Lesson of the Evil (image 1)

Lesson of the Evil states in no uncertain terms that Miike’s still got guts where it counts — namely, smeared all over the classroom walls.

James Marsh, Twitch

Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

Lesson of the Evil 2012

Aku no kyôten

Directed by Miike Takashi

An astounding return to exploitation from Miike Takashi, one of the world’s most prolific and diverse directors (Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q), with a wickedly gruesome tale of high school evil.

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
129 minutes HDCAM

Director

Producers

Azuma Kôji
,
Saka Misako
,
Mori Tôru

Screenplay

Miike Takashi. Based on the novel by Kishi Yûsuke

Photography

Kita Nobuyasu

Editor

Yamashita Kenji

Production designers

Hayashida Yuji
,
Sakushima Eri

Costume designer

Maeda Yûya

Music

Endô Kôji

With

Itô Hideaki (Hasumi Seiji)
,
Nikaidô Fumi (Katagiri Reika)
,
Sometani Shôta (Hayamizu Keisuke)
,
Hayashi Kento (Maejima Masahiko)
,
Asaka Kôdai (Yuichieo)
,
Mizuno Erina (Yasuhara)
,
Yamada Takayuki (Shibahara Tetsuro)

Festivals

Rome 2012; Rotterdam 2013

Elsewhere

Mr Hasumi, a teacher at a Japanese secondary school, is handsome and charming. However, since this is a film from Miike Takashi, acclaimed auteur of the epic 13 Assassins, the musical For Love’s Sake, and 80 other films, we know there will be more to Hasumi-san than this first impression. Miike reclaims his enfant terrible status (Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q, Fudoh) with this slow-burning tale of elite high school class systems, petty jealousies, childish grudges, and an endless variety of ways to viciously damage teenage egos, as well as their organs. Miike spends half his movie setting up his numerous high school targets and the other half knocking them down in all sorts of horribly gleeful and gratuitous ways. The film is based on a best-selling thriller, which Miike adapts like a mischievous Michael Haneke (Funny Games), preying on his audience’s genre expectations and then making them feel dirty for liking it. — Ant Timpson