Limousine Drive (Japanese film set in NYC)
Fri Jun 22 00:25:59 EDT 2007
Following Mike Arnold's mention -- I can't remember why I
saw this film (on video), but here are my notes from 2003.
Japanese Title (Romaji)
Japanese Title (Japanese)
English Translated Title
Alternative English Titles
Year of Release
Leyline, Historic Grammar, Sunset Cineworks, Littlemore,
Masashi YAMAMOTO ????
T.M. STEVENS ?????????????, Yukako NAKA ?
???, ONIMARU ??, Chaudry Iqram ??????????
?, Don TRAN ??????, Kanji TSUDA ????
Sometimes cute but mostly grating, this shambling indie
effort is set in New York City. Non-actor Naka plays (and
probably is) a gongyaru (bottle-blonde, darkly-tanned
Shibuya girl) who goes to NYC for an extended shopping
trip. Her limo-driver (real-life funk-meister Stevens) has
his wheels stolen and Naka become his unwanted houseguest.
A decent setup, but the plot and characters are soon all
over the place, with silly scams, Naka's couplings, and
Steven's relationship with his grown daughter (who seems
unrelated). The big-brother little-sister dynamic between
Stevens and Naka somehow turns romantic at the end ("You
can f*** me if you want", she squeaks).
Yamamoto is one of the few Japanese filmmakers who casts
mixed nationalities (see 1998's Junk Food.) This is
interesting, though it seems to stem more from his tastes
in music than a desire to comment on racial relations.
Vietnamese Don Tran gives the best perf as a
Japanese-hating gang leader, though Onimaru is also
effective as the narcissistic sociopath Naka briefly hooks
Also a showcase for Stevens' music?he performs a full
song in his George-Clintonesque getup. Apparently 35mm, it
looks more like 16mm. The retro ad art is the best thing
about this production.
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