With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ACF 935: "A Yakuza in Love" will be shown at Japan Society tonight

A Yakuza in Love © 1997 Toei Co., Ltd.

A Yakuza in Love a.k.a. Villainous Love
Directed by Rokuro Mochizuki
With Eiji Okuda, Yuna Natsuo, Shunsuke Matsuoka
When: Thursday, March 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Where: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
Between 1st and 2nd Avenues
1997, 110 min., 35 mm, color
In Japanese with English subtitles
Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation
International Premiere!!!
Buy tickets online
(Note that from March 14–June 30, 2011, 50% of all ticket sales will go to Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.)

"Like no other yakuza film you're likely to have ever seen."
-- Chris MaGee, Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow

A dark, delicate, comic and complicated telling of a hard-as-nails, simple love story. Boy meets girl; boy falls in love, boy drugs girl. Boy and girl start a rather twisted, chemical-fueled affair. Things get sour. The boy is a low-ranking ne'er-do-well yakuza in an ill-fated gang, fighting a losing battle with their rival gang. The girl... well, the girl is just a waitress who should probably know better.

Auteur Mochizuki (Onibi: The Fire Within; Another Lonely Hitman), director and co-writer, has fashioned this unlikely romance between two mismatched lost souls into a black comedy of startling directness and intensity, following the old boy's fumbling (and often funny) attempts at romance through questionable methods of courtship (which include kidnapping into the bargain).

Generously spiced graphic sex scenes alternate with moments of lyricism and otherworldly calm, subtly layering the characters and their path to ruin. As the strange relationship blossoms, the yakuza's drug addiction and unstoppable habits of destruction threaten to destroy everything...

ACF Comment: I really found this an engrossing film. While the protagonist is far from sympathetic, both he, the female lead and several other characters are richly drawn and masterfullly depicted. My rating is 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended.

In addition the film, there will be a Special Exhibition Preview:

From 6:00-7:30 pm, ticketholders get an exclusive sneak preview of Japan Society’s spring exhibition Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, opening March 18. Among 40 installations of sculpture, painting, video and photography, from some of the most evocative artist living and working in Japan today, are such genre appropriate works as a dress with yards of blood streaming from it, a bevy of geisha grandmothers, happy-go-lucky school girls committing harakiri, a life-size glass bulb bedazzled taxidermy deer, and a spectacular 23-foot mural of mountains composed of thousands of dead salarymen.

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