As a drummer, Ari Hoenig s success has been unprecedented. A native of Philadelphia, he began playing drums at age twelve and by age fourteen, he was honing his skills at Philly clubs such as Ortlieb s Jazz Haus. Ari is also a composer, arranger and pianist/keyboardist and In 2005, in affiliation with the National Endowment for the Arts, he was awarded a Meet the Composer grant to perform his compositions with his own group. Currently Ari leads the group Punk Bop, featuring Will Vinson on alto, Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar, Tigran Hamasyan on piano and Danton Boller on bass. His regular Monday night gig at Smalls is a generally sold out affair of young, enthusiastic fans.
In 1978 an Osaka bank was held under siege for 40 hours by a thief, until he was killed by the police – the entire event televised live. Using that drama as a springboard for this film, director Toshiaki Takahashi and writer Takuya Nishioka worked backwards from the death of the thief to how he reached his ill-fated end. Ryudo Uzaki plays Akio Takeda, the eventual petty criminal who was warped early on by an inadequate father. Already slipping into crime as a potential career when still a teenager, Takeda determines that he will do something "really big" before the age of 30. As a first step, he changes his appearance: he gets a tattoo (identifying him as a possible yakusha,) gets an Afro, and starts work as a waiter/bartender in a "hostess" club in Osaka. Soon Takeda is managing the club and having an affair with its most popular woman – but this is not the goal he had in mind a decade earlier. And so he plans the Osaka bank robbery – making more than one fatal mistake before his last act, convinced that a tattoo, a haircut, and an attitude are all he needs to succeed.