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LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
aka RUANG RAK NOI NID MAHASAN (Thailand)
aka CHIKY█ DE SAIGO NO FUTARI (Japan)
USA: Palm Pictures
UK: Artificial Eye Film Company
Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Sinitta Boonyasak, Laila Boonyasak, Yutaka Matsushige, Riki Takeuchi, Takashi Miike, Yoji Tanaka, Sakichi SatO, Thiti Rhumorn, Junko Nakazawa, Akiko Anraku, Nortioshi Urano, Phimchanok Nala Dube, Ampon Rattanawong, Jakrarin Sanitti, Songsith Visunee, Prayoon Tiancharoenwong, Jakrapan Ruttajak
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Countries: Thailand / Japan
Language: Thai / Japanese / English (with some English subtitles)
UK: 104 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, moderate sex, violence and suicide references
USA Release Date: 6 August 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 30 July 2004 (Limited Release - London and Edinburgh, Scotland)
Pen-ek Ratanaruang's LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE was the first Thai film to win a prize in competition at a major film festival: Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu (ZATOICHI, ICHI THE KILLER) was awarded the Prize for Best Actor in the Upstream section of the 2003 Venice Film Festival.
LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE brings together three of the most exciting talents in current world cinema: director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Asano Tadanobu and Hong Kong based cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Their co-operation results in a magic-realist tale about the culture bridges we build- and sometimes wish we could jump off of - combining elements of Japanese yakuza films, an unpredictable succession of lush and intoxicating images, and a host of eccentric narrative tics from the cutting edge of Thai cinema.
LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE tells the story of the mysterious Kenji, a lonely Japanese librarian's assistant and occasional suicide hobbyist quietly living -and hoping to die - in Bangkok. Hiding from an unknown past, the Mishima-identifying Kenji seems determined on a premature rendezvous with oblivion: when we first meet him, he's already swinging by the neck from a makeshift noose, (Or is he?) If only Nid, the beautiful Thai woman Kenji spies between the shelves one day, hadn't managed to die first. And if only Nid's acid-tongued sister, Noi -who inadvertently begins seducing the suicidal loner back into chaos of life - weren't leaving for Osaka on the Monday morning plane...
Who are we? Where are we? Who do we desire? Where do we go when we're gone? A quietly unsettling love story about people lost (and found) in the margins of one another's people identities -national, cultural and individual- LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE is a strange, funny, tender, and subtly devastating story about life and death, sisters and brothers, sushi and som tam, and the strange way fate has of bringing people together just as their worlds seem on the verge of falling apart. Graceful, atmospheric, a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that slip between the fingers like drops of mercury, LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE is a about love's effortless insistence that under its influence, everything must change.