Cut

After his brother is killed by yakuza for an unpaid loan taken on his behalf to finance films, Shinji takes a turn toward masochism to both assuage his guilt and save his own life. Literally and figuratively torturing himself by charging bar patrons and gangsters to land punches on his frail frame, he slowly works off his debt to his brother’s killers one hit at a time.

Iranian-born writer/director Amir Naderi mourns the immanent loss of his beloved cinema through this modern parable set in Japan. From Kenji Mizoguchi to Akira Kurosawa, he pays homage to the Japanese masters through style and form as well as character and story. Reflective long takes, graphic violence, stylized black and white, and unconcealed metaphor pervade this call-to-action of a film, imploring audiences and filmmakers to support the claim that “True cinema is not built on money; true cinema is made of flesh and bones.” It may be actors speaking in Japanese, but the words and voice you hear are distinctly Naderi’s. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.]

Pulse

After one of their friends commits suicide, strange things begin happening to a group of young Tokyo residents. One of them sees visions of his dead friend in the shadows on the wall, while another’s computer keeps showing strange, ghostly images. Is their friend trying to contact them from beyond the grave, or is there something much more sinister going on?

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

An assassin is shot at the altar by her ruthless employer, Bill, and other members of their assassination circle. But “The Bride” lives to plot her vengeance. Setting out for some payback, she makes a death list and hunts down those who wronged her, saving Bill for last.