Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2000
USA: The Shooting Gallery
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Yakusho Koji, Aoi Miyazaki, Masaru Miyazaki, Yoichiroh Saitoh, Ken Mitsuishi, GO Rijū, Yutaka Matsushige, Sansei Shiomi, Kimie Shingyoji, Miyuki Matsuda, Machiko Ono
Director: Aoyama Shinji
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA: 217 mins
UK: 218 mins
USA Release Date: 4 May 2001 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 26 October 2001


Winner of International Critics' Prize for Best Film and Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2000, the director Shinji Aoyama has also edited and written EUREKA as well. This 3 hour 40 minute, beautifully composed black and white film explores a transcendent story of redemption.

On what seemed to be a normal morning in southwest Japan, a crazed killer, apparently without motive, hijacks a city bus. In the ensuing carnage only three people survive - the driver, a schoolgirl and her older brother. After a long period away, the traumatized bus driver returns to his family only to find his wife has left him. The two students have withdrawn further into silence since their mother left home to begin a new life elsewhere when their father died in a car accident. Upon the driver's return to town, he reacquaints himself with the orphaned children. He moves into their house, filthy from neglect, and together with the orphans' cousin, they begin a new life.

Once the victims have adapted to new lives together, police find the brutally murdered corpse of a woman and suspect the driver. After being cleared of the crime, he buys an old bus and invites the young people to travel with him. The killings seem to follow them until each finds some way to come to terms with the horror they once shared.

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