Reel Life: Based on Truth and Lies

Reel Life: Based on Truth and Lies

An exclusive curated collection where “real” life becomes “reel” life, explore the line between fact and fiction that often gets fuzzy when creating a biopic or telling the story of actual events on film in ‘Reel Life: Based on Truth and Lies’.

Fronted by 2005’s The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides, Fay Efrosini Lellios’ film about the last of the proletariat poets, Reel Life also features films and documentaries based on or inspired by the shock rocker who claimed he shot Kurt Cobain; English, American and Australian serial killers; the nordic black metal band, Mayhem; a Canadian indie filmmaker, Picasso and even Yakuza crime bosses!

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Reel Life: Based on Truth and Lies
  • The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides

    A celebration of the life of singular artist, A.I. Bezzerides; novelist, screenwriter, contemporary of William Faulkner and John Fante, and the last of the proletariat poets.

  • The El Duce Tapes

    In the early 90s, aspiring filmmaker (and General Hospital co-star) Ryan Sexton lugged a giant camcorder into some of the seediest clubs and filthiest apartments in Hollywood. There he filmed hour upon hour of VHS footage of the jaw-droppingly offensive Shock Rock band The Mentors, focusing on th...

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

    1986 • United States • Directed by John McNaughton

    Widely heralded as one of the greatest serial killer movies of all time, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer presents a bleak and unflinching dive into the mind of a mass murderer. Recently released from prison, the nomadic Henry (Michael Rooker,...

  • Cold Light of Day

    February, 1983. Detectives are called to a residential address in the London suburbs following reports that the drains have been clogged by human remains. One of the property’s residents, Dennis Nilsen – a mild-mannered and unassuming civil servant – is brought in for questioning, leading to the ...

  • Graveyard of Honor (1975)

    Set during the turbulent post-war years, Fukasaku's original 1975 film charts the rise and fall of real-life gangster Rikio Ishikawa (Tetsuya Watari, Outlaw Gangster VIP). Shot through with the same stark realism and quasi-documentarian approach as Fukasaku's earlier Battles Without Honor and Hum...

  • Graveyard of Honor (2002)

    Miike's 2002 retelling transplants the story to Tokyo at the turn of the millennium. Less a direct remake of Fukasaku's film than a radical reimagining of the same overarching premise, Miike's film captures both the hedonism and nihilism of the modern Japanese crime scene in deliriously stylish f...

  • Coup d'État

    Coup d'Etat returns to the past for a biopic of Ikki Kita, the right-wing extremist who sought to overthrow the government in 1936. Yoshida considered the film to be the culmination of his work, promptly retiring from feature filmmaking following its completion.

  • Wake Up and Kill

    During the 1960s Luciano Lutring committed more than one hundred armed robberies in Italy and on the French Riviera. To the media he was the ‘machine gun soloist’, a name he’d earned as he kept his weapon in a violin case. To the public he was a Robin Hood figure, one who only targeted the wealth...

  • Cops vs Thugs

    Considered by many to be director Kinji Fukasaku's greatest single-film achievement in the yakuza genre, Cops vs Thugs was made at the height of popularity of Toei Studios' jitsuroku boom: realistic, modern crime movies based on true stories taken from contemporary headlines. Returning to the scr...

  • Hiroshima

    Hiroshima (1953) is a powerful evocation of the devastation wrought by the world's first deployment of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, based on the written eye-witness accounts of its child survivors compiled by Dr. Arata Osada for the 1951 book Children Of The A Bomb: Testament Of The Boys An...

  • Gangster VIP

    Tetsuya Watari stars in this film as Goro Fujikawa, a yakuza foot soldier who carries out his boss's dirty work. The character was named after Goro Fujita, an ex-gangster turned writer who wrote the original novel. Based on the real life experiences of Fujita, Gangster VIP depicts an unprecedente...

  • Outlaw: Gangster VIP 2

    Wherever he goes, trouble follows Goro like a shadow. Continuing in the storyline of its predecessor, the film begins with Tetsuya Watari heading north to Aomori to make amends for his past wrongdoings.