Previously at the ICA - Films

Still: The Matsugane Potshot Affair

The Matsugane Potshot Affair (Matsugane Ransha Jiken)

23 Oct 2007

With Hazy Life, Linda Linda Linda and more to his name, it's clear that Nobuhiro Yamashita is a major indie talent. This wonderful black comedy is not only one of the best Japanese movies of the past year, but also proof that he's ready for the big time. The peace of Matsugane, a (fictitious) mountain town, is shattered by the arrival of the no-good Nishioka and his slovenly girlfriend Miyuki, lured by the rumour of a bag of gold bullion sunk in a frozen lake. They blackmail poultry farmer Hikari into providing them with a place to stay, and come to the attention of his twin (but utterly dissimilar) brother Kotaro, the local cop. Kotaro has problems of his own, what with his senile granddad, his womanising dad and his unhappy mum, but the arrival of Serious Crime in the community presents a whole new challenge. Yamashita creates a range of deliciously eccentric characters and an intricate plot which brilliantly dovetails several strands, all of them spiked with his idiosyncratic humour. The title, incidentally, is explained only in the very last shot.

Dir Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan 2006, 112 mins

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