible’ special effect like someone’s spine getting ripped out.  You can say they’re realistic! [laughs]

So, Candy Corn was the first ‘Yes!’ but I actually filmed it in December. I did Hanukkah first, then Killer Therapy, which is actually going to have a screening this October. There’s been no press about it, they’re keeping it on the down-low. In the horror community these days, they wanna keep things kind of quiet until the project has been fully edited, music added, and really pulled together.

When I was watching Candy Corn, there seemed to be a relationship in the air between Marcy and Sheriff Sam Bramford. Thus, I was anticipating some kind of interaction between Marcy and the Sheriff’s son, the lead antagonist as well. It felt like a natural fit. How do you feel about that?  

Oh yeah, that would have been great! Well, it can’t happen in the sequel, if there is one. I live, he doesn’t! [laughs]

It’s nice to be in a horror movie and not get killed, right?

That’s actually my guiding principle now! I’m happy to play in any movie, I just don’t want to get killed. Not too many lines and no death scenes, that’s what I tell my agent! [laughs

I recall an interview with VH1, where you mentioned wanting to ‘milk your death’ scene (as Lynda van der Klok) in Halloween for as long as possible to get screen time. Do you feel that’s what it takes as an actor to get time out there?

It’s your swan song. When you do that last scene on set, they say, “That’s a wrap on P.J. thank you,” and I don’t want that moment to come! (laughs) When I was going out of frame in Halloween, I suddenly realized I’m not going to be on screen anymore… So, I just kept doing the choked noises till John (Carpenter) yelled Cut!

Speaking of that era… You did a commercial for Pizza Hut Tacos back in 1979, how do you reflect back on that?

(laughs) Oh my God! You know what’s so funny about that? The shirt that I wear in that commercial is also the same pink-and-white stripped shirt that I wore in some of the promos we shot for Halloween. The promos were taken back at the casting offices by Kim Gottlieb and I had that very shirt on! Obviously, one of my favorite shirts. When I first saw that commercial I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s the shirt in all the Halloween stills!” 

I actually don’t eat beef and never have since I was a kid and heard beef comes from cows. Which made me sad. Every time I took a bite in the commercial I had to spit it out. There is a spit bucket for those of us who don’t eat what we’re advertising! (laughs)

That incident that happened on the set of Carrie, where you ruptured your ear drum… As an actress, did you have any regrets about doing the role at the time because of that? Obviously, it did lead you to getting a role in Halloween so things more than worked out. Do you have any permanent hearing loss from what happened on Carrie

What? (laughs) Just kidding! It was so painful… It was unbelievably painful to rupture my ear drum which was caused by a fire hose that the fire marshal said is not a good idea to use. Especially, (Carrie Director) Brian [De Palma] wanted it to bat my head around back and forth. So, Dick Ziker, the stunt coordinator, said, “Oh man, that fire hose!” It was an accident for sure but it went full force and I literally just blacked out, went down and slid down the bleachers. The grips came running and picked me up. It was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt besides childbirth! 

For six months, I went to the doctor and I got workman’s comp, they put drops in my ear. I can hear better than ever! I do have a little scar tissue there and I have go to my ENT from time to time but it didn’t leave any lasting problem. I’m definitely totally happy that I did the movie! Probably, would have rethought the firehose in retrospect. But it all worked out okay. 

It’s a good effect and talking about the last time you see me on the screen now, that was actually my swan scene on the film. I didn’t come back to the set after that. When you see me wince in that scene, that’s actually the pain, the initial pain of the ear drum. So, it’s kind of strange but these things happen.

Are you surprised how things work out, that John Carpenter noticed you for the way you said “Totally” in Carrie? I was even half expecting you to say it in Candy Corn!

Yeah, we talked about it but that would have been too much! (laughs) People expect me to say, “Merry Christmas, Totally!” now! It’s become my trademark! I wear the red hat in Carrie, I say “Totally!” in Halloween, and I have that awesome wardrobe in Rock‘n’ Roll High School. #1 fan of The Ramones. 

I told John  [Carpenter] and Debra [Hill] that I was going to push it and try to say it every time I spoke, and if it gets annoying to let me know. But they never did. I’ve never made an accurate count actually. But a group of college boys told me at a convention that they have a drinking game where they take a shot every time I say “Totally” and they’ve never seen the end of the movie! I said, “I didn’t say it that many times!” (laughs) I think the real number is eleven someone told me but it seems like more than that.

P.J. Soles Headshot – Photo Credit: P.J. Soles

Would you consider a role in a reboot of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

Reboot? When is that happening?! (laughs) I don’t know, depends who’s making it. Years ago, Howard Stern wanted to do it. But I think that was 30 years ago. (laughs) Maybe a sequel? What happened to all of us. Can you even find another band these days like The Ramones? I don’t think so! God, I wish! Don’t you wish? Where are the new Rolling Stones and The Eagles, where is this generation’s music? Come on guys! I’m waiting for it!

In the VH1 interview above, you mention not being a fan of The Ramones’ music until you met them. How come?

Well, no because I’d never heard them.

How did that happen?!

Well it was 1979, and I was listening to The Eagles, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell all those people at the time. The Ramones weren’t on the radar yet in California. Maybe in New York which is probably why Allan Arkush, the Director, knew about them. But they were just starting, they were just coming aboard the scene, definitely well known in the CBGBs and all that in New York but not in Los Angeles. So, when Allan gave me a cassette and I put it in, I just really didn’t relate to it and I didn’t know what it was… But I said, “Alright, I’m their #1 fan!” (laughs)

It took me I would say, probably ten weeks to two years to really hear their music and understand what it was. Now, it’s just so commonplace and amazing! I really love The Ramones! 

What happened at that Star Wars audition for Princess Leia with George Lucas?

We weren’t told what movies they were casting, we were just told there would be two directors at that time. This was back around in 1975. They weren’t really that known yet. I mean I think Brian De Palma had done a couple of movies but he wasn’t really an established director yet, at least not in the mainstream. Probably, again in New York City. So, I walked in, I had my red hat on! I had just moved to L.A. two weeks prior from Manhattan, where I had lived for five years and wanted to get into movies. I was living at the Magic Hotel in Hollywood, and my modeling agency sent me up on this audition.

Brian just looked at me and then looked at George and said I’ll put it on my list. Then he said, “Next audition bring your hat!” Then there were three subsequent auditions after that with the whole cast that actually ended up being in the movie. I don’t think he picked one person in all those three subsequent casting sessions and screen tests that didn’t end up in the movie. So, he had a very good eye I think for casting. A year later, we found out it was for Star Wars. But even then, it wasn’t what it was today. Star Wars took a while to catch on too at the time.


Was that the one role you wish you got?

No! Oh my gosh, I love my Norma! She wasn’t even in Stephen King’s book, there was no Norma in the Carrie book. But Brian De Palma had put the one line in, ‘Thanks a lot Carrie, ‘ when she blew the volleyball game in the beginning. I really was only on for a week. But after he saw the dailies for that… I had rainbow pins on my hat and I hit Sissy [Spacek] over the head with my hat.

The pins got stuck in her hair and I just yanked it out. So, it just looked so nasty! I apologized to Sissy but she said, “No, this is going to look great!” Brian laughed and thought it was so funny. He said she’s on for the rest of the shoot. I’m going to pair her up with Nancy Allen, the two of them are going to be my my little bad girls. [laughs] So, that was awesome! 

You mentioned wanting to work on your autobiography earlier. What are some parts of your past that you’d like to be part of it?

I went overseas for all of my childhood. My father was from Holland and my mother was from Englewood, New Jersey and they met in Germany after the war. Her first husband was killed and she went over there to help with the rebuilding as a secretary. My dad was helping Jews escape Holland and he was captured and put in a Nazi work camp. He was released by the American army and brought to the same base as my mother and so they met. 

It took a whole lot of circumstance for me to be brought into the world! I was born in Germany and then my dad got a job with a company where he had to open up branch offices for around the world. We moved to Morocco, Venezuela (Maracaibo) where I spent six years, and then Brussels in Belgium. 

I went to a high school in the International School of Brussels and learned French and Spanish. I was really on a writing and language track rather than an acting thing. Although, I had always acted in a lot of the school productions but it wasn’t something I thought was even possible. I hadn’t watched a lot of movies growing up.

I went to Briarcliffe College in New York state in the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year, where I was going to transfer to Georgetown University in Washington. 

My roommate was from the city and I stayed with her for the summer because my parents had transferred to Istanbul, Turkey. I happened to come across The Actors Studio and there was a sign, ‘We’ll trade running spotlight for auditing classes,’ so I ran a spotlight on Joanna Miles and Scott Glenn that whole summer. I met a guy who happened to be Joshua White of The Joshua Light Show.


He told me, “Girls, on the catwalk probably shouldn’t be wearing short dresses!” [laughs] He convinced me to quit college and get serious about acting, and start acting, so he got me an agent. I did commercials, I was on a soap opera and it got everything Rolling. But when I think of my autobiography, I’d start with my life as a child because I think that was enough of a life… Without anything else afterwards. But then on top of that there was this wonderful acting career! 

Catch P.J. Soles as Marcy Taylor in Candy Corn out now on Blu-ray, Digital, and VOD! Be sure to check out more interviews on The Natural Aristocrat!

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Film

‘Thanks for the Memories’ is reminiscent of Total Recall

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Thanks for the Memories film poster/banner - Photo Credit: DUST
Photo Credit: DUST

New sci-fi short film ‘Thanks for the Memories’ debuts on DUST today with a mind-bending plot seemingly inspired by Total Recall.

This article contains spoilers for film Thanks for the Memories.

Thanks for the Memories loosely explores the concept of trading in memories for experiences in a dystopian manner. The individual’s memories are sold to collectors the same way an art piece would sell at an auction. Mere commodities for the upper class to indulge in at the expense and exploitation of the proletariat. The company which provides the service compares the experiences to the same ones before the age of three. Meaning, the experiences make a life long impact though you don’t remember them in any tangible way.

The twist arrives when the protagonist Joel Fink played by Will Merrick, realizes he’d done the experience countless times before.
Ironically, Fink is steadfast in his naive initial belief that, “I don’t usually do this sort of thing.” It’s only when he catches a glance of eye contact with a girl [Thea Collings] exiting the premises that a flood of romantic memories awaken him.

As he signs on the dotted line, distortion takes over and viewers see an elder Fink signing once again… Presumably, for the first time in Fink’s eyes. Thus, the reasoning for his travel agent’s impatience at explaining the program. Quite Memento-ish.

It’s a shame the short is not a full feature as there’s so much territory one can cover with such an intriguing concept. Just as Total Recall’s Douglas Quaid once opened minds in his journey to Mars and left you wondering past the credits.

Thanks for the Memories stars Will Merrick (Skins), Jolyon Coy (Beauty and the Beast), Thea Collings (The Cake Maker), and Ed Jones in his film debut. The film is written by Felix Morgan and directed by Louis Norton-Selzer.

Thanks for the Memories Synopsis:

Joel Fink finds himself in a travel agent being offered the trip of a lifetime – anything he could ever want at whatever cost. It won’t cost him a penny but there is one catch: he won’t remember any of it when he gets back.


Why would anyone do that? The agent’s reply: it all depends on what you value more, memories or experiences? Joel decides experiences. It’s only when the agent opens Joel’s large file that we see it’s not the first trip he’s been on…not by a long stretch.

Visit the official DUST website to watch other intriguing, curated, independent Sci-Fi films (no subscription needed).

Be sure to check out The Natural Aristocrat’s interview with On/Off star Carole Brana which premiered on DUST this May.

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