Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tokyo day 3 - Gore and guts

No new interviews to report today, just fun times with some friends and filmmakers that we've met over the years.

One of the most popular films we screened at the NY Asian Film Festival this year was the Media Blasters production of director and makeup fx artist Yoshihiro Nishimura's Tokyo Gore Police. While we weren't able to invite any of the cast or crew to New York, I wound up meeting Nishimura, star Eihi Shiina, stunt choreographer Tak Sakaguchi, and others in Montreal at the Fantasia Film Festival screening of the film. This was followed by a fun encounter with Nishimura in Austin at Fantastic Fest last month.

But now it's Tokyo time, and after an initial night out with the director after the first Japanese screenings of the film (where I got to meet most of the rest of the cast), we wound up getting together for two nights of food craziness and general mayhem. The first night was filled with all kinds of low-budget Japanese comfort food, like motsu yaki (grilled intestines and stomach parts, all bubbling in a cauldron of broth and tofu), basashi (horse meat, presented this time smoked and cured like corned beef, with a side of mayonnaise), skewered chicken hearts and more intestines, some strange kind of smoked or stinky fish presented in a style called "kusaya", and more. Enjoy the close-ups below.

Nishimura is an amazingly talented guy, but also a big fan of movies in general, with a great knowledge of and appreciation for cult horror.

Likewise, actor / director / action choreographer Sakaguchi is immensely knowledgeable about all kinds of bizarre cinema, his favorite movies being stuff like Cannibal Holocaust, Teruo Ishii's Bohachi Bushido and many others.

Nishimura had long said that he wanted to introduce me to friend and fellow Media Blasters filmmaker Noboru Iguchi, director of Machine Girl and Sukeban Boy, and a prime figure in the low-budget cult movie boom going on now between Japan and the U.S. Iguchi didn't disappoint, being just as nuts as Nishimura made him out to be.

Joining the party on the second night was arthouse / genre filmmaker Sion Sono (above, on the right), who was a guest at NYAFF in 2007 and is about to unleash a four-hour epic about child abuse, cults, pornography, sex addiction, religion, suicide and madness upon the world, in the form of his new film Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi). Can't wait. But in the meantime, we enjoyed a great sashimi and sea bream nabe meal together, courtesy of all-around classy lady and talent agent extraordinaire Mizue Kunizane. Gochisosama!


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