Shinsedai Cinema Festival – End of the Night Review (Kirk Haviland)

Shinsedai Film Festival 2012 (Toronto)

End of the Night

Starring Kuniaki Nakamura, Nami Komiyama, Masayuki Shionoya

Written and Directed by Daisuke Miyazaki

When it came time for Daisuke Miyazaki to make his directorial debut, after directing second unit for director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, he decided to look to the past. Inspired by the rich history of yakuza/hit man films from Japan, especially the works of the great Takeshi Kitano, Miyazaki has created a hit man saga of his own.

Hit man Tamegoro (Shionoya) is sent to kill a young couple. After performing the deed Tamegoro discovers a young baby in a crib. After calling his mother, Tamegoro decides to bring the baby home and raise him as his own. We flash forward to the now teenaged Akira out on his first assignment with his “father” Tamegoro in which they are assigned to take out a family, much like his own, who have a daughter whose eventual death becomes a fixation for him. Ten years later Akira (Nakamura) is a fully accomplished hit man, living the solitary life most hit men do, Tamegoro has retired to run a comforter shop but still sets up all of Akira’s contracts (along with those of his “brothers”). But one day Akira encounters someone who will change the course of his destiny forever, the grown up version of Yukine (Komiyama), a girl who he thought his father had killed 10 years ago. Just as fascinated as he was ten years prior, Akira sets out to help Yukine, to his own detriment, which causes a familial rift and has professional consequences.

Miyazaki has crafted an extremely successful little noir film filled with homages to films from the past, both Japanese and Hollywood alike. Nakamura’s performance is engaging and accomplished as Akira. He brings a stoic calm to the character with an underlying sense of danger and volatility that constantly keeps him aware and on edge. The rest of the performances here are strong as well, especially Shionoya’s Tamegoro as the father figure with a special relationship with his own mother. As a first feature Miyazaki delivers an extremely accomplished piece of cinema, his future is indeed bright.

End of the Night was the runner up for the Best Film Audience award for Shinsedai, a very deserving recipient if you ask me. End of the Night is a definite recommend, try to catch up with it as it continues its festival run across the globe.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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CONTEST: Win Tickets for End of the Night at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival in Toronto

Shinsedai Cinema Festival (Toronto)

End of the Night (2011)

Starring: Kuniaki Nakamura, Nami Komiyama, Masayuki Shionoya

Directed by Daisuke Miyazaki

We have some very exciting news at Entertainment Maven – our first contest! Thanks to the folks at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival we have three, count ’em, THREE double-passes to give away to the July 14th (Sat. 7pm) screening of End of the Night at The Revue Cinema in Toronto, part of the Shinsedai Cinema Festival taking place from July 12th – 15th, and co-presented by CINSSU, the Cinema Studies Student’s Union of the University of Toronto. It’s easy to win, just follow the three easy steps below.

Please note that the contest is only open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and who are able to be in Toronto for July 14th. Only 1 entry per person. Winners will be chosen at random from a pool of entrants who have completed the three steps. The contest will close at 11pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

1. ‘Like’ our Facebook page by clicking this link and then ‘like’, or by going directly to www.entertainmentmaven.com and clicking ‘Like’

2. Follow us on Twitter @entertainmaven

3. E-mail us at entertainmentmaven@gmail.com, putting End of the Night as the subject, and tell us YOUR name and the name of your favourite cinematic assassin!

Winners will be contacted at the e-mail address used to enter the contest.

Advance tickets for the Shinsedai festival go on sale June 21st. Screenings will take place at The Revue Cinema.

Synopsis: After sociopathic hitman Tamegoro (Masayuki Shionoya) coldly dispatches a young married couple he decides to take something home from the bloody murder scene – the couple’s infant boy. Tamegoro raises this boy, Akira (Kuniaki Nakamura) as his own son and trains him from boyhood to become an equally lethal killer. Dead-eyed and with nerves of steel Akira takes over the family business, but what will happen when he comes face to face with Yukine, a young woman who survived one of his decade old hit jobs? Will the resulting crisis of conscience sever the link between father and son? And what path will Akira choose?

This is the central conflict behind first time feature filmmaker Daisuke Miyazaki’s neo-noir drama End of the Night, a crime-filled examination of nature versus nurture. Like a 1960’s Nikkatsu action film filtered through the deadpan aesthetic of Takeshi Kitano End of the Night both celebrates and subverts its genre origins, boldly updating the iconic image of the cinematic lone gunman. Akira’s brutal journey is brought to life not only by Miyazaki’s remarkable filmmaking talent, but also through the skill of veteran cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa, whose previous credits include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata and Retribution.

Director’s bio: Born in Yokohama in 1980, Daisuke Miyazaki studied at Tokyo’s Waseda University. In the summer of 2004 he participated in a filmmaking program in Tokyo run by New York University. The resulting film, The 10th Room, won the Christine Choi Award at NYU’s KUT Film Festival. Since then Miyazaki has earned praise for his 2006 short film Love Will Tear Us Apart, as well as working with a number of acclaimed filmmakers. Miyazaki has worked as a production design assistant on Leos Carax’s 2008 film Meld and as the trainee assistant director on Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2008 film Tokyo Sonata. End of the Night is his first feature film.

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