Making real movies is hard. It has been many years since Tetsuo made his film "The Sow", and now the closest he gets is hanging out with his friend who only produces cheap pornographic films. In an attempt to finally create another movie he finds the perfect actress for the lead role, and a script he truly believes in. The only issue is that Tetsuo is not a good person. He sleeps around with any actress he can find and is a master of destroying the trust they have for him. With the help of a producer he hopes to finally get his movie made...
There are many, many movies being made thanks to Kickstarter, but there are only a few producers/distributors that I trust as much as I trust Adam Torel and Third Window Films. When they announced the campaign for "Lowlife Love", a film they are producing, written and directed by Eiji Uchida (of the fantastic "Greatful Dead"), I knew I had to support it and get myself an early copy. While it is completely different from the twisted "Greatful Dead", it's another great movie all the same.
Director Tetsuo is more focused on sleeping around with actresses than making another movie. Several years ago he made the film "The Sow", but now finds himself unable to get anything made at all. His best friend produces porn that he sells to some dodgy people. Tetsuo is finally set on making a new movie. He's joined by a great writer and a shy newcomer actress. But things are not that easy when you're a scumbag.
Tetsuo wants to get laid more than he wants to make movies. There is a lot to be said about the characters and story of "Lowlife Love". It's equally as much about the struggles of making a movie and your dream come true, as it is about relationships. The movie portrays the struggles of many characters as they fall in love, get sexually attracted to each other, sleep their way to the top (or bottom), fail to keep focus, and the desperation of success. No character struggles as much as our main character Tetsuo, who is seemingly doing everything wrong. And frankly, he deserves it. We don't really like Tetsuo to begin with, but his failures are somewhat appealing, and we just hope that he will learn a lesson. Most of the times he doesn't, but that's all part of Eiji Uchida's evil plan of forcing us to like a bad person.
I love movies about filmmaking, but "Lowlife Love" doesn't have that as its main focus despite that being the plot. Much like last year's "Makeup Room", the characters, their insecurities, failures, and relationships are what matters. You won't see a movie get made in this movie, but you will see people desperately trying. It's not the most realistic depiction of filmmaking because it puts every role in one-sided categories. You know, the stereotypical things: directors are scumbags who only wants to sleep with actors, and actresses will do anything to get a role. This is fine though, because that's how it tells its emotional story.
"Lowlife Love" is often a sad movie, but like with "Greatful Dead" it doesn't forget to be entertaining as well. I'm staying away from calling it a comedy, but it has that recognizable, underlying humor that we love from Japanese cinema and art in general. It certainly helps, because Japanese cinema can be really bleak at times. It's hard to compare directly to "Greatful Dead" because it's a very different beast, but I adored it equally.