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Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #37. Sion Sono’s Tokyo Tribes

Tokyo Tribes

Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Santa Inoue
Producer: Yoshinori Chiba
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Ryohei Suzuki

While the steadily working Sion Sono’s work ethic may be starting to resemble that of Takashi Miike, as in quantity does not always promise quality, he has more hits than misses (though it picked up the Midnight Madness prize at TIFF last September, his last film, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is an example of his sometimes gonzo excessiveness). His latest reteams him with genre producer Yoshinori Chiba, having worked together on both Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance. It’s the biggest budget project to date for either of them, and when considering its source material (Santa Inoue’s manga), whatever the end product, it will be something to see considering Sono is casting mostly unknowns, comprised of real rappers, tattoo artists, etc and cites that the film will be influenced by Scarface and The Warriors. Oh, and Sono had his cast watch West Side Story prior to filming.

Gist: Five years after the Shibuya riots, the Tribes of Tokyo have been enjoying a period of relative peace, until Kim and two other members of the Musashino Saru intrude on the territory of the Wu-Ronz in Bukuro. Mera, the leader of Wu-Ronz kills the three Saru, under the assumption that they were members of the Shibuya Saru. Two days later, after searching for who killed his friends, Musashino Saru member Kai runs into Mera. Old friends in their high school days, the two get into a confrontation that ends up leaving Tera, the leader of Musashino Saru, dead and setting the stage for violence between the Tribes.

Release Date: The film is on track for a planned summer 2014 release, but should probably see fest play in the fall circuit (Toronto, Venice).

[related]Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2014[/related]

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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