Makoto Kido (played by Japanese rock star Kenji Sawada) is a hip, long-haired, high-school science teacher who loves chewing gum. Yamashita (Bunta Sugawara) is the buzz-cut-sporting detective who loves chewing scenery. When Makoto is caught up in a school-bus hijacking, Yamashita rescues him, but their haircuts predestine the two to be rivals. Makoto soon decides he wants to hold the world hostage by building an atomic bomb, and assumes the nom de terrorist “Nine.” He teams up with a pretty but idiotic radio-show host who calls herself Zero (Kimiko Ikegami) and the pair make increasingly odd demands, including trying to get the Rolling Stones to play in Tokyo. Yamashita won’t stand for these sort of shenanigans in his city and he forms a one-man army to stop them. Co-written by Hasegawa and Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader’s brother, the film rocks back and forth from political commentary to full-blown action movie with jaw-dropping stunts, macho men who are unharmed by explosions or falls from great heights, and blacker than black humor. A ballsy satire that descends into the unexpected, The Man Who Stole The Sun is a hard-to-see cult classic.

Presented with the support of Japan Foundation New York. Print courtesy of the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute.