Lowlife Love has been reported on here multiple times. I tracked it from its inception as a Kickstarter Project (which I backed) and then I wrote about it four times when it featured at a number of prestigious film festivals and got it’s theatrical release in Japan. It has been a long road and I got the chance to watch it at the Tollywood Cinema in Shinjuku after being invited by the film’s producer, the ever-cool Adam Torel. The film was an interesting ride to say the least. I was expecting a comedy but it is dark, a rather grimy expose of some of the horrible things that go on in the world of cinema in Japan. Despite having seen the director Eiji Uchida’s previous film, Greatful Dead, I was taken aback by this. It’s a must-see for anyone who wants a dose of reality. Thankfully it has a veneer of comedy and some great performances to keep it from being unbearable.
I am still in Tokyo and still writing about films and still getting press releases so here’s the information for its UK release on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Here’s the press release:
The first 100% Third Window Films production!
Third Window films team up with GREATFUL DEAD director Eiji Uchida to produce a darkly comic satire of Japan’s no-budget film industry!
Dual format bluray & dvd set out November 21st
Featuring a Making Of, Cast interviews, Deleted Scenes, Alternate ending, Music video, Theatrical Trailer
“A nasty peek at the underbelly of the Japanese independent film scene.” – Screen Anarchy
“Lowlife Love is a fantastic piece of Japanese indie cinema, and a bold offering from the talented and creative Eiji Uchida.” – Eastern Kicks
“Presents uncomfortable truths in sharp, funny ways.” – The Japan Times
下衆の愛 「Gesu no Ai」
Running Time: 110 mins.
Release Date: April 02nd, 2016
Director: Eiji Uchida
Writer: Eiji Uchida (Screenplay),
Starring: Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Denden. Masahiko Arai, Masato Arai, Kanji Furutachi, Yumi Goto, Aki Hiraoka, Nanami Kawakami,
Lowlife Love was brought to life through a Kickstarter campaign (which I helped by backing). The cast are the type who regularly appear in the releases of Third Window Films so if you like The Woodsman and the Rain and so on, you will dig this. Lowlife Love was at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival and it was at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival which was the place of its international premiere. The film is directed by Eiji Uchida (Greatful Dead) and stars Denden (Cold Fish).
Synopsis from IMDB: Tetsuo (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is a lowlife. A film director with a small indie hit many years back, yet he has never gotten any further as he refuses to go against his ‘artistic integrity’. He’s a real loser. Despite being in his late 30s, he still lives with his mother and sister, borrowing money off them and scrounging from all he comes in contact with. This includes his best friend Mamoru (Yoshihiko Hosoda), who makes porn films with him for dodgy characters in order to make money, as well as the film actors’ school they’ve setup to exploit their students as well as for him to sleep with wannabe actresses. He’s a real jerk. Then one day two new students come to his school: Minami (Maya Okano), a naive and fresh girl from the countryside who wants to be an actress and Ken (Shugo Oshinari), a scriptwriter who has been living overseas. Tetsuo thinks Minami could be a real star and Ken has a brilliant script which could relaunch his career as a director, with Minami his muse. With the help of Kida (Denden), an unsavoury film producer, they strive to turn this project into something tangible, but Minami’s ability starts to turn the heads of other film directors such as Kano (Kanji Furutachi) and Shinjo (Kanji Tsuda), and soon Tetsuo’s world stars to unravel.
28th Tokyo Film Festival (Japan)
45th Rotterdam Film Festival (Holland)
6th Taipei Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival (Taiwan)
18th Udine Far East Film Festival (Italy)
16th Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival (Germany)
17th Hamburg Japanese Film Festival (Germany)
70th Edinburgh Film Festival (UK)
37th Durban Film Festival (South Africa)
10th Japan Cuts Film Festival (USA)
20th Fantasia Film Festival (Canada)
1st New Asian Cinema Film Festival (Brasil)
2016 Singapore Japanese Film Festival (Singapore)
43rd Film Fest Gent (Belgium)
20th SPLIT Film Festival (Croatia)
2016 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (Hong Kong)
27th Sarasota Cine-World Film Festival (USA)