Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Audition SE announced!

It's gratifying to finally see the official announcement for the "prominent Japanese genre classic from a major director re-release" I've been hinting about since mid-April, and several times since then. It's Takashi Miike's AUDITION, of course, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and is being re-released by a company called Shout! Factory, previously known primarily for music and documentary titles, but which should be putting out some really interesting genre stuff this year and next, since ex-BCI acquisitions guy Cliff MacMillan moved over there a few months ago. At least one other prominent Japanese title is in the works that we know of.

AUDITION comes to DVD and BluRay this October, and will feature the following supplements, all produced by yours truly, and all brand-new for this release.

• Feature-length audio commentary with Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan, who is also scripting Miike's upcoming remake of the chanbara classic 13 ASSASSINS. Film writer and Eiga Hi-Ho contributor Masato Kobayashi moderates the Japanese-language (and English-subtitled) commentary track.

• Video introduction by Miike

• New video interview featurettes with the film's main cast
From Audition to Vampire Girl: Eihi Shiina
Tokyo—Hollywood: Ryo Ishibashi

Miike's Toy: Renji Ishibashi

The Man in the Bag Speaks: Ren Osugi

• Film trailer, plus liner notes by Agitator author and Midnight Eye founder Tom Mes

We're actually still working on the interview edits, but they should be pretty good. Shiina's and Renji's in particular are really great, with a ton of stories from the making of not only AUDITION, but lots of other films and from the genesis of the whole project.

Preorders should be available on Amazon soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Japanese cinema blogathon begins!

This week sees not only the start of the NY Asian Film Festival - this Friday! - but also a weeklong blogathon dedicated to Japanese cinema. For full details, see this post at Wildgrounds.

I hope to be back a couple of times this week with some posts devoted to unseen Japanese cinema and possible American DVD releases.

Until then, in honor of the NYAFF's NY premiere of Nobuhiko Obayashi's astonishing film HOUSE, here are some of his most famous commercials (made before his feature film debut), for men's fragrance "Mandom" and starring everybody's favorite vigilante, Charles Bronson.

Obayashi was one of the first Japanese commercial directors to work frequently with foreign stars as pitchmen, something that's now very commonplace in the industry. These commercials really show his wild style of shooting and editing, too. He made something like 3000 of them over the course of his career!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New York Asian Film Festival 2009!

The festival starts in 2 1/2 weeks - been very busy getting it all ready for the past, oh, six months.

Check out this year's festival trailer, which went online today.

Lots of great films and terrific guests in this year's lineup; hopefuly we'll also have an audience, which will make it all worthwhile.