City of Lost Souls (Hyoryu gai)

Rated R 100 minutes 2001

The fantastically prolific Takashi Miike directs this dizzyingly stylish thriller -- one of four in the year 2000 alone -- about love, cocaine, and exile. In the film's near-wordless opening, half-Japanese Brazil Mario (Teah) wipes out a room full of his fellow criminals in a bar in Sao Paolo and then strips naked in the dust storm outside. Mario is next seen one year later rescuing his Chinese girlfriend, Kei (Michelle Reis), from being deported. The event, which involved the hijacking of a helicopter, a gun fight amid the Joshua trees of the vast Japanese desert (!), and a harrowing 80-foot leap into Tokyo's Shinjuku district, instantly becomes the stuff of legend among Japan's large and beleaguered foreign population. Desperately wanting to get out of the country, Mario and Kei get entangled with a coke deal that goes sour between Mr. Ko (Mitsuhiro Oikawa), an effete though deadly Chinese mobster with unwholesome designs on Kei, and Fushimi (Koji Kikkawa), a psychotic yakuza who brutally kidnaps a blind orphan for his own terrible ends. Kung-fu cockfights, murderous Ping-Pong matches, and religious miracles ensue.~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Film Credits

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Ichiro Ryu

Producer: Kazunari Hiashiguchi and Toshiaki Kimura

Cast: MarioTeah, Michelle Reis, Patricia Manterola, Mitsuhiro Oikawa and Koji Kikkawa

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