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Takashi Miike, at his most fun and anarchic, brings us the story of Leo (Masataka Kubota), a young boxer  who has just learned he has a brain tumour when he encounters Monica (Sakurako Konishi), a call girl in deep with drugs and the Yakuza. With the criminal underworld imploding due to ferocious in-fighting, these new lovers get caught in the crossfire. Amid the bloodbath, Miike’s blackly comic touches and unexpected stylistic quirks deliver, with the prolific director turning in one of the best films of his illustrious (and infamous) career. 

Those familiar with the wild genre masterclasses of AUDITION and ICHI THE KILLER will feel right at home in this anarchic, full-throttle joyride spanning a single night in Tokyo. 

“...A piece of work so feral and full of life that you’d never guess it was (at least) the 90th feature its director has made in the last 30 years…. [Takashi] Miike hasn’t lost any of his lust for life, and he still finds new ways to surprise.” —David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Hard-boiled and soft-hearted, peopled by characters who are fast with their fists and slow with their wits, FIRST LOVE is mostly remarkable for renewing once again the apparently infinitely renewable resource that is Miike’s filmmaking energy.” —Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Miike puts his foot to the pedal from the opening scenes, maintaining a feverish sense of pace as he introduces the disparate characters who will be swept up in a saga of drugs, double-dealing, dishonour, addiction and the redemptive power of love.” —Allan Hunger, Screen Daily

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and IMDb, as well as through general internet searches.

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