a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

A Road Stained Crimson / Akai Kisetsu / 赤い季節

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Professional killer Ken (Hirofumi Arai) works at a motorcycle shop, trying to make a break with his past life with fellow former assassin Yoko (Jun Fubuki). But another fellow baddy, who’s still loutishly bad, Akira (Jun Murakami) keeps bugging them to get back in the game. As one would expect with this setup things go from bad to worse. By the end everyone is dead and the audience breathes a sigh of relief that there won’t be a sequel. Here’s a case where a wonderful bunch of character actors have some fun in an over-the-top story and nothing works. The fault for Akai Kisetsu’s monumental fail can be firmly laid at the hands of first-time director and screenwriter Tetsuhiko Nono. First off he doesn’t seem to realize that his work is pure camp. He only allows two options for performance – blank slate and scene chewing. The blank-slaters aren’t allowed to be cool enough. The scene-chewers are taken to seriously. Nono seems to think that Harley’s are cool bikes. That’s how uncool and misguided he is.

Originally published in EL Magazine, September 2012


Here’s a song I wrote about the movie.

Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

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