August 6, 2004
Studio: Palm Pictures
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
MPAA Rating: R (for violence, sexual content, language and drug use)
Screenwriters: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Prabda Yoon
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Sinitta Boonyasak, Laila Boonyasak, Yutaka Matsushige, Riki Takeuchi, Takashi Miike, Yoji Tanaka, Sakichi Satô, Thiti Rhumorn
Copyright Holder: N/A
A magic-realist romance about the culture bridges we build - sometimes wish we could jump off of Last Life in the Universe brings together three of the most exciting talents in current world cinema: director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu, and Hong Kong-based cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Under the guidance of this much-celebrated triumvirate, refugee 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 converge to tell the story of the mysterious Kenji, a lonely, obsessive-compulsive Japanese librarian's assistant and occasional suicide hobbyist quietly living - and hoping to die - in Bangkok. Hiding from an unknown past, the Mishima-identified and moppishly-coiffed Kenji seems determined on a premature rendezvous with oblivion: when first we 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 the chaos of life - weren't leaving for Osaka on the Monday morning plane...