Koki Mitani Returns With THE MAGIC HOUR!

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Koki Mitani is one of the great under appreciated talents of world film, the Japanese writer-director behind Uchouten Hotel aka Suite Dreams and The University of Laughs, quietly creating a library of films that are smart, elegant, charming and, most of all, very very funny. He's a distinctly Japanese director who makes films that feel like they belong to the golden age of Hollywood, with Koji Yakusho starring in the Clark Gable role for his previous two efforts, and it's this sort of out-of-time prowess that makes him both so impressive and also has led to him being so overlooked since far too many Japanese film fans are only interested in either the high art or extreme pulp output of that country and Mitani provides neither.

So, yes, I'm a fan and a new Mitani film is a reason to celebrate. A mitani film about an actor hired to impersonate a hitman? That's genius. It's The Magic Hour and it stars Satoshi Tsumabuki and Koichi Sato, with Tsumabuki as a gangster who promises to hire a famous hit man for the gang to save face after a wee indiscretion with the boss' wife and, when he can't find the real thing, hires an actor (Sato) to impersonate the hitman instead. The trailers are stellar and Nippon Cinema has them.

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