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Jacques Mesrine(Vincent Cassel), a loyal son and dedicated soldier back home and living with his parents after serving in the Algerian War. Handsome and charming, he is soon seduced by the neon glamour of Sixties Paris and the easy money it presents. Mentored by Guido (Gerard Depardieu) Mesrine soon moves swiftly up the criminal ladder, choosing the high risk life of a gangster over the honest life of the hard working family. After pulling off an audacious heist he and his lover Jeanne (Cecile de France), flee to Canada where the opportunity of one big payout lures him out of hiding and propels him towards international notoriety.

Mesrine: Killer Instinct comes to UK screens on August 7th

www.mesrine-movie.co.uk


... around

"...Around" is officially available to be rented/downloaded and streamed at Amazon.com through Amazon On-Demand. It's a first of the platform release through Cinetic Media-Cinetic Rights Management that will soon include ITunes, Netflix, DVD and various other outlets. I really rather like this Independant feel-good drama so would recommend giving it a look.

...Around - Trailer

www.aroundthefilm.com


... around

"...Around" is directed and written by David Spaltro and inspired by his experiences attending the film program School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC from 2001-2005. The film follows Doyle Simms, who at the age of 18 decides to finally live his dream of crossing the Hudson river and escaping a life of potential drudgery in his native New Jersey. Over a period of 4 years Doyle struggles to keep himself in film school while living on the breadline.

Thats the synopsis but at the same time its not really what "...Around" is about. Essentially a character study, "...Around" concentrates more on the introspective thoughts of it's main character. The world is full of people who like the idea of being seen as creative, rather than being driven by any creative vision. People like that tend to turn to talking about themselves or regurgitate clichés, photographers taking pictures of prostitutes and homeless, fashion designers making a sweater into trousers etc., all the while believing they are creating something avant-garde. Independent film just means films produced outside the large studios, however when you mention indie film in an American context, no doubt certain things spring to mind; the hip independent soundtrack, the mostly white middle class characters with "issues", self absorbed pretentious dialogue etc. I don't really care for that style of film much and will hold my hands up for assuming "...Around" would be self serving hipster drivel. And in many ways in the hands of another aspiring director it could of been. David Spaltro however is clearly well aware of the pitfalls and defly sidesteps most of them. Sure "...Around" has the feel of an American indie, but there's real substance here and true talent.

The acting is fairly strong as it needs to be in a character driven piece, with Berenice Mosca as Dolyes mother and Ron Brice as a homeless sage being highlights for me, but there's no really weak turns. Robert W. Evans carries the film well as the slightly sociopathic / disconnected Doyle. I'd like to see more of Veronica Heffron who plays Mona, who exudes a lot of on-screen charm and charisma.

"...Around" is essentially as complex or as simple as the person viewing it wants it to be, which in itself shows Spaltro to be a writer of considerable talent. There's the simple idea that you should "stop and smell the roses", life is after all made out of a series of moments not just a "goal" you have to achieve while ignoring "the journey".  The tagline "embrace the fall" is very apt; the idea that happiness and not saftey is the better thing to strive for, that as long as life is interesting it's worth living, even if this means immediate discomfort. We live in times where in the western world more and more people feel, and in many ways are, disconnected, atomized and driven by routine. "..Around" reminds us that people are what make our lives what they are. They come and go, but they always add a bit more to our own story.

Some of the other reviews of "..Around" take the view that it's about being able to achieve anything you want. And at the end of the day what you take away from a film and feel is correct - it's an individual experience. For me however, thats not quite what I got and would hope it's not the sum total of Spaltro's intent. For one thing it's not really true, you can try and achieve what you want certainly, but meritocracy is an over simplistic daydream. Many hardworking, talented people give it their all and fail (in terms of what they where trying to achieve, not that life is about winning). For me its about accepting you just don't know what will happen, but lack of certainty is no reason not to do things. Its about stepping into the dark and understanding when the sun comes up again you will be a stronger person, even if you tripped a few times wandering blindly. Hell its about whatever you want it to be, but its certainly good.

Socrates said something along the lines of "The unexamined life is not worth living" and in my opinion there's a lot of truth in that.  "...Around" finds Spaltro doing just that and when the credits roll hopefully the audience do to. Slow burning at first ...Around builds into one of the strongest debut films I've seen in some time. A charming, uplifting introspective character study, that should restore your faith that great independent film making is about more than a hip soundtrack and a cool marketing campaign. Talking of hip soundtracks, the use of Kirby Dominant's Nauzeated while Doyle attends the hipster party made me smile. Hopefully that arrow in the heal to the theory of meritocracy, C.R.E.A.M. won't stop "...Around" from reaching a wider audience.

...Around - Trailer

www.aroundthefilm.com


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Trailer for dark comedy drama Cold Souls directed by Sophie Barthes and stars Paul Giamatti along with David Strathairn, Dina Korzun and Emily Watson

Cold Souls - Poster

www.coldsoulsthemovie.com


Trailer for independant film "The Red Machine" a spy caper set in 1935 in Washington, D.C. and 1928 in Tokyo. The film stars independant film favourite Lee Perkins (Carnies, Edges of Darkness, KatieBird *Certifiable Crazy Person).

Co-directors Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm won several awards for their 1930's newsreel style short "Gandhi at the Bat".

www.redmachinethemovie.com


First trailer for Guy Ritchie's take on the classic detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film simply titled Sherlock Holmes is due for a boxing day release.

This adaption see's the titular hero revamped in a vain similar to the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Sadly the film version and not Alan Moore's fantastic comic. The reactions across the net for this trailer have been very positive. I personally don't feel that excited, sure Basil Rathbone style fog and deerstalkers has been done to death and would not fly today. However I'm a bit surprised Richie and the screenwriters have taken it to such safe blockbuster action comedy ground. One would have hoped for a little touch of snatch / Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels infused to give it just a little more edge. After all Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell are meant to be taking on the roles of Holmes and Watson in a still "Untitled Sherlock Holmes Project", which one imagines will touch the comedic itself. Many feel it has a similar vibe to Pirates of the Caribbean, which was a fun franchise, so its probably going to fairly good popcorn munching fun.

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his stalwart partner Watson (Jude Law) engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Joining Downey and Law in the cast are Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, James Fox and Rachel McAdams (sporting a rather fetching corset in the trailer)

You can download an HD version of the trailer from Yahoo! Movies

Via: Yahoo! movies


Precious - Poster

Teaser poster for Precious the tale of an overweight, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. The film is based on the book by Sapphire (born Ramona Lofton) and directed by Lee Daniels.

I love this poster, the trailer however leaves me cold. I just can't be doing with the "woman has problems, woman gets over problems" genre. However the reviews have been great and it was a hit at Sundance, which has thrown up some great films over the years. So maybe I will like it when I get around to seeing it, if I can just shake the creepy Dr Phil / Oprah "believe in yourself" vibe the whole thing has. Still triumph over adversity is central to much of our literature and some will argue most of our waking lives, so I can see why it appeals to many. Check the trailer out for yourself over at our Virb page.

Precious stars Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton, Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe as Clareece 'Precious' Jones.

www.weareallprecious.com


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Gustav Deutsch is a maestro of found footage filmmaking. In this enterprise, he travels to film archives worldwide, researches, and excavates clips from obscure films, and reassembles them into montage sequences that create compelling visual narratives organized around larger thematic concerns.

In FILM IST. a girl & a gun, the director weaves together a stunning array of color-tinted images from a variety of genres, including scientific, erotic, fiction, and actuality films. Deutsch also obtained privileged access to the film archives of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, enabling him to incorporate sequences from especially rare erotic and sex films into his latest oeuvre. Deutsch adroitly assembles a precisely constructed, mesmerizing ebb and flow of images into extraordinary montage sequences divided into five acts: Genesis, Paradeisos, Eros, Thanatos, and Symposion. 

- notes from Jon Gartenberg Tribeca 09, if your attendig the festival you still have one more chance to see the film Sat, May 02, 11:45AM.


Kiyoshi Kurosawa – the hugely acclaimed Japanese director famous for his groundbreaking, existential horror films such as Cure and Kairo [Pulse] – set Cannes alight last year with a surprising change of pace to, that staple of Japanese cinema, the family drama.

When Ryuhei Sasaki (played by Teruyuki Kagawa) is unceremoniously dumped from his ‘safe’ company job, his family's happy, humdrum life is put at risk. Unwilling to accept the shame of unemployment, the loyal salaryman decides not to tell anyone, instead leaving home each morning in suit and tie with briefcase, spending his days searching for work and lining up for soup with the homeless. Outstanding performances; serene, elegant direction; and Kurosawa's trademark chills are evident as he ratchets up the unsettling atmosphere and the grim hopelessness of Sasaki's unemployment.

Tokyo Sonata is showing theatrically in selected cinemas nationwide (UK) until June 2009 and is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 22 June 2009.

www.tokyosonata.co.uk


Little Miss Sunshine

It’s unsurprising that this little gem got picked up at last years Sundance as it has the all-round warmth to surely reach any faction of the audience. Now a Best Picture hopeful at the Oscars, Little Miss Sunshine has matured from indie arthouse flick to widely acclaimed pic and, whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say Oscar-worthy, it’s certainly deserving if its praise.

Little Miss Sunshine is essentially a road trip film, and one which has packed its bags of charm for the journey. We follow the dysfunctional (but stubbornly objective) Hoover family as they make the several-hundred mile trek from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to none other than the sunshine state of California, home of every aspiring young girl’s American Dream. Their goal is the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, the crown of which young Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) dreams of winning.

As well as establishing character and premise, introductory scenes show we’re in store for a breezily sharp script and top, likable performances if nothing else in this film. The opening dinner scene sets up the dysfunctional dynamic as we are introduced to the hassled Hoovers and their individual idiosyncrasies.  Head Hoover, Richard (Greg Kinnear), is a motivational speaker-turned dream-hawker whose world categorically divides into two sections: Winners and Losers. Wife Sheryl (Toni Collette) tirelessly rallies the troops and only seems to dream of maintaining a familial plateau of stability. Paul Dano is Dwayne, a Nietzsche-reading 15-year old admirably maintaining a vow of silence until his dreams are realised (a winning success of sorts in the eyes of his father), and big brother to baby Hoover, Olive. Extending the family is depressed scholar who’s lost the dream, Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), and foul-mouthed but knowing old-timer who’s lived his own dream, Grandpa (Alan Arkin).

Watching Little Miss Sunshine reminded me of another family-on-the-road comedy/drama, the Argentinian Familia Rodante (that's Rolling Family, not my hoped-for Rodent Family, more was the pity), though the comparison highly favours the American release. Where Familia Rodante depended on the brand of World Cinema, where it was on the wrong side of the fine line between slightness and charm, Little Miss Sunshine adds substance to these sensibilities. Husband and wife helmers, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, make their debut an impressive one in their move from music video to feature film. Some might find their refusal to pointedly focus their commentary frustrating, though I found its decision not to force feed any blunt morality refreshing. The hilarious finale does, though, take an ingenious swipe at a rather distasteful side of American Culture. Michael Arndt’s rightfully Oscar-nominated warm and witty script gives the cast the right tools to sculpt equally warm and easily likeable performances. Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin) is perfect as troubled intellectual, Frank, whilst Kinnear does a nice turn in hectically exasperated. Dano, also, puts in pretty mean performance when you consider he says nothing for the large majority of the film, while Colette seems a little underused. But it’s Arkin and Breslin who secured the Academy nominations for their performances in support roles, with Arkin delivering cheekily cantankerous with perfect timing and Breslin a natural in a role that allowed a kid to be a kid. But there’s more than wry dialogue and it’s expert delivery here. An unassumingly subtle visual style and a very European-sounding score reflect the film’s quirky, feel-good nature and aid the World Cinema feel. And that's the crux of why this film works, that it mixes the easy-going, idiosyncratic traits of foreign film whilst accurately subverting American cultural neuroses. In this case, a winning formula.

World Cinema meets Americana for a happily workable mix, resulting in a charming and funny film that's not shy of a critique 9/10

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Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) is set in northern Spain in 1944, after the victory of Franco and his fascists. The film revolves around Ofelia, a young girl whose father is dead and mother has re-married. Her new husband is a vindictive fascist army captain. The captain believes that a son should be born near his father and so has his pregnant wife and stepdaughter Ofelia are sent for to join him in northern Spain, where he and his men are locked in a tit for tat battle with anti-fascist rebels. The lonely Ofelia, whose only real escape, is into the fairytales she reads, appears to create a fantasy world for herself. As a way to deal with her environment, though soon the border between fantasy and realty becomes blurred, and young Ofelia finds both reality and fantasy can quickly turn into a nightmare.

Pan's Labyrinth is directed by the much admired Guillermo del Toro, who came to the attention of many genre and world cinema fans with 1993's Cronos. He then hit a more mainstream audience with Mimic and from there has managed to alternate between more independent personal feeling projects and studio fair. While always retaining his genre edge. It is his studio fair, Blade 2 and Hellboy that most people will recognise him for and they are very good mainstream genre films, but it’s in his more personal projects that he really elevates genre film to its highest plateau. The ghostly drama The Devil's Backbone is probably his best work to date. Even though many critics are calling Pan’s Labyrinth his "Masterpiece", which is a great way to get on the poster or trailer, I am not totally convinced that this new film, good as it is, surpasses the 2001 cult classic. Guillermo del Toro has in his independent Spanish language films established himself as one of the modern masters of giving fantasy and genre film a very real world feel. This is not something I like as much as more mainstream critics, not that I believe genre film has to in any way be camp and comic, just I didn’t come for the relationship issues and family bonding. That said when it comes to Guillermo del Toro, he does it so naturally and so skilfully I can’t fault him for it.

Although the fantasy element which has been heavily played up in the films marketing is an essential part of the film, Pan’s Labyrinth is a far more serious film than many will be expecting. The fantasy elements though well conceived and executed, actually do not occupy anywhere near the amount of screen time many will be expecting and the film carries a very human and arguably very socio-political message. Fantastic as Pan looks, as grotesque as the giant toad is and horrible as the pale man comes across, it is the monstrosity that is fascist ideology and its unquestioning avatar Capitan Vidal that are the films real monsters. Some have described it as a film of two parts, but Ofelia's fantasies and the very real setting are both intrinsically important in delivering del Toro’s message and should not be separated. Yes Pan's Labyrinth may seem like a dark fairytale and can be described as such, but it is not necessarily just the fairy folk that qualify it. In fact it is the moral of the tale that makes it take on the quality of the traditional or classic fairytale. Other viewers will of course interpret the film differently from me, as is the subjective nature of art, but for me this is a tale about choices and the way we go about making them. It is a tale that looks at the way the right path is not always the easiest and may not always have the best consequences for us personally. It is a look at the fallibility that comes with being human and the way that even though our choices may not always be right, we should never be afraid to make them.

Though set in the 1940's only those sleeping at the back or whose waking state is never more than a subjugated, uneducated dreamscape will fail to see it's relevance to our times. The temptation to hand over our personal independence and liberties in favour of promises of freedom and defence by the seemingly strong is omnipresent. Pan’s Labyrinth highlights that the weak can be the strong, the strong the weak, the cowardly the brave and even a young girl can be more of a man than the unthinking automaton of authority. For how much strength is there really in never having question? Propaganda, rhetoric, hate and repeated mantra's can give an illusion of strength, but if you don’t question and make decisions personally where is your strength of character. Character like muscle should be built and the ability to make and stand by personal judgements should never be undersold or under estimated.

Guillermo del Toro, like the best storytellers presents us with a film where the allegorical though there for the taking does not overpower the story. If you want to just enjoy the film as a drama set in fascist Spain with a fantastic twist, there is no reason why you can't. The creatures are well designed and both Pan and "The pale man" are fantastically portrayed by "man in a suit" specialist Doug Jones (Hellboy, Carnies). The acting is fantastic across the board with stand out turns from Álex Angulo (Action mutante, The Day of the Beast) as the doctor and Sergi López (Between Your Legs, Sólo mía) as Capitan Vidal. Ivana Baquero who some might remember from Francisco Plaza's Romasanta gives a very mature turn as young Ofelia. The stand out for me though is Maribel Verdú as Mercedes; she also has arguably the best scene when she stands up to Capitan Vidal.

Beautifully crafted, shot and realized, Pan's Labyrinth has a timeless quality and an intelligent undertone that will have viewers revisiting it for years to come.

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www.panslabyrinth.com


Tideland

Tideland is Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel of the same title. The film follows a short period in the life of a young pre-pubescent girl, Jeliza-Rose. At the outset of the film, Jeliza-Rose is living with her hipster parents. Middle age hippy rockers for whom the party never stopped, and consequently both are now badly strung-out on heroine. We only get to know her mother, played by the "milfalicous" Jennifer Tilly briefly, as she is pretty quickly the victim of an overdose. Rather than face up to what has happened, Jeliza-Rose's father Noah, played by Jeff Bridges, decides to flee to the prairies where he was raised with his young daughter in tow. Once they arrive at the home of Noah’s now deceased mother. Noah decides it's time for a little chemical vacation of his own, but sadly he, too, is never to wake.

Tideland is in some ways a dark fairytale, but essentially it’s a look at the resilience of a child's mind. With her father dead in the chair where he overdosed, Jeliza-Rose is left to fend for herself. There’s no food in the long-abandoned house and untended grain fields stretch for miles in every direction. For sustenance she has only a jar of ageing peanut butter and for company, 4 dolls heads. Thus with her little body starved of physical sustenance and human company, Jeliza-Rose retreats into her own mind, using the everyday items around her to weave fantasies and adventures, in a way that only a child can.

Canadian child star Jodelle Micah Ferland, who you may recognise from Silent Hill and The Messengers, takes the lead as Jeliza-Rose. The then-10 year old actress carries most of the film on her own, which is a seriously impressive feat. Considering  the fairly adult themes and the fact she also gives each dolls head its own voice and personality (though thinking about it, it is pretty natural for kids to create personalities for their various toys). The Dolls heads form her main co-stars with the blonde headed "Mystique" being her main companion. However, the prairies are not totally empty; Jeliza-Rose meets an almost feral brother and sister. Dell, played by Janet McTee, is a wild-looking woman dressed in black who believes The Bees are out to murder her and has an obsession with taxidermy. Dell's younger brother, Dickens, played by Brendan Fletcher, is a young man suffering with heavy educational retardation, which appears to be the result of a lobotomy, but could be the results of an incident involving a school bus and a train. Dickens strongly believes the train is a Great Shark Monster that he is destined to one day kill. Mentally a child himself, Dickens like Jeliza-Rose, lives in a world within his fantasy filled mind. Unlike her though, he will never be able to grow out of it.

Jeliza-Rose's time in the prairies is brief and her interaction with other humans limited to the two siblings, but in that time she find herself exposed to things that would shock many adults. I get the feeling though the thing which has made the film gain mainly negative criticisms is the undercurrent of burgeoning sexuality. Jeliza-Rose is nearing puberty and the dawning of womanhood, she is not there and is still an innocent, but it looms close. Jeliza-Rose develops a childhood crush on Dickens who is in his mid 20's, and pecks at him with the kisses of childhood, again with all the innocence in the world and in fact his mental challenges make Jeliza-Rose the real power in their relationship. At one point she witnesses Dell copulating and performing fellatio on a delivery guy. As with any child she is not offended because only the tainted can be offended, it’s very difficult to offend innocence as sexual hang-ups and prudishness are the things we adults put onto children. And before anyone cries, everyone is fully dressed and obviously they didn’t really do anything in front of the young actress. It’s just a film, as much a fantasy as those the young character creates in her mind. The problem, I guess, is that while it’s perfectly acceptable for Guillermo del Toro to cast the similarly aged Ivana Baquero in Pan's Labyrinth. A film which features some fairly extreme graphic violence in places, sex remains a huge taboo. Which is funny because everyone will be exposed to sex in their life, but the level of violence seen in the likes of del Toro's film will be witnessed by a relatively low percentage of people who are born and grow up in the western world.

While watching Gilliam’s film, the two films that came to mind were John Duigan's Lawn Dogs and Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Innocence. Lawn Dogs because it to deals with a plutonic relationship between a young girl and a grown man (and the results) and Innocence which is hard to sum up here, but kind of deals with a perceptions of pre-pubescent girls and innocence. Both are films I recommend you see and both make good companion pieces to Tideland.

I personally enjoyed Tideland, it took me a while to get into but once I did I found the setting interesting and the performances strong. I don't think its a match for Gilliam’s best and it does fall short of what it could have been (I think there was a masterpiece in the combining of Gilliam and this story, but for some reason, probably financing problems and budget restraints, it misses out on those lofty heights). I think better realized fantasy elements would have endeared the film to more people, as they have with Pan's Labyrinth. Gilliam's choice to keep the film very grounded and lay off the fantastic elements he is famous for, was a commercial, and to some extent, cinematic mistake. However, I have to go against the tide (pun intended) and say this is a good bit of challenging filmmaking from a director -now in his 60's - something shamefully lacking from the works of people half his age.

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Trailer for "...Around", which is directed and written by David Spaltro and inspired by his experiences attending the film program School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC from 2001-2005.

The film stars Molly Ryman, Marcel Torres, Ron Brice, Berenice Mosca, Veronica Heffron and Robert W. Evans in teh lead as Doyle Simms.

"one of the most powerfully moving and genuinely uplifting films I’ve seen in a very long time." ... PulpMovies

Review at LateMag

www.aroundthefilm.com


Trailer for Jeremy Alter's The Perfect Sleep which is set "against the backdrop of a noirish dreamscape, a tortured man returns to the city he swore he would never return to, in order to save the woman he has always loved yet can never have"

The screeplay is by Anton Pardoe who also stars along with Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Patrick Bauchau (Chrysalis, Carnivàle), Peter J. Lucas (Inland Empire)

www.theperfectsleep.com


Another Lonely Hitman

Tachibana is a Yakuza henchman who has just served a ten year prison sentence for the very public execution of a rival gang’s boss. Back on the street he finds things have changed, the Yakuza members no longer adhere to the old codes of honour and he is now an atavism. He forms a relationship with the prostitute he is given as a “welcome back present” and a friendship with a young gang member who see’s him as a hero.

Director Rockuro Mochizuki 1995 movie is a Drama with Yakuza characters far more than it is a violent Yakuza crime movie. Tachibana played by Ryo Ishibashi is not really the hitman that the title conjures up, merely a disposable Yakuza pawn, who was convinced to get loaded up on heroin and kill a rival gangs’ leader. So high on smack Tachibana does this but in the process shoots a young waitress in the leg and then asks that the police are called thus landing himself with ten years inside.

Described by some reviewers as Ultra violent and ultra stylish, Mochizuki’s film is neither of these in my opinion. The films opening which follows Tachibana’s hit on the crime boss in a busy restaurant is indeed nicely done and realistically violent, but after that initial scene the film changes pace and settles down into being a slow paced character study. Not that the lack of stylish visuals and violence mean this is not an interesting movie, just I feel it has been some what over hyped and mislabelled. This is really a film about not belonging, about damaged relationships and to some degree redemption.

In many ways there is nothing new in terms of plot to be found in Another lonely Hitman, if you have seen a few films about ex-gangsters back on the street trying to fit in again, you will have a pretty good idea of the route the storyline will take. Where Another lonely hitman shines is in the interplay between the various characters, especially between Tachibana and Yuki, for whom he provides something more than just money barterd through sex and pimp slaps.

The interesting thing about Mozcizuki’s choice of character for his lead is that Tachibana is not cool and from the glimpse of him as a drug addled hitman a decade earlier never was. He’s not Carlito back on the street with great poolroom tricks and a swish leather jacket. This guy is damaged goods right down to the fact those ten years inside have left him psychosomatically impotent. Sure he can kick some ass, but he can’t fuck and I for one know which attribute I would prefer.

Back on the streets Tachibana finds himself paired up with a younger gang member, who see’s him as a hero, a representation of the old now forgotten days after all he is the man that wiped out a prominent rival in broad daylight. Problem is that gang came out on top anyway and now Tachiban’s old crew fall directly underneath it in the yakuza structure, meaning his actions really achieved nothing in the greater scheme of things. As Tachibana try’s to find a place for himself he guides the younger Yakuza and forces Yuki the prostitute to kick her heroin addiction as well as beating down her pimp, but can these actions bring some form of redemption to his life and can he make himself whole again? In director Mochizuki’s vision a man can run from everything except his past, something he would cover again in his 1997 film Oniba: The fire within.

Bleakly shot on grainy film stock and featuring fitting Jazz track which has brought the film some comparisons with the film noir style of film making. Another Lonely Hitman is an interesting film if a little slow and slightly generic in its plot. If you enjoyed Miikes Rainy dog and the general downbeat grim of the Black society trilogy then you will probably find a lot to like here. If you’re looking for stylised violence and hip characters this film may not be for you.

Fans of quality Japanese cinema and the Yakuza genres will want to seek this out and I suggest they do, but be prepared for a downbeat look at life at the bottom of the Yakuza food chain.

A bleak uncompromising look at a broken man as he struggles to come to terms with a world he no longer belongs to. 


Creature Stills:

Ofelia and Pan

Doug Jones as the child-eating 'Pale Man'

Drawing Board:

 

Set Design - Totem

Set Design - sketch of tree/doorway to the Labyrinth

Character Stills:

Sergi López as Captain Vidal

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia


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