“Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.” – Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, 2007).
Murakami’s countrymate, film director and actor Sabu (pictured above), may agree with the author’s quote from his recent memoir since running has been a loose theme upon which several of the director’s films have been based around. Why? The Japan Society in New York City is running a retrospective dubbed Run, Salaryman, Run!, possibly the first ever showcase of the the relatively young (46 years old, to be exact) director’s work.
Sabu (real name: Hiroyuki Tanaka) started in the film industry as an actor, best known to Western audiences as yakuza bodyguard Kaneko in Ichi the Killer (2001) directed by Takashi Miike. This film that would show up on many a 16 year old girl’s Myspace page (according to VCinema co-host Josh, anyway), was far from being his first role in front of the camera and, by that time, had already directed several films behind the camera including his debut Non-Stop (aka Dangan Runner, 1996) which is almost quite literally a 90-minute chase scene on foot, Unlucky Monkey (1997), a slapstick crime caper, and Postman Blues (1997), another caper involving drugs and a missing pinky finger.
The Japan Society will screen the director’s aforementioned films along with Monday (2000), Blessing Bell (2002), Drive (2001), along with Sabu’s most recent effort, Troubleman (2010), a TV movie made for the TV Tokyo network, starting tonight, January 26th and running straight through until February 5th. The director will be in attendance at several of the screenings and Q&As will be given.
If you’re interested in tickets or more information, run down to the Japan Society, located at 333 East 47th in New York or, a little less strenuously, run your browser over to their event page.