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Shabondama Elegy (1999)

A man condemned to death and on the run has a last intense sexual relationship with a porn actress.


Aryan Kaganof (as Ian Kerkhof)


Aryan Kaganof (as Ian Kerkhof)

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Cast overview:
Thom Hoffman ... Jack / Criminal
Mai Hoshino Mai Hoshino ... Keiko / pornstar
Hisayasu Satô ... Police Detective
Yôji Tanaka Yôji Tanaka ... Yakuza Boss
Tomoyuki Yamazaki Tomoyuki Yamazaki ... Keiko's father
Kiyomi Itô Kiyomi Itô ... Reiko
Yuuji Kitano Yuuji Kitano ... Kitano
Kozo Matsumoto Kozo Matsumoto ... Psychiatrist (as Kôzô Matsumoto)
Terunori Miyazaki Terunori Miyazaki ... Hitman
Nozomi Shitara Nozomi Shitara ... Keiko / child
Hiroshi Hiroshi ... Bodyguard


Escaping from the Japanese police, Jack stumbles into a bar, where he meets Keiko, a money-hungry 20-year-old adult film actress and the younger sister of his ex-wife. He takes refuge in her flat and soon they fall in love. He is unable to leave her apartment because he quickly learns that both the police and the dreaded yakuza are after him. He grows distraught and despondent, spending hour upon hour alone as she works long hours on the set. At one point, she visits the yakuza don who placed the hit on Jack and agrees to hand him over in exchange for a pile of cash. But she has one stipulation: she wants spend three days with her soon-to-be deceased lover. The boss agrees only if she engages in kinky sex with him. The deal seems set until unforeseen events occur. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Romance | Thriller




Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


Netherlands | Japan


Dutch | Japanese | English

Release Date:

9 September 1999 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Elegy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kuki, Stance Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Features Fingered (1988) See more »


Water In The Fuel
from Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline
Performed by Fred Eaglesmith
Written by Fred Eaglesmith
(P) 1997 Bash music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Razor & Tie Entertainment LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

hard to watch but a masterpiece!
4 April 2002 | by shiryuoSee all my reviews

okay, i've seen this film only on video, so i don't know how/if it works on a big screen. anyway, shabondama elegy is something really unique, a crazy mixture of yakuza and romance filled with strange colours, cutting techniques and inventive camera angles; like Ian Kerkhof is as usual. the story is really hard to follow, it took me 5 times watching it and i'm still not sure if i understood everything. the film's beginning is quite normal though. tom hoffmann is arrested by the cops in tokyo (probably because of drugs) and by a chance he manages to escape. after picking up a girl (mai hoshino)in a nightclub in shinjuku, he stays at her place because the cops and the yakuza are both after him. at this point, the film gets really hard to watch, ian kerkhof does his best to deconstruct the storyline and alienates the images in any possible way. in the end, jack gets shot. sounds a bit spoiling now but it's not really because you see the showdown already in the first 10 minutes, so you know the end in advance even before you've seen the whole. sometimes you see keiko (mai hoshino)telling her story as if it was a flashback, the film ends with the opening sequence. it's like david lynch with a videocam dropping acid in tokyo, the film is free of any clichés and conventions, it should be considered like abstract video art. you just can't put it in any category, and i think this is what ian kerkhof intended. already because of this, the film gets 10 to 10, it is something i haven't seen before. and i've seen lots of betacam-trash films. o.k. the sound recording isn't the best and the dialogues are senseless, but there is still ian kerkhof's brillant camera work and a very well told, lyrical story. i liked it specially because of its ambition to create something new. i think it must be considered from this point of view. so i suggest to watch it for a second time and again and again, you'll always gonna find something new.

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