With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

ACF 923: 'Villain" to screen in New York - enter now for best chances for a seat

© 2010 TOHO CO., LTD. / DENTSU INC. / The Asahi Shimbun Company /
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. / NIPPON SHUPPAN HANBAI INC. /
HORIPRO INC. / AMUSE INC. / KDDI / Yahoo Japan Corporation /
TSUTAYA Group / Asahi Shimbun Publications Inc. All Rights Reserved.

ANA presents NIPPON EIGA Series Part 26
Villain/ Akunin
Directed by:
Sang-il Lee
Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu
Japan, 2010, 139 minutes
Japanese with English Subtitles
New York Premiere
When: Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 PM
Doors open at 6:30 PM
Where: Big Cinemas Manhattan (Former ImaginAsian)
239 E 59th St, NYC
Entry: www.newyork-tokyo.com/wp/villain
Entries by Sunday, March 27 at midnight
Not on first come first served basis. Confirmation will be sent.

The NY premiere screening of Lee Sang Il's Villain will take place on Wednesday, March 30th. The film has won numerous awards including the Best Actress Award at the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival and five awards at the 34th annual Japan Academy Prize. Based on a best selling crime story novel, the film depicts two lonely people who fall in love and the story unfolds as they go on the run and ruin the lives of the victim's family and everyone involved for the sake of love.

About the Project

Many of Japan’s top directors vied for the project. Over 20 companies bid on the film adaptation rights. And at last, TOHO brings Shuichi Yoshida’s award-winning novel, Villain (Akunin), to the screen as one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010. The director is Lee Sang-li, whose Hula Girls (2006) swept the awards in Japan that year, including Best Picture at the Japan Academy Prize. The music is composed by the world-renowned Joe Hisaishi, who has scored many films by Hayao Miyazaki and Takeshi Kitano as well as the recent hit Departures (2008).

The protagonist (and killer), Yuichi, is played by Satoshi Tsumabuki (Josee, the Tiger and the Fish), who coverted the role. Mitsuyo, the women who falls for and goes on the run with Yuichi, is played by Eri Fukatsu (The Magic Hour). In addition, the stellar supporting cast includes Masaki Okada (A Gentle Breeze in the Village) as a college student who holds the key to the murdered women, Akira Emoto (Dr. Akagi) as the victim’s father, and Kirin Kiki (Still Walking) as the killer’s grandmother.

The Story

Yuichi is a construction worker who’s lived his entire life in a dreary fishing cillage. With no girlfriend or friends, he spends his days working and looking for his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Meanwhile, Mitsuyo also lives a monotonous life pacing between the men’s clothing store where she works and apartment where she lives with her sister.

When the two lonely sould meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeoing from Mitsuyo: he’s the one who killed the women whose murder had been in the news for days.

Though Yuichi tries to turn himself in, Mitsuyo stops him. Having discovered the joy of loving someone for the first time in their lives, the desperate lovers go on the run. They arrive at a lighthouse, where they find the time and place to share a bilssful moment together. But their getway begins to ensnare the lives of families of both the killer and the victim.

Why did Yuichi kill the women?

Why did Mitsuyo love the killer?

What fate awaits the families who were torn apart?

As the desperate characters hit rock bottom and struggle between good and evil, a new question emerges: Who is the true “villain” here?

The answer to the question moves the story toward a shocking and moving climax.

Director Sang-il Lee

Lee Sang-il is a Korean-Japanese film director and screenwriter. He won the Best Director and Best Screenplay prizes at Japanese Academy Prize for Hula Girls (2006) and Villain (2010).


Satoshi Tsumabuki is a Japanese actor whose breakthrough film was Waterboys (2001) and for which he was nominated for the Best Actor award at the Japanese Academy Prize. (ACF says definitely watch Waterboys if you have the opportunity. It's a terrific film.)

Eri Fukatsu is a Japanese actress who just won the award for best actress prize at the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival for her performance in Villain (Akunin).


Joe Hisaishi is a composer and director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981. He also released a new solo album in early 2009 featuring tracks from Shellfish and the recent hit Departures (2008). (Departures won the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Film.)

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