Things get a little wacky – Japanese style – at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles as the American Cinematheque presents Takashi Miike’s “Andromedia” and Minoru Kawasaki “The Calamari Wrestler” on December 7th.
“Andromedia” – Director Takashi Miike’s action-packed, sci-fi teen tragicomedy focuses on a young girl, Mai (Hiroko Shimabukuro, singer for J-Pop girl group, Speed) who dies in a traffic accident but is reincarnated on a data chip when her computer whiz dad (Tsunehiko Watase) can’t let go of her memory. Soon goofy, virtual-reality overlord Soccer (played by noted cinematographer Christopher Doyle, of Wong Kar Wai fame) dispatches his screw-loose hitman to steal scientist Watase’s secret at any cost. But Mai’s boyfriend rescues her laptop incarnation and the chase is on, with Mai’s girlfriends (fellow Speed band members Eriko, Hitoe & Takako) lending a hand against the bad guy pursuers.
“The Calamari Wrestler” – Director Minoru Kawasaki, a veteran of the ULTRAMAN TIGA TV series, likes to call himself “Ed Wood, Jr. with talent” and “Japan’s Roger Corman”. This funny, charmingly gonzo wrestling comedy proves his descriptive self-promotion more than apt as a terminally-ill wrestler, with the help of a Buddhist priest, transcends “wordly desires” (read: lust for his ex-grlfriend, Miyako) by transforming into a man-sized squid! A squid who is still obsessed with becoming a champion wrestler, we might add. But backstabbing promoters, unrequited love, and the challenge of the Octopus Wrestler and the “insectoid” Squilla Boxer stand in our hero’s way.
For more info, visit the American Cinematheque website.