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by Amir Naderi

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Synopsis

Struggling young filmmaker Shuji is dedicated to changing the state of cinema. Shouting passionately in the street for radical change in public taste, he longs to bring back the artistic quality of the cinema classics. Frustrated, he finds solace in visiting the graves of his cherished directors: Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi. One evening during one of his rooftop cinephile screenings, two thugs come and take Shuji away to an old boxing gym turned yakuza office/bar. Boss man Masaki informs Shuji that his brother Shingo borrowed lots of money to finance Shuji’s filmmaking. His brother has been beaten to death for failure to pay back the loans. The responsibility now falls on Shuji. Shuji decides that the only way to pay off the debt is to become a human punching bag in the gym's toilets where his brother was killed. For a price per punch, gang members can hit Shuji's six-pack until he can't take anymore. This quickly becomes a sick game for the violent yakuza to shoot off steam. Shuji withstands the beatings by thinking lovingly of his favorite films or angrily at "shit films." Pretty bartender Yoko manages the punching sessions and collects Shuji's earnings. She supports him compassionately, but watching the pain Shuji endures becomes too much. She is replaced by veteran yakuza Hiroshi, who recruits even more paying punchers and integrates a betting system. As the payback deadline approaches, the yakuza boss implements questionable additional payments to make things more difficult for Shuji. His energy and mental condition are weakening, but Shuji's toughest battle is still to come.

Director

Since the 1970s, Amir Naderi has been among the most influential figures of New Iranian Cinema, developing his knowledge of film at the theater where he worked as a boy.  He entered the international spotlight with cinema classics such as The Runner (1985) and Water, Wind, Dust (1986), which both won the Golden Montgolfiere at Nantes.  The first prominent Iranian director to expatriate in the late'80s, Naderi's American films have uniquely captured the vanishing texture of New York, premiering in New Directors/New Films, Venice, Cannes, Tribeca, and Sundance.  Sound Barrier (2005) won the Roberto Rossellini Critics Prize at the Rome Film Festival.  His last work, Vegas: Based on a True Story, premiered in competition at Venice in 2008.  Naderi's work has been the subject of retrospectives at museums and film festivals around the world including Lincoln Center, Pusan, and Torino.

FILMOGRAPHY

2008 - Vegas: Based on a True Story
2005 - Sound Barrier
2002 - Marathon
1997 - A, B, C... Manhattan
1993 - Manhattan By Numbers
1989 - Ab, Bad, Khak (Water, Wind, Dust)
1985 - Davandeh (The Runner)
1981 - Josteju Doe (Search Two)
1980 - Josteju Yek (Search One)
1979 - Barandeh (The Winner)
1975 - Marsiyeh (Requiem)
1974 - Entezar (Waiting)
1973 - Saz Dahani (Harmonica)
1973 - Tangsir
1971 - Tangna (Impasse)
1970 - Khoda Hafez Rafiq (Goodbye Friend)

Cast

Hidetoshi Nishijima - Shuji
Takako Tokiwa - Yoko
Takashi Sasano - Hiroshi
Shun Sugata - Masaki
Denden - Takagaki  

Crew

Written and directed by: Amir Naderi
Original screenplay by: Amir Naderi, Abou Farman
Co-written by: Shinji Aoyama, Yuichi Tazawa
Director of Photography: Keiji Hashimoto
Production Design: Toshihiro Isomi
Sound:
Takeshi Ogawa
Special advisor: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Producers: Eric Nyari, Engin Yenidunya, Regis Arnaud, Yuji Sadai, Shohreh Golparian
Associate Producers: Jozef Amado, Murat Eken

A production of Tokyo Story
In association with
Bitters End
Supported by
Busan International Film Festival – Asian Cinema Fund

Technical Data

Format: 35mm / 1:1,85 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 120 min
Original Language: Japanese

Original Title: Cut

Artwork

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