74 user 37 critic

New Rose Hotel (1998)

1:59 | Trailer
Two businessmen are hired to steal secrets from a rival, and decide to use a beautiful, but volatile call girl to do so.


Abel Ferrara


William Gibson (short story), Abel Ferrara (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Fox
Willem Dafoe ... X
Asia Argento ... Sandii
Annabella Sciorra ... Madame Rosa
John Lurie ... Distinguished Man
Kimmy Suzuki ... Asian Girl #1 (as Naoko 'Kimmy' Suzuki)
Miou ... Asian Girl #2
Yoshitaka Amano Yoshitaka Amano ... Hiroshi
Gretchen Mol ... Hiroshi's Wife
Phil Neilson Phil Neilson ... The Welshman (as Phil Nielson)
Ken Kelsch Ken Kelsch ... The Expeditor
Andrew Fiscella ... Sex Show Man
Rachel Glass Rachel Glass ... Sex Show Woman #1
Roberta Orlandi ... Sex Show Woman #2 (as Roberta Orlan)
Erin Jermaine Serrano Erin Jermaine Serrano ... Sex Show Woman #3


Maas and Hosaka are two large Corporations in the future world. They are fighting to get control over the best minds of the world. The best is Hiroshi and at the moment he is working for the Maas Corporation. Fox has accepted an offer to persuade Hiroshi to go over to the Hosaka Corporation. Sandii is a little Italian girl from Japan and she should be the way to get to Hiroshi. X is the man who should train Sandii to break Hiroshi's Heart. But if X falls in love with Sandii? And if the Hosaka Corporation breaks the agreement? And if Sandii is not a little Italian girl? Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language, including some sex-related dialogue | See all certifications »





English | German | Japanese

Release Date:

19 March 1999 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Enigma do Poder See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,147, 3 October 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Plans for an adaptation of William Gibson's short story were made as far back as 1989, with Kathryn Bigelow originally attached to direct. See more »


When X is talking to the owner of the lab in Marrakesh, the man says: "I got this lab. It was used for heroin in the old days." When he says this, his lip movement does not match this. See more »


[first lines]
Distinguished Man: Come on, you know this better than anybody, right? There's a full-scale subterranean war being waged for every shred of information. And the corporate suits are killing each other off by the thousands each year. I mean it's like the holocaust in the 20th century. Everybody knows about it, and nobody says anything about it. And government is as culpable as any corporation.
See more »


Sweet Revenge
Written by Ryuichi Sakamoto
Performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto
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User Reviews

The Future is Blurry
31 December 2011 | by proterozoicSee all my reviews

Abel Ferrara found himself in a MacGyver situation: to improvise a cyberpunk film with a) several very good actors, b) a camcorder, c) an impressive but extremely short and sketchy story by William Gibson, d) futuristic props consisting entirely of a PDA (google it, kids) and a half-bitten circuit board, and e) $600 bucks for expenses.

This is all conjecture on my part, based on nothing more than having seen New Rose Hotel. Can you blame me? After hacking off all the stylistic coir, the story is as such: it's the Future. The most profitable form of industrial espionage is stealing human talent. Two threadbare hijack artists, played by Walken and Dafoe, will lure a brilliant scientist named Hiroshi from Evil Megacorp to Mega Evilcorp. They will use a magnetic temptress that they pick from a squirming Shinjuku flesh pit based on her skill at fellating a karaoke mic.

Asia Argento is the girl – the actress has, the rarity of rarities! not only sex appeal but enough charisma and acting ability to work the part. Unfortunately, the singing is bad, and the songs are bad, and the sexy bar where they are performed is not very sexy at all. While we're at it, the future is not all that futuristic. The sex, of which there is plenty, is made up of cuts, quick pans and motion blur. The seduction and abduction of Hiroshi is talked about exhaustively, but would have been pedestrian even if it didn't entirely take place off-camera.

In brief, the amount of abstraction and suspension required to enjoy – if I may use such a bold term – "New Rose Hotel" hangs some serious lifting on the viewer. Discounting the bland nudity, the only distinct pleasure is watching Christopher Walken's line delivery. The one other actor who gets to do anything of note is his partner in crime, Willem Dafoe; unfortunately, his arc comes down to getting warned severely against falling in love with Argento's character, then falling in love with her like a man taking a headfirst dive on a concrete slab.

Some people have called this movie confusing, but they are dumb. The plot is crystal clear. It's simple as a triangle. Others have called it a boring, flickering mess, which is a much harder charge to beat. You know those "reveal" montages where the main character figures out the horrible secret? They're all made up the same way, with ominous music getting louder in the background, snippets of flashback picked half-second at a time from various parts of the movie, and key lines of dialogue played over and over, with an echo effect added on top.

The entire movie plays like one of those. A relatively simple story is packed inside a fifteen-layered rebus of headache, eyestrain and tinnitus as you squint to figure out what's on screen. If this is how the regular narrative plays, then as a parting fillip, the entire last half hour of the movie is made up of an actual flashback montage as one of the characters, soon to be found and killed by his enemies, is reliving past mistakes and pleasures in a dinky hotel room.

Some have complained about this sequence because it goes on for about 20 minutes after even the densest of us have figured out every plot secret. I think they're missing the point – the scene isn't a reveal, but the fevered, looping memories of a man who's about to kick off the chair. As such, it has a good deal of pathos. However, in the end, it's not really all that interesting, good-looking or original. And way, way too long.

The central question of New Rose Hotel is as follows: is there any reason at all to watch this dizzy 90-minute montage, when you could read the original short story in 15 minutes? None, actually. Unless you are enough of a stim addict to prefer watching any sort of dull video to reading any kind of engaging prose.

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