Another Lonely Hitman

  • 105'
  • Japan
  • 1995
This moody Osaka blues marked the start of two important collaborations for Mochizuki. One with writer Yamanouchi Yukio, one-time legal adviser to Osaka's notorious Yamaguchi-gumi and other allegedly criminal groups, who is now a prolific purveyor of Yakuza stories and characters in films and manga. The other with the film's main actor Ishibashi Ryo, an ex-punk-rock star who is one of the 'faces' of Japanese cinema in the 1990s - which is no doubt why Kitano Takeshi cast him as the Yakuza branch leader in Kids' Return. Perhaps fortified by their support, Mochizuki turned in his most accomplished film to date: a starkly beautiful neo-film noir.Ishibashi plays Tachibani, a hitman who emerges from a ten-year jail term (served for carrying out the shattering, heroin-charged hit we see in the opening scene) to find the Osaka underworld has very changed. Alienated from the 'new corporatism' and non-plussed by the way that old gang rivalries are now glossed over, he starts trying to go it alone. He makes it his business to wean his new girlfriend off horse (the 'cold turkey' scenes are as noir as these things get) and weed out the dope pushers who are infiltrating his gang's gambling dens. His initiatives raise management hackles, and men are sent to teach him how insignificant he is... (Tony Rayns)
Mochizuki Rokuro
European premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
Original title
Shin Kanashiki Hitman
Chiba Yoshinori, Chiba Yoshiki, Excellent Film Co., Yamaji Hiroshi
GAGA Corporation, Kobayashi Shun