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First Love

(Hatsukoi)

Dir: Takashi Miike, 2019, 109 mins, Japan, Cert: 18 (TBA)

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Fri 14 February // 21:15

Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)

Ultra-prolific director Takashi Miike returns to the big screen in hard-boiled-Tarrantino-esque style. A boxer with a brain tumour, a crooked cop with terrible luck, a dismembered Chinese gangster, a terrified prostitute who’s stalked by a ghost in tighty whities come together in this genre-bending howler.

Discovering he has an inoperable brain tumour, orphaned boxer Leo decides to go for broke. When he meets Yuri, a young addict who’s been driven into sex work to pay off her father's debts, he falls head over heels and, with nothing left to lose, decides to help her out. 

From the unequalled mind behind films such as Blade of the Immortal and AuditionFirst Love is a breakneck, slapstick, live-action cartoon. Leaning more heavily into his light-hearted side without sacrificing his bloodlust, Miike delivers another characteristically pulpy explosion of action, mayhem and surreal lunacy.

“This hard-boiled piece of pulp fiction thaws into a hysterically violent absurdist comedy about the implosion of the Japanese underworld.” (IndieWire)

“FIRST LOVE is mostly remarkable for renewing once again the apparently infinitely renewable resource that is Miike’s filmmaking energy.” (Variety)

“The Tarantino-style rollercoaster ride is as effortlessly enjoyable as ever, accentuating the director’s lighter comic leanings over his bloodthirsty side.” (Hollywood Reporter)

“What’s black and red all over? A noir-tinged yakuza film by Japanese iconoclast Takashi Miike, of course.” (The Playlist)

“Full-bore filmic frenzy as only Miike can make.” (Sight and Sound)