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Key of Life

Kagi-dorobô no mesoddo

Japan | 2012 | 128 minutes | Kenji Uchida

Japan's master of screwball comedy Kenji Uchida returns with this cynical and hilarious tale about a failed actor who switches identities with a stranger at a bath house—only to find himself filling the shoes of an elite assassin.

May 18, 2013
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
6:30 PM Date has passed
May 19, 2013
AMC Pacific Place 11  
6:00 PM Date has passed
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Japan's master of screwball comedy Kenji Uchida returns with this cynical and hilarious tale about Sakurai (Masato Makai), an aging and unemployed actor with nothing left to live for. While visiting a bathhouse to soak and steam away his misery, Sakurai stumbles upon a way to start a new life when Kondo (Teruyuki Kagawa), a mysterious stranger, accidentally knocks himself unconscious and leaves his locker unguarded. Realizing the greatness of this opportunity, Sakurai assumes the stranger's identity and takes over his upscale apartment, only to quickly discover that this man is an assassin with ties to the Yakuza. Meanwhile, Kondo awakens in hospital with a terrible case of amnesia. After checking the ID found on his person, he logically assumes that he is Sakurai, and he sets out to restructure "his" struggling acting career while attempting to recover his memory. Throw in another delectable subplot involving magazine editor Kanae (Ryôko Hirosue), who's set a deadline for finding a husband, and you have the ingredients for a very tasty, very funny comic stew.

Director Biography
Kenji Uchida graduated from San Francisco State University’s cinema program. After returning to Japan, he made the independent comedies Weekend Blues and A Stranger in Mine. After a couple of years of intense planning and writing, Uchida directed After School and Key of Life, the latter of which garnered Uchida nominations for best screenplay at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Sponsored in part by Delta Air Lines, Film Movement, The Japan Foundation Los Angeles

Director: Kenji Uchida
Principal Cast: Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryôko Hirosue
Country: Japan
Year: 2012
Running Time: 128 minutes
Producer: Satoshi Akagi
Screenplay: Kenji Uchida
Cinematographers: Akira Sako
Editors: Shinichi Fushima
Music: Yûsuke Tanaka
Website: http://www.kagidoro.com
Awards: Shanghai International Film Festival 2012 (nominated for the Golden Goblet); Hawaii International Film Festival 2012 (Best Narrative Feature)
Filmography: After School (2008); A Stranger of Mine (2005)
Language: Japanese
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Film Movement
International Sales: The Klockworx Co., Ltd
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