Q&A with Ryuichi Hiroki and actor Shota Sometani; Sometani will be presented with the Screen International Rising Star Award

Preceded by a Rising Star Award cocktail hour in the Furman Gallery at 5:00pm, open to all ticket holders!

In Vibrator director Ryuichi Hiroki’s multi-strand drama, a Korean escort, a porn-star college student, a musician, and a policewoman walk into a love hotel and the result is heartbreaking, hilarious, and sexy. Taking place over 24 hours in a Tokyo love hotel, the action focuses on the couplings of various patrons and workers in the famous red-light district. Given Hiroki’s start in indie pink films you might think that this setting represents a return to his roots, but Kabukicho Love Hotel is actually more in line with his recent mainstream melodramas, and more interested in emotional connections than physical ones. Not that there aren’t several racy scenes performed with gusto by the young and attractive cast including pop stars Atsuko Maeda (AKB48) and Roy (5tion), and up-and-comers Shota Sometani (this year’s Screen International Rising Star Award recipient) and Lee Eun-woo (Moebius). Hiroki deftly weaves connections both inane and important between his characters, who are haunted by mistakes and melancholy as they get through the day. An exciting fusion of the director’s softcore beginnings and his latter-day melodramatic tendencies, Kabukicho is a rewarding, steamy, and poignant ensemble drama that looks at the lives of ordinary people in the throes of life-changing events.

Presented with the support of Japan Foundation New York. Images © 2014 Kabukicho Love Hotel Film Partners.