July 11, 2013
past event image
Film past event

Opening Film
U.S. Premiere

Introduction and Q&A with Director Toshiaki Toyoda
Co-presented with the New York Asian Film Festival

Wild boy director Toshiaki Toyoda has been a NYAFF and JAPAN CUTS favorite, releasing UFOs (unidentified film objects) like his samurai arthouse experiment, Blood of Rebirth and the Unabomber biopic Monsters’ Club, but now he returns to deliver a sun-drenched gangster thriller somewhere between early Takeshi Kitano and a diurnal version of Winding Refn’s Drive. Donning a rockstar suntan and obscenely good looks, Tatsuya Fujiwara plays Rui Yoshino, the charismatic leader of a religious sect calling itself "Life is Beautiful." Life is indeed beautiful for the cocky cult leader, whose many followers (particularly the female ones) treat him as a role model, escape route and god. One hot night, he picks up a young woman called Rumi (Kiko Mizuhara) and takes her out on a drunken drive that turns out to be less of a cruise to short-term earthly pleasures than a fateful ride: they crash the fancy sports car and kill a motorcyclist, leaving Rumi in a coma and Rui in deep trouble. The young guru miraculously escapes unscathed, but during that brief ride some kind of restlessness has stirred within his soul. And that’s when events start to spin out of control.

Japan. 2012. 91 min. 35mm, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Toshiaki Toyoda. With Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kiko Mizuhara, Shigeru Nakano, Kento Nagayama.

Followed by the I’m Flash Opening Party!

Part of JAPAN CUTS 2013

This event is SOLD OUT.

  • Thursday, July 11, 2013
  • 8:30 pm