Japanese director Shohei Imamura has died of liver cancer. He was 79. Tokyo-born Imamura was hailed as one of the cinematic icons of Japan's New Wave movement, twice winning the prestigious Palme d'Or at France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Famed for concentrating on gritty social issues, he frequently raised eyebrows with his work, which latterly included a piece based on the September 11th (01) terrorist attacks as part of the 2002 short film compilation 11'09"01 (corr). Actor Koji Yakusho, who worked with Imamura on 2001 movie Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, calls the film-maker "a treasure". Imamura is survived by his wife AKIKO, two sons and a daughter. His funeral has been scheduled for next week (06JUN06).
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