North American Premiere

A satirical crime thriller as densely plotted as Putin’s foreign policy, Seventh Code earned the awards for Best Director and Best Technical Contribution at the Rome Film Festival last November. The film follows a kooky, pretty girl (Atsuko Maeda, a hugely popular idol/singer in Japan) as she wanders the mean streets of bleak, post-Soviet Vladivostok. In hot pursuit of hunky businessman Matsunaga (Ryohei Suzuki) who stood her up back in Tokyo one month earlier, she stalks him all the way from Japan into the most godforsaken nooks and crannies of the Siberian port, dragging around her massive suitcase all the while. Not one to take no for an answer, she tries to catch up with him and get a date. But soon, she finds him at a rather shady business meeting, where thugs kidnap her and dump her unceremoniously on the fringes of town. Putting aside his J-horror roots, Kurosawa, after the Cannes award-winning Tokyo Sonata (2008) and the widely praised TV serial/movie Penance (2012), offers a surprising, radical break from an already broad oeuvre with this freewheeling fast-track thriller full of twists and turns involving ungodly deals with Russian mobsters, a failed Japanese restaurant owner (Hiroshi Yamamoto), his Chinese girlfriend (Aissy), a ruined factory where klystron is stored, a mysterious object, and a dreamy pop song, “Loneliness Is the 7th Chord.”

Screening with

Beautiful New Bay Area Project
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2013, 29m