An anomaly in Fukasaku career as it's a straight comedy with drama elements instead of a standard crime picture. But it's an extremely funny one and is one of my favorite films about film. Also interesting to know that this film help collapse the classic set-up of the Japanese film industry and eventually paved the way for Kadokawa Pictures. Was a huge hit in Japan and won the Japan Academy Prize for best picture.
The screenwriter, Kouhei Tsuka, died of lung cancer just last month (on July 10, 2010) -- this very funny, much beloved film was one of Tsuka's most famous works. Alternatingly funny, sad and angry, at times over-the-top, but very human throughout.