Review: ‘Kiss Me So Long I Can’t Breathe’

Aself-indulgent Japanese indie that wanders around as much as its leading character, "Kiss Me So Long I Can't Breathe" is an attempt at cross-cultural Asian filmmaking that ends up as totally generic in its inspiration and content. This first effort by Kim Taegwan, a Japanese-born ethnic Korean, won't draw much oxygen beyond hard-core indie fests.

Aself-indulgent Japanese indie that wanders around as much as its leading character, “Kiss Me So Long I Can’t Breathe” is an attempt at cross-cultural Asian filmmaking that ends up as totally generic in its inspiration and content. This first effort by Kim Taegwan, a Japanese-born ethnic Korean, won’t draw much oxygen beyond hard-core indie fests.

Interesting opening has a young yakuza, hyped up prior to a hit, phoning for a call girl to relieve his tension. When she arrives, the pair fall for each other, and the yakuza shows her a photo of his prey. Next day, on another job, the girl recognizes the man in the photo, and also learns that he’s expecting someone to come and kill him. Early indications that the movie may be a very black comedy are unfortunately not fulfilled, and, though writer-director Kim has some fun playing with time and having characters talking to the camera, pic spends far too long running on empty. Perfs are moderate and tech level is satisfactory on a budget.

Kiss Me So Long I Can't Breathe

(JAPAN)

Production

A Zone production. (International sales: Zone, Tokyo.) Produced by Shoichi Kanayama, Kenichiro Sato, Kim Taegwan. Executive producer, Kanayama. Directed, written by Kim Taegwan. Camera (color), Satoshi Maeda; editor, Fukano Toshihide. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 17, 2000. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival.) Original title: Iki mo dekinai nagai kiss. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

With: Atsuki Kato, Toshiya Nakamatsu, Ikkoh Suzuki.
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