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Kyoko (1996)

R | | Drama | 30 March 1996 (Japan)
1:35 | Trailer

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As a child, Kyoko learned Latin dance from Jose, a Cuban-American serviceman stationed in Japan. Years later, Kyoko travels to New York to see Jose again. After much searching, she finds ... See full summary »


Ryû Murakami


Ryû Murakami
1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Saki Takaoka ... Kyoko
Masayuki Shida Masayuki Shida ... Truck Driver
Patricia Álvarez Patricia Álvarez ... Young Kyoko (as Patricia Álvarez Marin)
Alexander Varona Marrero Alexander Varona Marrero ... Young Jose
Humberto Gettys Humberto Gettys ... Bellman
Bill Stitt Bill Stitt ... Counting Man
Marylyn Bishop Marylyn Bishop ... Woman with dog
Scott Whitehurst ... Ralph
Bradford West Bradford West ... David
Michael Feigin Michael Feigin ... BJ
Jay Baez Jay Baez ... Mark
Al Lopez Al Lopez ... Jorge
Oscar A. Colon Oscar A. Colon ... Uncle Pablo
Fatima Da Silva Fatima Da Silva ... Cocktail Waitress
Carlos Osorio Carlos Osorio ... Jose


As a child, Kyoko learned Latin dance from Jose, a Cuban-American serviceman stationed in Japan. Years later, Kyoko travels to New York to see Jose again. After much searching, she finds Jose, only to discover that he is dying of A.I.D.S. and no longer remembers much of his past, including the time he and Kyoko spent together. His last wish is to return to Miami to be with his family, and so Kyoko agrees to drive him, hoping that somewhere along the way, he will remember her. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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USA | Japan



Release Date:

30 March 1996 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Because of You See more »

Company Credits

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Concorde-New Horizons See more »
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User Reviews

Obscure oddity that's best left forgotten
23 September 2018 | by aps42See all my reviews

Allow me to preface this by saying I thoroughly enjoy several of Ryu Murakami's novels and find his film "Tokyo Decadence" to be a hidden masterpiece of sorts that most have failed to appreciate due to being unable to see past the depravity on display. It features a dark, immersive atmosphere, striking interior and exterior night time photography, effectively bizarre scenes and characters as well as a third act that diverges completely to what came before and reveals/expands on a hidden depth.

That brings us to Kyoko / Because of You / Dance with Me, which I had taken the effort to seek out and import due to curiosity and being impressed with Tokyo Decadence. Unfortunately I've been left thoroughly disappointed to the point of confusion.

Everything in Tokyo Decadence that suggested mastery is missing in Kyoko, everything. Kyoko plays off as amateurish for the duration of its runtime, mostly delivering cringeworthy results, other times, unexpected hilarity.

I really regret not taking notes whilst viewing Kyoko so I could truly convey how awful this movie is, since I have no intention of seeing it again, points from memory will have to do.

The performances in the movie are uniformly terrible, that lead actress Saki Takaoka received any kind of recognition for this role and even awards boggles the mind, this is not to say she is a terrible actress, she may well be a master thespian in her native tongue, unfortunately she can barely pronounce an English sentence with any kind of coherence and it's genuinely painful to watch, equally painful to say is that she is a mediocre dancer at best - the little girl in the brief flashback scenes even outdoes her in this department, she does have a charming, childlike naivety in a handful of scenes but that's the absolute most positive thing I can say about her in this film.

One scene toward the end of the first act is seriously reminiscent of something out of a David Lynch film, Kyoko is at a bar with an obsessive chauffeur and the barman who is a native English speaker talks in "Engrish" throughout the whole scene, Kyoko then dances in stilted fashion with cuts to bar patrons watching like mannequins - the scene is one of the highlights of the movie and is truly bizarre.

The cinematography is flat, amateurish and often poorly lit, it's hard to believe Murakami's previous film was shot so well and was followed up by this, it's a truly dull looking film.

I suspect the language barrier and ultra low budget is what resulted in Kyoko being such a misfire, if this is to be Murakami's final directorial effort it's a great shame when he could've just stopped at Tokyo Decadence. Some moments of unintentional humour may make this a worthwhile oddity for some but mostly it is just painful to sit through.

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