Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tartan USA goes out of business

“Marebito”, “Doppleganger”, “A Snake of June”, “Tetsuo the Iron Man”… if you were planning on adding any of these films to your DVD library you better get out and pick them up while stores have stock because they won’t be getting any more. Sad news from Kaiju Shakedown this morning: Tartan Films USA and Tartan Video USA have closed up shop.

The North American wing of the parent UK company was first launched in 2004 and up until today had built a catalogue of 101 art house and horror films from around the world. No word yet as to who, if anyone, will be picking up the North American distribution rights for these films.

When I read the news I immediately went over to my DVD collection and my heart sunk; great films like Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Vital” and Yoji Yamada’s “The Hidden Blade”, which thankfully were there on my shelf, will be all the much harder to track down now. It made me think of my repeated justifications for compulsively collecting Japanese DVD after Japanese DVD, “My collection’s like Noah’s Arc,” I’ve told people, because as much as Japanese cinema may be the bread and butter for us fans we forget that they, as well as other foreign films, are an acquired taste for other people. For a distribution company that specializes in these types of films it will always be a hard go, but it doesn’t make this news any less sad.

I better get out there and get my copy of “A Snake of June”! Sigh…

No comments: