(Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, 2003, 112 min, Thailand/Japan, in Thai, Japanese, English, with English subtitles, color, 35mm)
Introduction by Prof. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke)
A story of two very different people coming together in the wake of personal tragedies, Last Life in the Universe stars Tadanobu Asano as Kenji, a quiet, bespectacled Japanese librarian living in Bangkok. Obsessed with suicide, he meticulously stages ways to kill himself, only to be interrupted every time. One night, his more raucous brother shows up for an unexpected visit, accompanied by a yakuza gangster. A gunfight breaks out, leaving both visitors dead. Kenji ventures out into the night and happens upon Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak), a feisty bargirl whose sister has just died in an accident following a fight over their shared boyfriend. Kenji accompanies Noi to her sprawling, dilapidated house in the country, where a relationship develops despite their language barrier and clashing personalities, until another twist of fate threatens to tear them apart.
Sponsored by Duke’s Program in the Arts of the Moving Image, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.
DATE: April 2, 2013
LOCATION: Griffith Film Theater, Bryan Center, Duke