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BULLET BALLET

Japan, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Regional Features)

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

With his fascination for transmogrified bodies, junkyard sci-fi hallucinations, explosive violence and dynamic editing. Shinya Tsukamoto has found a cult audience at festivals worldwide since his breakthrough feature debut, TetsuoThe Iron Man.

Fans of his hi-impact, confrontational style will flock to the Japanese director's latest, Bullet Ballet. As suggested by the titie, the film is a Peckinpah-style revenge thriller, that is, if Sam was bom in the East rather than the West. Tokyo is depicted as a violent dreamscape in which Goda, a Tokyo yuppie, drifts, grieving the sui­cide of his lover of more than a decade. Tsukamoto once again taking the lead role—who else is going to take such merciless beatings without the assistance of a stunt double?! Wandering the streets at night and bar-hopping, Goda hopes to procure a gun as he suspecls that his own actions may have contributed to his partner's death.

Goda is subjected to a serious beating after being lured into an alley by Chisato, a punker street gang floozy. Humiliated, gripped by cold rage, Goda's quest for vengeance leads to a succession of frightening episodes and a clash between two generations of mutants.

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