Lesson Of The Evil

悪の教典 (Japan, 2012)
New York Premiere
128 minutes, HD CAM, in Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by: Takashi Miike
Starring: Takayuki Yamada, Howard Harris, Hideaki Ito, Yukito Nishii

Takeshi Miike serves up blood and guts in high school! Seemingly model teacher Hasumi (heartthrob star Hideaki Ito) harbors a dark past—and homicidal tendencies. When his students pull an all-nighter to complete an art project, he becomes a cooly calculating killing machine, stalking the school hallways in this relentless psycho-thriller.

Japan’s most notorious and unpredictable filmmaker returns to what he knows best in this sensationally violent thriller. Newcomer to the staff of an elite high school, Mr. Hasumi (heartthrob star Hideaki Ito) is a popular and seemingly model teacher. But he harbors a dark past—and homicidal tendencies. And what’s he doing living in a shack in the woods with two crows for company (like Norse God Odin, we are told in voiceover)? Slowly Hasumi turns into the proverbial teacher from hell, employing intimidation tactics, blackmail, and, eventually, murder to keep his pesky students in check. The action slowly builds for the first hour, and then, when the students pull their all-nighter at the school to complete a mammoth art project, Hasumi (and Miike) pull out all the stops, as teacher becomes a cold-blooded killing machine. But wait: Miike assures you there’s a message in the madness: “The superficiality of the peacefulness within the classroom is a reflection of Japanese society. It’s not a true peace. And in the film, I express what actually happens when the illusion on the surface begins to fall apart.”

Monday July 8, 8:30PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets

Thursday July 11, 6:00PM Japan Society Buy Tickets