Sunday, January 25, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Funny how just when I think the work has dried up, along comes a whole bunch of responsibilities to eat into my movie-watching time. Here's an update.

Yatterman world premiere - this is a big, big event that our organization, Subway Cinema, is co-sponsoring in New York and helping to organize. I'm shouldering a lot of the work (by choice) and it's a mass of approvals, arrangements, bargaining sessions, flattery, bribery, disappointment, frustration and a lot of the time, excitement. Takashi Miike is coming to New York for the premiere, as well as actor / pop star Sho Sakurai, which involves a lot of planning between NY, Los Angeles, Tokyo and beyond. I've met Miike briefly before, but I really hope we're able to host him properly in New York City, and take him for a drink or two at some lowdown bars. The premiere screening happens on February 6th, but events will be fully in motion long before that.

Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls DVD - we recorded an audio commentary and video interview with director Norifumi Suzuki way back in November 2007, and it's finally seeing the light of day, due for release on March 31st. The commentary - co-starring writer and film buff Kiichiro "Garth" Yanashita - is really fun, and I think the interview sheds some light on Suzuki's sole venture into Nikkatsu Roman Porno. We had to check through the DVD-R recently, and the transfer looks gorgeous, the supplements are well-presented, and everything is spelled right. Pre order the disc at Amazon or your favorite retailer today!

Wandering Ginza Butterfly DVDs - we're also in the midst of finishing up work on this pair of discs, due from Synapse Films at the end of May. We shot a video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi in October of last year, and are working on the edit now. It seems like this interview will be available on both discs. The first disc only will feature an audio commentary by Japanese film expert and American Cinematheque programmer Chris D., and the second disc only will include an interview with crazy man J-Taro Sugisaku about the appeal of star Meiko Kaji and her relationship to the Pinky Violence genre, shot long ago in December 2007. Nice to see all this stuff eventually making it out to an audience! The discs haven't been announced for sale yet, but that should be happening in the next couple of months.

BCI / Eclipse DVDs - sadly, as mentioned in a recent post, BCI was shuttered by parent company Navarre because of poor sales and overspending. The good news is that we've recently made contact with someone at Navarre handling the transition, and he told us that they're currently considering what to do with all the unreleased titles in the BCI vaults; Navarre has several other sub-labels that could wind up releasing them. One thing in our favor is that all the supplemental work for these titles has been completed, and they'd be very easy to finish up for release. They said they'll stay in contact with us about the future of these titles - which include Go for Broke, Karate Wars, Violent Cop, Boiling Point, Rikyu and more - and we'll bring you the news here as soon as we hear it.

Lots of other stuff going on, too, not all of it appropriate to this blog's subject, but here's a taste. NY Asian Film Festival early programming choices are being made (lots of screeners to watch), plans are afoot for film retrospective proposals in Australia and Italy, the film licensing game continues as always, and there may even some movie producing along the way. Stranger things have happened in the last year or two...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pink Wednesday

Happy 2009 and let's hope it's not as bad a year as everyone predicts it will be.

Just a quick shout-out today that our friends at Pink Eiga will release their first two DVDs today, available both at the Pink Eiga website and at Amazon. Order directly from them and you'll get free shipping, plus you'll be supporting a new company struggling to stay alive in this economy by releasing titles that have always been a bit problematic in the U.S. market.

We met the folks behind this upstart label at last year's Fantastic Fest in Austin, where we screened two of their titles plus two other, older pink films. The Pink Eiga folks are terrific - truly dedicated to what they're doing in the best way, and fun to hang out with. They picked up the rights to a couple hundred pink films dating from the 70s to the very recent and will be rolling them out regularly this year and beyond. They're also hoping to make some of them available online and elsewhere, if the deals can be worked out.

For a look at the first two discs (New Tokyo Decadence: The Slave and the truly insane S&M Hunter), surf on over to Kaiju Shakedown, who also takes a peek under the covers at the folks behind the great work they're doing.