Lowlife Love

  • Directed by Eiji Uchida
  • Japan, 2015, 110 mins., Japanese

Tetsuo (the fast-rising, thrillingly unhinged Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is a lowlife film director with one minor hit under his belt—10 years ago. Now splitting his time between heavy drinking, sexual escapades, directing low-budget adult films, and running a ramshackle acting workshop in which he terrorizes his regular company, Tetsuo still longs to make the follow-up magnum opus he feels is inside him, but finding the motivation and inspiration is tough. Enter Ken (Shûgo Oshinari) and Minami (Maya Okano), two up-and-comers who have the potential to help Tetsuo break through—but first, he must overcome funding problems, being pigeonholed into unseemly genres, and the towering shadow of a famous director (Kanji Furutachi, Harmonium) whose successes dwarf Tetsuo’s. Lowlife Love, an unflinching, raw, yet sympathetic look into the independent film production scene in Japan, is that rare type of film that will routinely make you laugh and cringe at the same time, presenting “uncomfortable truths in sharp, funny ways.”—Mark Schilling, The Japan Times. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Comedy