The eclectic characters in Takashi Miike’s new gangster movie include a low-level punk yakuza, a sullen prizefghter with nothing to lose, an oblivious sex worker who is being haunted by half naked ghosts, and an unhinged femme fatale on a mission to avenge the death of her pimp boyfriend. Those are just the main players in “First Love,” an absurdist gonzo comedy and wild goose chase that is never short on memorable characters. “First Love” premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and it will go on to play Fantastic Fest, but its next bow will be in the Toronto International Film Festival’s highly vetted Midnight Madness program.
The newly released first trailer offers a colorful and musical glimpse of the latest work from the prolific Japanese auteur. Though Miike’s work ranges wildly in genre, he is best known for films such as “Audition” (1999), “Ichi the Killer” (2001), and “Blade of the Immortal” (2017).
The official synopsis reads: “When a duplicitous scheme by the low-level yakuza, Kase (Shota Sometani) goes hilariously wrong, a terminally ill boxer, Leo (Masataka Kubota), and a disturbed drug addicted call girl, Monica (Sakurako Konishi), find themselves innocently caught in the crosshairs of two warring gangs. Over the course of the increasingly ludicrous night, the two fall passionately in love, while the hail of bullets and blood fall quietly in the background. … This noir-tinged, violent yakuza film, is Miike at his most fun and anarchic.”
In his rave review out of Cannes, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich called “First Love” a “frequently sublime new gangster film, a piece of work so feral and full of life that you’d never guess it was (at least) the 90th feature its director has made in the last 30 years.” … ‘First Love’ might start as a hard-boiled piece of pulp fiction, but it isn’t long before it softens into a violent, hilarious, and violently hilarious madcap comedy about the perils of self-interest in a modern world that belongs to the last person standing.”
“First Love” opens theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on September 27, before expanding nationally on October 4. Check out the invigorating new trailer below.
And here is the colorful poster: