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STORY

INTRODUCTION

Masato HARADA: Biography
Masato HARADA: Filmography CAST & STAFF
story

It's 1991, the early morning hours in a small port town where we come across a woman crying softly in the corner of a bar. Ex-detective, Daisuke Nango, and his simpleminded uncle, Shozo Akita, better known as Sho-san, arrive at the bar. It was Nango's fling with a Yakuza's girlfriend that brought on an early retirement from the police force for this smooth-talking, clever cop. Now, he's trying to make a name for himself in show business as "the singing cop."

Sho-san's offer of help to the distraught woman marks the start of a risky business, The "Trouble-shooters", men slightly left of law and order and dedicated to helping others out of tight spots. The woman's son has fled from the Yakuza gang he belonged to with some 10 million yen, (approx. $85,000) in cash. Nango's quick wit and sharp tongue resolves the problem and he somehow manages to turn the tables and have all the Yakuza bowing to him as he leaves their office. The next day, a young Yakuza who witnessed the expertise of Nango the night before, is down on his knees begging to become Nango's disciple.

One week later in Tokyo, Nango can be seen in front of a run-down, confiscated building putting up a sign for his new found company, "Trouble-shooters."

The first formal case is a single mother who cannot control her drug addicted teenage son. Nango's usual method of hard-mouthing and physical violence ends up getting out of hand, with him roughing up the mother as well, and getting a nasty crack to the head for his trouble.

Next, "The Trouble-Shooters" find themselves hunting down a rapist for the Godfather of the Higashiyama Yakuza organization. Koran, a beautiful Asian bar girl, describes a series of rapes which have targeted foreign women in a salon she works at, a carousing spot regularly frequented by the Higashiyama Yakuza family. The rapist doesn't only rape the women, he further humiliates them by shaving their heads and their private parts. What Nango eventually learns about the underworld and himself is shocking.

Masato Harada is the director of the 1994 hit, "Kamikaze Taxi". In "Trouble-Shooters" Harada wanted to portray men adjusting to lives altered by a lingering economic recession", which opened to rave reviews. The present day economic problems of Japan after the bursting of the "bubble economy" are reflected in the empty office buildings and the turmoil within the Yakuza organizations.

One day, Nango and his uncle, Sho-san, happen on a woman being harassed by the Yakuza. With Nango's quick wit and sharp tongue, they help to resolve her problem almost effortlessly. Sho-san is quick not to miss a great opportunity and charges the Yakuza a 'consulting fee' for their services. After a disciple begs to be taken under Nango's wing, Sho-san starts envisioning big profits and the start of a professional consulting company, the "Trouble-Shooters."

Masato HARADA: Biography

Born in 1949 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Masato Harada came to Tokyo after he finished high school intending to become a motion picture director. In 1972 he went to London, England as a language student, and made his opening foray into the world of film from there with his column Last Show for Kinema Junpo magazine.

The following year he moved to Los Angeles, from where as a Golden Globe critic he reported on the latest films from Hollywood and also wrote Hollywood Interview and The Hollywood Movie Express.

Returning to Japan in 1979, he poured his love for the movies into his debut as a director with Goodbye Flickmania: Indian Summer before he returned to Los Angeles and started working as the director of the Japanese versions of such films as Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. Stanley Kubrick's assessment of the subtitles he wrote for the American director's Full Metal Jacket was the single Word, "Great".

He returned to film directing in 1984 with Windy, and in the following years broadened his horizons with such work as the TV Movie Wiretap and the Tough video series.

His film career has not slackened: since Painted Desert in 1993 he has directed one film a year, leading up to his latest, BOUNCE and TROUBLE-SHOOTERS.

Masato HARADA: Filmography

  • 1979 Goodbye Flickmania: Indian summer
  • 1984 Windy (Co-Production: Germany)
  • 1985 Indecent Exposure
  • 1986 Paris-Dakar 15,000 (Documentary Film)
  • 1986 Onyanko: The movie
  • 1987 The Heartbreak Yakuza (Montreal Film Festival)
  • 1988 Gunhed
  • 1990 Taff Part 1: The Beginning
  • 1991 Taff Part 3: Slaughter
  • 1991 Taff Part 4: Harvest of Blood
  • 1993 Painted Desert (Co-Production: USA, London / Tokyo FF)
  • 1994 Kamikaze Taxi (London / Melbourne / Valenciennes FF)
    o Valenciennes Best Director / Special July Prize
    o Mainichi Best Actor / New Actress Award
  • 1995 Trouble with Nango
  • 1996 Rowing Through (CO-Production: Canada)
  • 1997 BOUNCE -ko GALS- (a.k.a. Leaving)
    o Blue Ribbon Best Film / Best Director / New Actress Award
  • 1998 TROUBLE-SHOOTERS

cast&staff

CAST:

  • Koji Matoba as Daisuke Nango
  • Leo Morimoto as Shozo Akita
  • Yuko Fukuda as Koran
  • Hajime Asou as Teru
  • Sachika Kim as Romeo
  • Eiji Oshiro as Juliet
  • Ryo Onoda as George
  • Takashi Sasano as Kaiyama
  • Minako Ogawa as Sayuri Hasegawa
  • Tomohito Ishikawa as Akira
  • Tatsumi Nikamoto as Miyata
  • Ryotaro Muramatsu as Sesshu Akagi
  • Junji Nakayama as Ogawara
  • Ryo Okubo as Misawa
  • Kenichi Yajima as Lawyer
  • Toshi Shioya as Gakuto Seto
  • Fujio Suga as Bansei Higashiyama

STAFF:

Screen Writer / Director: Masato Harada
Producer: Yoshihiro Kimura, Hisao Nabeshima, Nobuaki Izaki
Music: Masahiro Kawasaki
Cinematography: Katsumi Yanagishima
Production Design: Norihiro Isoda
Lighting: Sai Takaya
Sound: Jun Nakamura
Sound Effects: Kenji Shibazaki
Editing: Hirohide Abe

(C)PONYCANYON