Miike’s ‘First Love’ Now Playing at Nuart

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“First Love,” directed by Takashi Miike, is now playing at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. (just west of the 405 Freeway) in West Los Angeles, through Thursday, Oct. 3.

Prolific action auteur Miike (“Blade of the Immortal,” “13 Assassins,” “Ichi the Killer,” “Audition”) returns with one of his most fun and action-packed films, marked by high-energy mayhem and breakneck pacing.

“First Love” is a noir-tinged yakuza thriller blending genres as it tells the story of Leo (Masataka Kubota), a promising but aimless young boxer, who discovers something to fight for when he encounters Yuri (Sakurako Konishi), a beautiful young woman on the run, and on impulse rescues her. Yuri, literally haunted by the ghost of her no-good father, has been forced into prostitution for a local gang boss to pay off her father’s debts.

The duo fall passionately in love while getting innocently caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo. Baby-faced gangster Kase (Shota Sometani) has decided to double-cross his boss and hijack a big drug shipment with the connivance of a corrupt cop. But after killing the courier they lose the drugs, and multiple parties all chase after it, including Julie (Becky), the ferociously bloodthirsty girlfriend of the slain courier, bent on vengeance.

Showtimes: 12:20, 2:40, 5, 7:20 and 9:35 p.m. In Japanese and Mandarin with English subtitles. Not rated.

The Sept. 27 showing will be followed at 11:59 p.m. by “Vampire Hunter D” (1985), directed by Toyoo Ashida, an epic animated fantasy that spawned multiple sequels and helped launch the anime revolution.

For more information, call (310) 473-8530 or visit: https://landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles/nuart-theatre/

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