Sunday, August 7, 2011

49th New York Film Festival programmes astounding Nikkatsu retrospective

by Chris MaGee

Japanese film fans on the East Coats have been very, very lucky these past few months. We've been able to enjoy the New York Asian Film Festival, Japan Cuts at the Japan Society New York, The Shinsedai Cinema Festival in Toronto and the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. All have brought a wealth of great films to these shores for us to see, but news came out this week of an event that has Japanese film fans' mouths watering with anticipation. The 49th New York Film Festival has announced that they will be holding a major retrospective of Nikkatsu films in honour of the studio's 100th anniversary between September 30th and October 16th. And when we say major we mean MAJOR!

When I first heard this news I had assumed that the programme would be made up of many of the great Nikkatsu action films that were toured around the globe by Mark Schilling and arc Walkow in 2006 and 2007. There are in fact a few of these films screening at NYFF, Takashi Nomura's "A Colt is My Passport" being one of them, but this 37 film retrospective isn't just focusing on the 60's. No, audiences will be getting everything from Daisuke Ito's rarely seen 1927 chanbara film "A Diary of Chuji's Travels" right up to Sion Sono's "Cold Fish"... plus everything in between. You can check out the full list of films at New, but some of the highlights of this historic programme include Ko Nakahira's "Sun Tribe" neo-New Wave "Crazed Fruit" (above), Shohei Imamura's blistering anti-American military film "Pigs and Battleships", Sadao Yamanaka's landmark jidai-geki "A Pot Worth a Million Ryo", Yasuharu Hasebe's girl-sploitation film "Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter" and Kiyoshi Kurosawa's surreal cop drama "Charisma". After looking at the full line-up of all we can say is that if any wealthy patron can sponsor the J-Film Pow-Wow crew to catch this entire Nikkatsu 100th Anniversary Retrospective at NYAFF we'll... we don;t know... sell ourselves to you! And for all our readers in New York... This is an event that you simply can't pass up!

For more details on the full line-up for the 49th annual New York Film Festival just click here.

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