Tokyo Fist

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Institute History


Flying from the screen in a tidal wave of pummeling fists, blood-spurting noses, and unbridled eroticism, Tokyo Fist is a masterpiece of style and substance from one of Asia’s most exciting young talents. Shinya Tsukamoto confirms his reputation as a visionary filmmaker, conscious of the innate brutality of modern urban life. Although he has moved away from the trappings of his Tetsuo cyberpics, he retains the idiosyncratic pacing and shocking violence of his earlier films. Here he has added a new layer of sophistication, both visually and emotionally, while still confronting issues of modern malaise, making this one of the year’s richest and most original cinematic experiences. A businessman, Tsuda—played by Shinya himself—works at a massive insurance company in Tokyo. Although he is enjoying great success, his mind is beginning to wander. Meanwhile, he is planning to marry his eccentric girlfriend, Hizuru.

In the subway Tsuda runs into an old classmate, Takuji. Once close to him, Tsuda is now distant and awkward. He learns that Takuji is making his living as a small-time boxer. A few days later, Tsuda finds Takuji in his apartment, talking to Hizuru. Takuji returns two days later and makes a pass at Hizuru. Consumed with rage, Tsuda begins a spiral of violence that engulfs all three. Events proceed rapidly as the boxing ring is used for bloody grudge matches, and revelations from the past prompt painful body piercings and self-inflicted violence.

— Noah Cowan, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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