First Love - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

First Love
Japan | 2019 | 107’ | DCP | Colour | Japanese | Group: D
Director: Takashi Miike

Showtimes
2019/12/07 21:00 Macao Cultural Centre – G.A

Programmer’s Note

The Japanese emperor of genre film Takashi Miike attended IFFAM in 2016 with ‘The Mole Song – Hong Kong Capriccio’ 《土竜の唄 香港狂騷曲》and returns with his super-violent ‘pure’ love story ‘First Love’ which is perhaps his best film since influential horror classic Audition in 1999. Since his first feature in 1995, Miike has made so many films that it’s hard to remember most of them, but there’s no denying his stunning command of cinema. His violent but splendidly unique sense of humour works on the brain like a drug, and most Japanese actors leap to work with him, no matter what terrible treatment they go on to receive in the films. The delirious energy and pace of ‘First Love’ elevates it to near the top of his massive oeuvre: his control of genre, performance, action and comedy has never felt greater or sharper. Quentin Tarantino, who loudly proclaims how Miike has influenced him, should watch in awe.

Synopsis

Set over one night in Tokyo First Love follows Leo, a young boxer down on his luck as he meets his ‘first love’ Monica, a call girl and an addict but still an innocent. Little does Leo know that Monica is unwittingly caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme, and the two are pursued through the night by a corrupt cop, a yakuza, his nemesis, and a female assassin sent by the Chinese Triads. All of their fates intertwine in explosive Takashi Miike style.

Director

Takashi Miike

Born in 1960, Takashi Miike spent his youth in the Korean district (Yao) of Osaka in Japan, graduating from the Yokohama Film Institute, whose dean was Shohei Imamura. After some experience in television, Miike was drafted by Imamura who made him his assistant director on Zegen and Black Rain. Miike’s first films were made direct-to- video thanks to the V-cinema system, which was a way for Japanese studios to develop young filmmakers without using big budgets. Miike gained immediate recognition with Shinjuku Triad Society, and became known for his energetic style. He began to explore new genres and accelerate his output, and directed more than 100 features between the late 1990s and 2019. In his work, Miike can be seen perverting the Yakuza Eiga (mafia genre), as well as the burlesque comedy (Yatterman), the intimate drama (Visitor Q), the Western (Sukiyaki Western Django), the horror film (One Missed Call), the manga adaptation (Crows Zero 1 and 2, Ichi The Killer, Terra Formars), Tokusatsu – Japanese-style superhero movies (Zebraman) and the action genre (Dead or Alive 1, 2, 3). Among his other classics are Audition (1999), Ichi The Killer (2001), Gozu (2003), 13 Assassins (2010) and Blade Of The Immortal (2017). First Love had its world premiere in Directors Fortnight at Cannes in May.

Cast & Crew

Director Takashi Miike

Scriptwriter(s) Masaru Nakamura

Producer(s) Muneyuki Kii

Cinematographer Nobuyasu Kita

Production Designer Takeshi Shimizu

Editor Akira Kamiya

Music Koji Endo

Costumes Designer Masashi Takahashi

Cast Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori, Shota Sometani, Sakurako Konishi, Becky, Takahiro Miura, Jun Murakami, Kenichi Takito, Bengal, Sansei Shiomi, Seiyo Uchino

Production Companies TOEI Company, Ltd., OLM Inc.

Distributor

World Sales TOEI Company, Ltd.

Flying Daggers