FTV:4: The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979) 10.
Going round the sun for 2 and a half hours, co-writer/(with Leonard “brother of Paul” Schrader ) director Kazuhiko Hasegawa & cinematographer Tatsuo Suzuki keep the rotation topsy-turvy with a thrilling ease to slide genres/styles around, from ultra-stylised multi-coloured, zany Comedy Pop-Art hopping to Kido stealing the nuke, transforming into a gritty close-ups smash-cut car chase and of a cop going nuclear on Kido. Holding the nuke over a long period, Hasegawa finely balances a bright off-beat Comedy atmosphere with vast-wide shots tracking the cops following Kido’s demands,and their attempts to pick him from out of a crowd.
Taking the sun to bed with him, the screenplay by Hasegawa and Schrader develops the characterisation of Kido with a refreshing zest, bringing out in the sparkling Black Comedy dialogue Kido’s friendly, but peculiar nature, whose stealing of a nuke takes him from being a loner up to his own devices, to Kido stretching out his hand for some level of friendship owing to the nuke.Powered by a wondrous genre bending taking in fears of nukes and promises of the Rolling Stones playing in Japan, the writers keep sending out curve balls,which act to switch gears,and at the same time increase Kido’s fever from the simmering comedic,into a thunderous, fabulous boiling point ending. Holding the whole nuke in his hands,Kenji Sawada gives a excellent performance as Kido, who Sawada trims from lively and chirpy to shacking with sickness,and ringing radio shows for advice from listeners over what he should do,as the man who stole the sun.