Monday, February 8, 2010

15 Shintoho films never before seen in the West to be featured at Udine

by Chris MaGee

I have to admit that this news item really can be summarized entirely by the above headline. Wildground was kind enough to point the way to the press release posted at the official site for the Udine Far East Film Festival. The 12th offering of the fest which takes place in the northeastern Italian city between April 23rd and May 1st will apparently be featuring a special programme of films from the 1950's and 1960's made by Shintoho, a new studio birthed from the famed Toho Studios. Founded in 1947 Shintoho originally produced such high profile films as Kenji Mizoguchi's "Life of Oharu", but soon the studio began to churn out low budget sci-fi and exploitation films like 1959's "Girl Violence" (above) directed by Tadashi Mori. Sadly the studio went bankrupt in 1961 after it produced Nobuo Nakagawa's epic trip to the underworld "Jigoku".

There's no telling if "Jigoku" or "Girl Violence" or any of the 500 films the studio produced over its 14-year history will be part of the programme that Udine is putting together, but with directors such as Teruo Ishii, Daisuke Ito, Kaneto Shindo, amongst others helming them there are certainly a lot to choose from. All we know for sure at this point is what the press release is telling us; that "15 titles never before seen outside of Japan, produced in the 50s and 60s" will make up the selection. Let's hope for more info soon... and how's about a tour of that programme through Europe and North America like the "No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action" touring retrospective? Just a thought...

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