DEAD OR ALIVE (1999) [Feature]

Japan (MIFF 2002 , Regional Focus / Miike Takashi)
Director: Miike Takashi

One of the most formidable jolts to the Yakuza genre in the past decade. Dead or Alive has already left audiences gulping and gasping at Tokyo, Vancouver and Seattle Film Festivals. Surreal visions of excess, an out of control guitar soundtrack and mean streets examinations of almost every remaining taboo in our society frame the action.

A maverick gangster of Chinese descent upsets the balance of power between Tokyo cops, triads and Yakuza. Along the way to a devastating finale, director Miike constructs a series of hauntingly sad vignettes in which characters confront failure, defeat and mortality. His talent for the perverse and wild humour has never been sharper.

"The wild sweep of an adult-theme anime. A sensation-seeking soap opera. Its sentimentality is crossbred with gritty drama." - New York Times

"Fasten your seat belts. A woman plunging from a high-rise into the street, snorting a bar-length line of coke, a nightclub shootout, a wigged-out knife-throwing act - and that's just the first five minutes. Before it is over, there will be a massacre amid flying chicken feathers and a deep-fried hand. No-holds-barred filmmaking." - San Francisco Chronicle

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