The Outer Way
Time Out saysOnly Mochizuki could have come up with a Buddhist deconstruction of the yakuza movie. Himuro (Haku Ryu at his best since Kitano's Violent Cop) is fired by his police superiors as a scapegoat for their complicity with sokaiya racketeers. This pale rider fetches up in a small town by the sea and soon figures out what makes the community tick: a mix of bent politics, dodgy religion, Internet porn, disorganised crime and a little marijuana cultivation on the side. He befriends the mysterious local 'garbageman' Kuwata (butoh star Maro) and the self-hating Mika (Kanetani), who becomes his lover. With an assist from Kuwata, Himuro does weed the yakuza patch and sort out the scumbag politician who is the centre of the local moral vacuum. But he's no angelic scourge, being as mired in corruption as anyone else. As ambiguous moral fables go, this is in the same league as Pasolini's Theorem. The amazing score (based on Buddhist music and chants) is by Koji Endo.