Man From Reno

Burned-out and depressed, a Japanese mystery writer goes AWOL in San Francisco during a U.S. book tour and enjoys a one-night stand in her hotel room with a strange man who then disappears, leaving behind several live exotic turtles in her toilet tank. Meanwhile in San Diego County, a small-town sheriff patrolling a country road at night passes a wrecked car and accidentally hits the driver, who’s fleeing the accident; the man pulls himself up off the road and vanishes into the darkness, but later he turns up in the county morgue, the victim of a fatal beating. These two story lines intersect eventually, the writer and the sheriff joining forces to uncover a shadowy conspiracy involving such film noir staples as a malevolent, string-pulling millionaire and a crucial phone number recovered from the inside of a matchbook. Writer-director Dave Boyle is best known for his offbeat rom-coms with San Francisco musician Goh Nakamura (Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings), and his gift for eccentric characters redeems this standard whodunit. With Ayako Fujitani and Pepe Serna. In English and subtitled Japanese.