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Eat and Run: 6 Beautiful Grifters

The hits outnumber the duds in "Eat and Run: 6 Beautiful Grifters," a collection of femme-centered tales corralled by cult writer-director Mamoru Oshii ("Ghost in the Shell," "Avalon"), who helms the links between stories.

The hits outnumber the duds in “Eat and Run: 6 Beautiful Grifters,” a collection of femme-centered tales corralled by cult writer-director Mamoru Oshii (“Ghost in the Shell,” “Avalon”), who helms the links between stories. Live-action follow-up to Mamoru’s brain-twisting 2006 anime, “The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters,” “Eat and Run” is a natural for fantasy fests and has some cult-ancillary potential.

Funky idea of manga-influenced tales of women who wheedle free vittles encompasses a range of subjects and genres, but shows a basic intelligence beneath its pulpy exterior. Best is Takanori Tsujimoto’s “The Drunk and the Dead,” with the striking Miki Mizuno (“Sasori”) channeling Sharon Stone as Quick-Draw Miki in a saloon-bar shootout in Japtown, Ariz. Cleverest is Makoto Kamiya’s ’70s-set “The Pop-Music Angel,” with Yuko Ogura as kooky wannabe Crepe Manila Mami, which fans out into a conspiracy yarn about U.S. cultural domination of Japan via TV. Most atmospheric is Kenji Kamiyama’s “Dandelion,” with Kamiyama himself as a diner manager who’s entranced by a mysterious former g.f (Mabuki Ando). Digital-tech credits are generally OK, though the result will look better on the smallscreen, judging by screening caught.

Eat and Run: 6 Beautiful Grifters

Japan

  • Production: A Geneon Entertainment presentation of a DeiZ production. (International sales: Geneon, Tokyo.) Produced by Atsushi Kubo. Executive producer, Yuki Mori. Directed, written by Mamoru Oshii, Kenji Kamiyama, Hiroaki Yuasa, Makoto Kamiya, Takanori Tsujimoto, from an original idea by Oshii.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Keiichi Sakazaki, Yuasa; editors, Yuasa, Junichi Uematsu; music, Kenji Kawai. Reviewed at PiFan Film Festival (World Fantastic Cinema), Bucheon, South Korea, July 20, 2008. (Also in 2007 Tokyo Film Festival -- Japanese Eyes.) Original title: Shin onna tachiguishi retsuden. Running time: 122 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Miki Mizuno, Yuriko Hishimi, Hinako Saeki, Yuko Ogura, Mabuki Ando, Yoko Fujita.
  • Music By: