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Starting with his first film “Donten Seikatsu (Hazy Life)” from 1999, director Nobuhiro Yamashita explored slackerdom, Japan-style, with a laconically knowing eye and a laidback sense of humor. Rejecting the broad approach of so much local comedy, he developed gags from off-beat, spot-on observations and delivered them with impeccable timing.

Abroad, he is best known for “Linda, Linda, Linda” (2005), a comedy about a struggling high school girl band. Korean actress Bae Doo Na charmed as the band’s substitute vocalist, while the band’s performance of the title rocker was a rousing crowd pleaser.

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