10 items from 2015
Aki Akahori (Ayako Fujitani) is a successful mystery author from Japan who has decided to call it quits on her current book tour. She tells no one and instead simply absconds to San Francisco to hide out and catch her breath, but it’s a handsome stranger named Akira (Kazuki Kitamura) who catches her eye instead. They spend the night together, and he disappears the next day. His abrupt exit combined with the suitcase he left behind triggers her nose for mystery, but as a trio of curious strangers begins circling she realizes too late that this is one mystery with an ending out of her hands. Running parallel to Aki’s amateur sleuthing is a slightly more official investigation by nearby Sheriff Paul Del Moral (Pepe Serna) that begins when he accidentally hits a man with his car after the Bay area’s infamous fog rolls inland. The victim survives but disappears from the hospital without »
- Rob Hunter
Visually, Man From Reno looks like the year’s best mystery thriller. Much of it is set in San Francisco, that twisty, foggy city by the sea that has housed the works of Raymond Chandler and Alfred Hitchcock. Several sequences within Dave Boyle’s film have the olive green tinted lighting of a David Fincher flick, and that director’s fascination with laying out the details of a dense investigation is also replicated here.
Boyle’s screenplay, which he co-wrote with Joel Clark and Michael Lerman, pays tribute to the wit and panache of classic sleuths. Both of the film’s detective protagonists are conventional in the classical way: one is a sly, intelligent woman trying to flee her past, the other an old time sheriff of a small town with a creased face and fatigued voice.
Unfortunately, Boyle’s beautifully lensed pastiche is less the sum of its parts, »
- Jordan Adler
While everyone knows the ingredients of film noir, putting them together and adding just the right twist on top, is an art few can achieve. It seems Dave Boyle’s “Man From Reno” manages the feat. Our critic called the neo-noir "stellar pulp storytelling," and today we have an exclusive clip from the picture. Starring Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna and Kazuki Kitamura, the story is set just outside of San Francisco, and follows the colliding fates of a Sheriff, the Japanese pedestrian he accidentally hits with his car, a Japanese mystery writer, and her lover who suddenly disappears. As you'll see in this moody scene, nothing is quite as it seems, with an eeriness that hangs over an otherwise passionate moment. "Man From Reno" is now playing in limited release. Watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
There’s a light touch to much of Dave Boyle’s modern-noir Man from Reno, eschewing the usual aesthetic trappings of the genre, lulling the viewer into a false sense of comfort before inevitably pulling the rug out from under. The movie opens in the fog and climaxes on a sunny dock, rendering the so-called ambience of film-noir moot. The notion here that a noir doesn’t have to be set in run down alleys and shadowy high-contrast rooms and smoky bars to suggest something corrupt and malicious; a sunny dock and a warmly-lit hotel-room hold just as much, if not more, sinister intent. There’s something downright transgressive about using San Francisco in such a manner, the city that gave birth to the quintessential noirs The Lady From Shanghai & The Maltese Falcon now repurposed as their aesthetic counterpart. Two entwining storylines compete for attention. In the first, a successful »
- Tommy Cook
Dave Boyle’s “Man From Reno” is the type of film where alleyways are home offices, every bar matchbox has an unknown number inside, and if a character enters a bookshop, you better believe old issues of “True Detective” are hanging visibly in frame. Boyle, who previously made festival favorite “White on Rice," plunges his first genre entry into the annals of film noir. This is stellar pulp storytelling with a twist, blending fine performances from Ayako Fujitani (“Tokyo!”) and Pepe Serna (“Scarface”) with an evocative view of California’s Bay Area. Placed somewhere between “The Big Sleep” and “Chan is Missing” — Wayne Wang’s 1982 independent neo-noir about two Chinese taxi drivers scouring San Francisco for stolen money — the film shares aspects of Wang’s take on the genre. Both films explore the coastal city from a little-seen perspective, here delving into its Japanese-American community with a unique eye. 'Reno' »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Reno 911: Boyle’s Indie Neo-Noir an Enjoyable Pulpy Exercise
For his fifth feature, indie filmmaker Dave Boyle pays homage to film noir tropes with his twisty, engaging Man From Reno. Along the lines of the light, comically inclined indie sleuthing of Aaron Katz’s Portland set Cold Weather (2010), Boyle gives noir a fresh face in the culturally ambiguous city of San Francisco. Though not all of its tangential elements feel quite successful, Boyle’s screenplay, co-written with his regular collaborators Michael Lerman and Joel Clark, features an unpredictably dark third act that more resolutely recalls the films it’s inspired by than most of its modern counterparts.
Recently escaping from a book tour back home in Japan, famed pulpy mystery author Aki (Ayako Fujitano) finds herself alone in San Francisco while her disappearance causes a dramatic furor. She runs into a sexy stranger who calls himself Akira (Kazuki Kitamura »
- Nicholas Bell
In this exclusive clip from Dave Boyle’s Man From Reno, (Eleven Arts, March 27th) Pepe Serna’s character of Sheriff Paul Del Moral is to say the least, implicated and deeply submerged in a swerving tale of romance and mystery. Nominated for the Indie Spirits’ John Cassavetes Award, Boyle’s fifth feature also stars Ayako Fujitani and Kazuki Kitamura. Here are the screening dates, and clip below.
- Eric Lavallee
Man From Reno (2014) Film Review, a movie directed by Dave Boyle, and starring Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna, Kazuki Kitamura,Yasuyo Shiba, Hiroshi Watanabe, Tetsuo Kuramochi, Yuki Matsuzaki, Shiori Ideta, Elisha Skorman, Masami Kosaka, Rome Kanda, Ross Turner, Thomas Cokenias, Geo Epsilanty and Ron Eliot The dim light of a [...]
Continue reading: Film Review: Man From Reno (2014): A Unique Take On Neo-Noir »
- Victor Stiff
Gravitas Ventures has taken North American rights to Dave Boyle's thriller "Man From Reno," nominated for the John Cassavates Award at this year's Independent Spirit Awards. Here's the synopsis: "The wonderfully evocative film unfolds like a deliciously prepared riddle with a story that involves the intersection of three unlikely characters: an aging but still dogged sheriff of a small farming town on the outskirts of San Francisco, a reclusive yet popular writer who harbors a deep secret that would shock her fans and a mysterious drifter -- the eponymous Man from Reno. " The cast includes Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna, Hiroshi Watanabe and Kazuki Kitamura. "Man From Reno" won the La Film Festival's Best Dramatic Feature prize, the San Diego Asian Film Festival's Narrative Feature prize and more. Screen Daily calls it "A stylishly made genre film that revels in its old-fashioned sense of mystery and suspense" and THR reports, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
A Japanese crime novelist and a small town sheriff collide in the new trailer for Dave Boyle's "Man From Reno." A murder mystery told through a neo-noir lens, the film centers on author Aki Akahori, who begins a romantic affair with a mysterious Japanese traveller from Reno who is staying in the same San Francisco hotel. Her new lover is charismatic and charming but abruptly disappears from the hotel, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions that lead directly to a sheriff with a similar ambiguous mystery. Starring Ayako Fujitani ("Tokyo!") Pepe Serna ("Scarface") and Kazuki Kitamura ("The Raid 2"), "Man From Reno" won the Best Narrative Feature prize at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and is currently a John Cassavetes Award nominee at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Film hits New York and Los Angeles theaters on March 27 before expanding to additional markets on April 10. Watch. »
- Zack Sharf
10 items from 2015
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