With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Friday, November 07, 2014

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? opens today, Friday, November 7th

Drafthouse Films
Why Don't You Play In Hell? / Jigoku de naze warui
Directed by Sion Sono
Japan, 2013, 129 minutes

Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play In Hell? opens today, Friday, November 7th at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin Texas and VOD. It's a hilarious movie in which an aspiring film crew and two gangs of yakuza who are at war with one another manage to all come together. The film will be opening in various other cities throughout November and into January, 2015. For a complete listing of theaters, cities and opening dates, as well as VOD platforms, click here.

Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa)

Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) and is an aspiring filmmaker. He wants to make Sasaki (Tak Sakaguchi) an action film star, Japan's Bruce Lee. Other members of Hirata's crew -- known as The Fuck Bombers -- are Miki, "king of the dolly shots," and Tanigawa, "queen of hand-held shots."

On the yakuza side of things are the Muto faily, headed by Boss Taizo Muto (Jun Kunimura). His wife is Shizue (actress Tomochika). Their pert young daughter is Mitsuko, who does toothpaste commercials. Following an attempt on Boss Muto by the Kitagawa yakuza clan which Shizue thwarted, she is given a ten year prison sentence.

The film then picks up approximately ten years later, when Shizue's  release date is approaching. Mitsuko, now played by Fumi Nikaidô, wants to make her film debut. The conflict between Muto and Kitagawa is about to reach a bloody climax. And who better to document the carnage than Hirata and his Fuck Bombers?!

Why Don't You Play In Hell? is awesome fun, terrifically enjoyable. There are some fun cinematic references (Bruce Lee's yellow jumpsuit and a red balloon, for example).

Mitsuko, played by Fumi Nikaidô

The film was shown at Japan Society this past July as a co-presentation of the society's JAPAN CUTS film festival and the New York Asian Film Festival. Actress Fumi Nikaidô, who also starred in two other films shown at NYAFF, was presented with the festival's first Screen International Rising Star Award.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended.

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