RYUHEI KITAMURA is one of cinema's most scintillating action directors. His slick ultra stylized, visually explosive action-packed films Versus and Alive already seared our Midnight Madness screens in the past, and it's with truly rabid  anticipation we await his newest display of mayhem and carnage!

Kitamura is keen to note that his new film contains emotionally complex characters -- making for a promising impact on both psychological and visceral levels!

Fellow Midnight Madness Blogger Sanjay and I Voltroned up and got a chance to ask Kitamura about his Midnight Madness contender No One Lives.

MM: Please describe your transition from the Japanese film industry to working in the American film industry. What were the key differences in working in the US system, based on what you had been used to?
Making movie is all about your vision and how to communicate with your crew, actors and producers. I didn't feel it was that much difference. 
I've been outsider film maker in Japan anyway.
Of course there's 100 times more control, micro management from producers, studio and financiers, but I guess that's how it works in Hollywood and you just have to deal with it and somehow keep your vision and style.
Movie making is tough job no matter what where you are or how big.I'm highly motivated and focused and always will find a way to survive.
Anti-heroes seem to be another of your trademark styles. What are your influences in developing these kinds of characters?
Your films often have evenly matched protagonists and antagonists, in that they both often are hyper skilled in their particular disciplines of attack, making for over the top visual spectacles and show downs. In Arigami, your whole movie is based on one epic fight! What do you consider when creating these sequences to balance the action between your heroes and villains?

My Action and Visual style are what makes it my movie,but to me it's all about characters.  I'm not interested in making movie just with action and gore. 

Interesting characters, emotion and story are the key. I'm always more attracted by villains.  Without great villains there will be no heroes. After all I'm a director of VERSUS,  and I'm just so fascinated by fighting, samurai, showdown, code of honor... Great Japanese Samurai movies had it and I'm always trying to bring samurai spirit, even when I'm making American horror movies.

With this film backed by WWE Studios, there's rumors that there are wrestlers involved. In Midnight Meat Train, there's that iconic fight scene on the subway with MMA fighter Rampage Jackson! How do you like working with sports-performers, and how do you find them different from regular actors?
Not only Rampage Jackson, I worked with great MMA fighters, Don Frye, Masakatsu Funaki etc... 
They know how to fight, how to move, how to show themselves, how to grab audiences... That's all I need for my movie. 
They are true warriors and I will keep discovering fighters for my movies.
What makes No One Lives different from other films in the genre?
He's Jason Bourne meets Hannibal Lecter.  He's man on mission and has tons of ideas and techniques to kill people.  Nothing can stop him get what he wants.  
And he's doing it all for love.  So twisted and supercool.
What attracted you to the project?
The script Dave Cohen wrote was so powerful. It's not just about killing, blood and guts but also very psychological and emotional in a twisted way.  It was simply irresistible.

There you have it.  One more thought about the title! After seeing his action packed film Alive (spoiler: a lot of people die horribly) With a title like No One Lives,  from THIS director, I'm inclined to think that yeah, probably not!

We'll have to find out when it screens at MM!

Sat., Sept 8th, 11:59 PM RYERSON Mon., Sept 10th, 9:45 PM CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 7 Fri., Sept 14th, 4:45 PM CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 6

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