Monthly Archives: January 2014
KEY OF LIFE
DIRECTED BY KENJI UCHIDA
JAPANESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 128 MIN
Key of Life is a delightful comedy by Kenji Uchida who was nominated for best screen play by the Japanese equivalent of our Oscar Award. Official selection of the Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festival. Maggie Lee of Variety calls Key of Life, “Breezy rhythm, witty dialogue and excellent thesping chemistry…a chessboard of ingenious subplots!” Full Review
A case of stolen identity and one determined bride-to-be intersect in this comedic escapade from famed Japanese filmmaker Kenji Uchida. Struggling actor Sakurai is out of work, out of luck and can’t even succeed at taking his own life. When a mysterious man slips and falls at the bathhouse, Sakurai switches locker keys and identities with the man, who turns out to be a hit man named Kondo. His memory lost in the fall, Kondo begins piecing ‘his’ life as Sakurai back together with the help of Kanae, a young woman he meets in the hospital, who is determined to find a husband. Meanwhile, Sakurai, posing as Kondo, incurs the wrath of ornery gangsters. As the truth about Kondo and Sakurai comes to light, they must scramble to resolve the chaos of this topsy turvy chain of events.
Kenji Uchida – Director
Uchida graduated from San Francisco State University’s cinema program in 1998, where he learned screenwriting and film production in everything from 8mm to 35mm. After returning to Japan, he made the independent comedy Weekend Blues, which won the Grand Prize at the 24th Pia Film Festival. This also earned Uchida the PFF scholarship, which financed his first theatrically released feature, A Stranger of Mine. The film also won four awards at Critic’s Week in Cannes, 2005.
After a couple years of intense planning and writing, Uchida made After School, another meticulously plotted, innovative piece of story telling. Both this and Key of Life garnered Uchida nominations for best screenplay at the Japanese Academy Awards.