Presented by Japan Foundation
Directed by Shinji Hamasaki
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Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2020
Camera Japan Film Festival 2020
Suzu Hirose, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Ryo Yoshizawa
Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Nanase Nobata has resented her father ever since her mother died. Keeping a cold and clearly demarcated distance from dad at home, she vents her anger at night as the singer of death-metal band Soulzz. She wishes her father would drop dead – and now he has. Mr. Nobata, you see, has problems of his own. He suspects treachery within the pharmaceutical company he runs, and to uncover the plot, he has taken a pill that induces two days of temporary death. Things have gone awry, though, as witnessed by salaryman Taku, alias “Ghost” – so unremarkable, he’s invisible. Nanase must team up with her father’s ghost, and “Ghost” as well, to save the company from a takeover – and dad’s mortal body from untimely cremation!
A punchy, playful, pleasingly morbid comedy romp, Shinji Hamasaki’s NOT QUITE DEAD YET mixes up a quick-paced concoction of corporate intrigue, family melodrama, and supernatural silliness. With deft timing, Hamasaki orchestrates an outstanding cast of sympathetic characters. Suzu Hirose, star of the CHIHAYAFURU trilogy, is great as the combative Nanase, with a perfect foil in Ryo Yoshizawa (BLEACH, GINTAMA) as the inconspicuous yet heroic Taku. Shinichi Tsutsumi, a 30-year veteran of Japanese genre cinema, is clearly enjoying himself as Mr. Nobata. And watch for Shota Matsuda (star of HARD ROMANTICKER and AFRO TANAKA) as the oddly old-fashioned Fujii, and the excellent Lily Franky as Hino, the good-natured gatekeeper of the afterlife. Life is short, so be sure this comedy gem is on your bucket list! – Rupert Bottenberg
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