Leave it to Werner Herzog to deliver something fresh and unexpected, as the auteur and Oscar-nominated filmmaker often does. This time around, we are treated to a fascinating drama that Herzog shot in Japan with Japanese actors, and a story that centers on a cultural reality that many in the West might find odd and not easily understandable. That’s the sort of niche that Herzog’s films like to live in because the filmmaker does such a remarkable job of taking foreign concepts and making them accessible. Here’s hoping the same goes for his upcoming drama, Family Romance, LLC.
The first trailer for the new film arrived today ahead of its premiere at Cannes next week. At first blush, it feels like a travel documentary or a cultural exploration of the daily lives of modern Japanese citizens. But when it’s revealed that the same man is appearing in different, socially and personally important moments in various people’s lives because he’s hired to do so, the trailer takes on a very different feeling. Fascinating for sure, but also rooted in reality: There’s a robust business in Japan and other Asian countries that revolves around hiring professional actors to play friends and family members for various reasons and various lengths of contracts. It remains to be seen just how much artistic license Herzog takes with this idea, but it’s certain to be fascinating no matter what.
Written and directed by Herzog, produced by Roc Morin, and starring Yuichi Ishii and Mahiro Tanimoto, Family Romance, LLC will premiere at Cannes on Saturday, May 18th.
Watch the first trailer for Family Romance, LLC below:
Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Romance as a business. A man is hired to impersonate the missing father of a 12 year old girl.
Shot in Japan, with Japanese actors, in Japanese language, Oscar-nominated auteur Werner Herzog brings to screen a unique angle to the recurring theme of individuals chasing impossible dreams.