Running Time: 104 min.
Release Date: November 28, 2008 (limited)
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Cast: Sho Aikawa, Shiro Sano, Yu Tokui, Akaji Maro
The prolific Takashi Miike, whose body of work includes a horror musical, a spaghetti Western and many Yakuza and horror movies, is a young director who continues to surprise and challenge with each new film. Here, he diverges from the extremes of horror films such as Audition (1999) and Visitor Q (2001), demonstrating his ability to create a charming, well-crafted and accessible comedy.
Umemoto Insatsu is a small, old-fashioned printing company located on the edge of Osaka. The owner, Umemoto (Yu Tokui), is living peacefully with his family, but when his biggest customer, Uwazoko-ya, goes bankrupt, Umemoto is unable to collect the money owed him and loses everything. He ends up at a homeless people's community called Shangri-La, an orderly shantytown run by an ex-assassin known as the Village Chief (Sho Aikawa). The villagers live comfortably under his protection, but one day their calm life is disrupted when tons of industrial scraps are illegally dumped in the village. Under the command of the Chief, Umemoto and the people of Shangri-la decide to seek revenge against the Uwazoko-ya organization. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Studio: Daiei Motion Picture Company
Screenplay: Masakuni Takahashi