The Black Society Trilogy
Ley Lines

Starring: Kazuki Kitamura, Dan Li and Tomorowo Taguchi
Artsmagic Ltd
RRP 19.99, US $24.95
ATU 007
Certificate: 18 (UK)/Not Rated (US)
Available 31 August 2004

The final film of Miike's
Black Society Trilogy tracks the racial bigotry to the dark heart of Japanese society and bureaucracy. Three boys of mixed race escape to Tokyo from the results of their own misdeeds. Working as drug dealers, they seek to vanish once more, this time from Japan itself. Their search for a way to make their move brings them into contact with the dangerous gang boss, Wong...

Once again, Miike astounds with this compelling and outrageous, yet honest, look at sex and violence on the fringes of society. Ley Lines is a film concerning three young men who are trying to find where they belong. They all decide to leave their hometown and head for Tokyo where they hope that they will be accepted.

It is a lighter film than the first two in the trilogy and it is also funnier. It chooses to focus on their efforts for acceptance and identity. It also focuses on the Chinese immigrants working in Japan and also trying to take over crime operations there, which is something that the director mentions in the other films.

Another recurring theme is sexuality and people with peculiar sexual tastes. The director never judges them. Film wise this is a very good choice. The direction is good and out of the entire trilogy this is the easiest to watch but at the same time it is also the one that will make you turn your nose up.

Extras include a commentary by the now legendary Tom Mes, film notes and trailers. Definitely worth buying; especially if you own the other two films. Complete that collection and own a rather good slice of Japanese film making.

Simon Lee

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