Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Japan comes to Fantastic Fest

by Chris MaGee

Okay, that's a bit of a misleading headline. Japanese film has been an integral part of Austin's Fantastic Fest for the past couple of years. The genre film festival has been the launching ground for not only Mark Schilling's and Marc Walkow's "No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema" touring retrospective (which in part has finally made it to DVD), as well as Jasper Sharp's book "Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema" which has spawned any number of pinku eiga film retrospectives worldwide. So of course this year Japan has come to Fantastic Fest, but sadly we won't be seeing any retrospectives like those this time around. What is on the agenda? Takashi Miike's "Yatterman" for one. This film defied a lot of people's expectations (including my own) and has not only been a hit abroad, but with audiences at home in Japan. Along with "Yatterman" folks down in Texas will be seeing Yoshihiro Nakamura's "Fish Story", Takanori Tsujimoto's "Hard Revenge Milly" and "Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle", Nobuhiko Obayashi's wonderfully screwed up "House" from 1978, Shimako Sato's "K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces", Katsuhide Motoki's "Kamogawa Horumo - Battle League in Kyoto", Sion Sono's "Love Exposure" and Yoshihiro Nishimura's "Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl".

One thing that folks will be pleased to hear... I know I was very pleased to hear... our very own U.S. correspondent Eric Evans will be down in Austin to cover the Japanese line-up, so check back between September 24th and October 1st to get your full Fantastic Fest coverage.

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