Monday, October 13, 2008

Tokyo day 2 - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi

The second full day of the Tokyo trip passed with another good interview, this time with a director who's little-known, even in Japan, but one look at his filmography, even a partial one, will prove that he belongs in the history books:

the Delinquent Girl Boss series (aka Zubeko bancho)
Sister Street Fighter and its two sequels
Karate Bull Fighter
Karate Bear Fighter
Karate for Life
Karate Warriors

...and the list goes on. Our interview today was with Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, a long-time filmmaker and writer for Toei Studios, and we did it specifically for a pair of discs being released early next year by Synapse films: Wandering Ginza Butterfly and its sequel, Wandering Ginza Butterfly: Wildcat Gambler, both starring Meiko Kaji in her first films for Toei Studios in-between Nikkatsu's Stray Cat Rock series and Toei's Female Convict Scorpion films.

Yamaguchi was also a major screenwriter at Toei, perhaps not as prolific as contemporary Norifumi Suzuki, but a valuable asset to the studio. The director was kind enough to spend several hours with us today, a national holiday in Japan, discussing all the films above, what it was like to work with Kaji and Sonny Chiba, making a movie called Shamless Turkish Diary with American porn star Sharon Kelly and more, including what it was like to work at Toei studios during what many would consider the height of their creativity, certainly as far as genre films are concerned.

Keep an eye out for the announcement of these two titles in the next couple of months, and watch this space for more updates this week.


Blogger SPM said...

sweet. Kazu is definitely an under the radar director who deserves some props. just from the list you mentioned (most which i own) his film are quite entertaining. i've been waiting for she-cat gamble2! when do we get it?

3:27 PM  
Blogger 追放マーク said...

Sometime in the first quarter of 2009 - announcement should be coming soon.

3:37 PM  
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