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The Egoists (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Suzuki Anne (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Oshinari Shugo (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Two lovers go on the run from their past in Keibetsu, the latest film from director Hiroki Ryuichi (Vibrator). Based on author Nakagami Kenji's final novel before his death in 1992, this romance noir is an intense character drama about two outcasts trying to find a place to belong, only to face obstacles every step of the way. Suzuki Anne (Hana and Alice) gives the breakthrough performance of her career, playing an exotic dancer who elopes with a young gambler, played by Kora Kengo (M, Into the White Night). Returning to a darker realm after a string of gentle, low-key dramas, Hiroki depicts a fiery, passionate romance about two people who can only rely on each other in a cold, violent world.

Kazu is a young gambler forced to participate in an intimidation mission with gangsters because of his gambling debt. On the job, he attracts the attention of exotic dancer Machiko (Suzuki Anne), and the two fall in love at first sight. Out of impulse, the two go on the run and flee from Tokyo to Kazu's hometown for an attempt at a normal life. However, Kazu and Machiko are looked down upon by almost everyone in town due to their pasts. Things get even worse when Kazu borrows money from a loan shark, and the two's dream of a normal life slips even further away.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Egoists (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 輕蔑 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 轻蔑 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 軽蔑 ディレクターズ・カット The Egoists (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: Keibetsu Keibetsu Keibetsu Keibetsu Keibetsu
Artist Name(s): Suzuki Anne (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Oshinari Shugo (Actor) 鈴木杏 (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) 铃木杏 (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) 鈴木杏 (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 大森南朋 (Actor) | 忍成修吾 (Actor) Suzuki Anne (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Omori Nao (Actor) | Oshinari Shugo (Actor)
Director: Hiroki Ryuichi 廣木隆一 广木隆一 廣木隆一 Hiroki Ryuichi
Writer: Nakagami Kenji 中上健次 中上健次 中上健次/著 Nakagami Kenji
Release Date: 2012-08-02
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: III
Duration: 136 (mins)
Publisher: CN Entertainment Ltd.
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1031216193

Product Information

Director: Hiroki Ryuichi

Kazu is a young man living a life of nocturnal desire; Machiko is an exotic dancer in Tokyo’s Kabukicho entertainment district. In an instant, these two isolated people fall deeply in love. While caught up in Kazu’s impulsive enthusiasm, they move to his hometown and begin a new life there. As the only son of a prosperous local family, Kazu had lived his life doing whatever he wanted, with no sense of having to work responsibly. However, Machiko soon begins to feel “We can’t be equals out here,” and feels she has no choice but to break away from Kazu.

The more they are in love, the more fate tears them apart. In the end, will they be able to escape the cruel reality that is closing in upon them?
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Egoists (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

October 3, 2012

Japanese director Hiroki Ryuichi has had a pretty fascinating career, starting off in Pinku films, before being hailed in the mid-2000s as one of the country's top New Wave indie helmers thanks to acclaimed outings like Vibrator. Having flirted with more commercial fare of late with April Bride, Your Friend and other more straightforward efforts, his latest film The Egoists sees a return to more searching and unconventional character drama. The film was based on the novel by famed author Nakagami Kenji, his last before his death in 1992, and follows two young lovers trying to find their place in the world, played by former teen star Suzuki Anne, who rose to fame after her turn in the popular Hana and Alice and by Kora Kengo, recently in The Woodsman and the Rain and who worked with the director before on M in 2006.

The film opens in Tokyo, with a young hoodlum called Kazu (Kora Kengo) taking part in a Kabukicho club shakedown in an effort to clear his considerable gambling debts. Forced to leave the city as a result, he takes with him exotic dancer Machiko (Suzuki Anne) after confessing his love to her, the two hoping to make a new life for themselves in his hometown of Shingu. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned, with his rich and traditionally minded parents looking down on her and refusing to accept their marriage plans. Kazu only makes matters worse by getting involved with a local loan shark with a past grudge against him, and with Machiko feeling lost in the picturesque though very provincial town, it starts to look like the odds are firmly stacked against the young lovers.

The Egoists is very much a low key indie character piece, mixing drama, crime and romance in down to earth though unpredictable fashion. Keibetsu is the film's Japanese title, which translates as 'scorn', and there's certainly plenty of that, with Kazu, and in particular Machiko running into disapproval at every turn in Shingu. However, the films strength lies in the fact that it doesn't offer a simple dichotomy of good and bad, instead focusing very much on the weaknesses, passions and decisions made by his protagonists.

Hiroki Ryuichi has always been somewhat of a female-centric director, and that's definitely the case here, with Machiko being the more interesting of the lovers. Whereas Kazu is essentially a decent fellow, ruined by his own immaturity, incompetency and insecurity, seemingly destined from the start to head down a one way street to self-destruction, Machiko is a multi-layered and more complex figure, both vulnerable and tough, and the film sees her undergoing a fascinating and wholly believable personal journey. Hiroki gets the very best from Suzuki Anne, the actress giving an amazing, career best performance that sees her truly inhabit her character, exhibiting a wide and highly affecting range of emotions - though she doesn't drive the film, she undoubtedly provides its emotional anchor and finest moments.

Unsurprising, The Egoists isn't the most cheerful of films, and though it does at times have a wistful yearning for bliss and acceptance, it's obvious from early on that its central couple are unlikely to have a traditional happy ending in store for them. At the same time though, Hiroki manages to find a compelling authenticity which prevents the film from every becoming actually depressing, and despite all of its angst it steers clear of melodrama or anything too predictable. Unfortunately, perhaps as a result of eschewing a more traditional narrative, the film does tend to meander somewhat, and though it's never boring, at around two hours and fifteen minutes does go on a little long (interestingly, a Director's Cut of the film has also been screened, clocking in at 10 minutes longer).

Fittingly, the film has a semi documentary look, Hiroki employing a mixture of hand held camerawork and long takes without cuts, all of which accentuates the realism and makes for a very New Wave, cinema vérité kind of air, with several Godard references along the way. The film also packs in a great deal of nudity and sex, some of it recalling his earlier Pinku works, ranging from the joyous and romantic through to the violent and grubby. Along with the subject matter, this makes the film very much an adult affair, and further underlines its ambitions of providing a grounded look at the difficulties and consequences of wild love.

Hiroki Ryuichi is still very much one of Japan's most interesting directors, and The Egoists is a fine addition to his body of work. Showing excellent character writing and with a superb performance from Suzuki Anne, it rewards patient viewers with rich emotional substance and truth.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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