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Life Tastes Good is the feature film debut of Director Philip Kan Gotanda.

It is a quirky tale that brings together a murder, poison mushrooms and a mysterious woman to reveal the ephemeral beauty of life and the unforgiving nature of death. It is the story of a rogue mobster who finds love in the darkest days of his life.

What they are saying:

"Thoroughly engaging and rich in humor... "a cross between "Blue Velvet" and "Tampopo."
--17th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival--
"A crafty narrative, told with a high level of dignity, and some nice performances
(Sab Shimono, Tamlyn Tomita)."

--The Marin Independent Journal--
"With a nostalgic air, Life Tastes Good expands convention to create a fresh portrait of
a man's attempt at reconciliation and love within a world both familiar and bizarre.
Haunting images, moving relations and wildly funny situations are expertly blended
into a delectable cinematic experience"

--Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival--
"In a word, the movie is original. In another word, it's entertaining."
--In Theatre Magazine--
.."Sexy, smart and bound to give you an appetite for exotic things"...
..."this is one delicious feast of a film."

-- Seattle Gay News --


..."LIFE TASTES GOOD transcends the bounds of its noirish leanings by effortlessly 
blending in deadpan comedy and familial pathos, resulting in a richly textured 
cinematic souffle. As a model for asserting the "all Americanness" of US-born 
Asians, it rightfully smashes the limiting conventions promoted by Hollywood 

-- Seattle International Film Festival --


IMDb page

RottenTomatoes page




His 30 minute, 16mm color dramatic, DRINKING TEA, was shown at the 1996 Sundance and also nationally on PBS. He was a Sundance Film Fellow in 1998 where he studied screenwriting and film production. He is also the screenwriter for the feature, THE WASH, produced by American Playhouse and released by Skouras.

Starring: Sab Shimono, Nobu McCarthy, Dian Kobabayshi, Diane Emiko Takei. 

Cinematography - Michael Chin. 

Music - Dan Kuramoto. 

Producers - Diane Takei, Pamela Wu

Written and Directed by Philip Kan Gotanda



THE KISS (1993)


THE KISS is a 16mm black and white dramatic about a eccentric nine to five working stiff who on his lunch break, saves a man who is suffering from AIDS, from choking to death.

It was shown at 1994 Sundance, SF Int'l Film Festival (Golden Gate Award), NAATA (now CAAM) Film Festival, Visual Communications Film Festival, Berlin Festival and shown nationally on PBS and KQED.