Kamikaze Girls

Kamikaze Girls

4.5 9
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima

Cast: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya

     
 

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Japanese pop stars Kyôko Fukada (of Takeshi Kitano's Dolls) and Anna Tsuchiya star as the titular hellraisers of writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima's coming-of-age fantasy comedy Kamikaze Girls. The film opens with an animated segment, then switches to live action as Momoko (Fukada), wearing a frilly white dress, is sent flying from her scooter by aSee more details below

Overview

Japanese pop stars Kyôko Fukada (of Takeshi Kitano's Dolls) and Anna Tsuchiya star as the titular hellraisers of writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima's coming-of-age fantasy comedy Kamikaze Girls. The film opens with an animated segment, then switches to live action as Momoko (Fukada), wearing a frilly white dress, is sent flying from her scooter by a high-speed collision with a cabbage truck. Flying through the air in slow motion, Momoko reflects on her life, as the film flashes back to the Rococo era in France, the time and place in which the spacy teen wishes she'd lived. Soon we're back in more recent times, as Momoko recounts her parents' first meeting in a back alley, her birth, and her mother's subsequent abandonment of her failed yakuza father for the obstetrician who delivered Momoko. As a teen, Momoko dresses in the girly Lolita style, carries a parasol, and lives in the country, pining for Tokyo and her favorite clothing store, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Disgusted by the slovenly, unfashionable bumpkins that surround her, who buy all their clothing from the local Walmart-style superstore, Momoko retreats into herself and her fantasies. While trying to raise money to support her expensive tastes, she encounters Ichigo (Tsuchiya), a "Yanki" roughneck biker gang member, who expresses herself through spitting and violent headbutting. Momoko is naturally repulsed at first, but the two girls gradually form an unlikely friendship and make a wealth of discoveries about themselves as they travel to Tokyo together in search of a legendary tailor to make Ichigo a special jacket to honor her gang leader's retirement. Kamikaze Girls was shown at Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival in 2005.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Kamikaze Girls is a super-stylized, fast-paced romp. Sharp-wittedly reflexive, culturally specific, and unabashedly fun, the film breaks new ground, not with its nonstop barrage of slick cinematic ideas, but with its heart and humanity. Unlike most exercises in movie-love pastiche (Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saga springs immediately to mind), Kamikaze Girls offers a surprising degree of genuine emotional involvement in the lives of its two protagonists and their budding friendship. Unlike most films about teen-girl friendship, Kamikaze Girls doesn't get distracted by boys. Refreshingly, the film's one romantic subplot is comically dispensed with in a few short scenes, leaving the primary focus on the hilariously incongruous bond that develops between quiet, devotedly girly Momoko (Kyôko Fukada), who would never think of wearing trousers or eating anything that wasn't sweet, and the gruff, husky-voiced biker chick Ichigo, played with a touching underlying soulfulness by Anna Tsuchiya. One might expect Momoko to be the pursuer in their relationship, but she sees herself as completely self-sufficient. When Ichigo, in asking for Momoko's help, refers to them as "friends," Momoko responds by buying the despondent biker a cabbage, telling her, "This is your friend," and sauntering off. Of course, the frequent flying kicks and headbutts Ichigo relishes upon her new playmate do little to win her heart. There's a surfeit of quirky supporting characters and subplots, all presented with visual relish, but it all comes together because writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima and his superb lead actresses truly seem to love and understand these girls in all their misguided glory. Their stylistic obsessions may initially seem bizarre to Western viewers, but that specificity and attention to detail actually help Kamikaze Girls transcend both nationality and genre and find a universal appeal.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2006
UPC:
0782009234517
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
Viz Media
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Kyoko Fukada / Anna Tsuchiya interview; Original Japanese trailers; Anna Tsuchiya music clip; Sideways mode; Dolby 5.1 Digital audio

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Kamikaze Girls
1. Chapter 1 [:01]
2. Chapter 2 [4:47]
3. Chapter 3 [:24]
4. Chapter 4 [:59]
5. Chapter 5 [:57]
6. Chapter 6 [6:14]
7. Chapter 7 [1:50]
8. Chapter 8 [1:49]
9. Chapter 9 [2:59]
10. Chapter 10 [3:08]
11. Chapter 11 [:23]
12. Chapter 12 [4:07]
13. Chapter 13 [3:36]
14. Chapter 14 [1:23]
15. Chapter 15 [3:44]
16. Chapter 16 [1:42]

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