With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, September 02, 2007

ACF 044: Nikkatsu Action Series

A Colt is My Passport © 1967 Nikkatsu Corporation

I've covered various film series at Japan Society for Asian Cult Cinema magazine for several years now, and I've seen lots of good films and quite a few great ones there. But I've never been as excited about an upcoming series as I am about NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: 1960s Nikkatsu Action Cinema. This series marks the launch of a new annual event called "Monthly Classics" that will utilize guest curators to create film series that will feature -- have you guessed -- one screening approximately every month.

Nikkatsu produced over 500 action genre films starting in the mid-50s. Probably its best known products, at least in the U.S., are Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter (1966) and Branded To Kill (1967), the latter of which ironically led to Suzuki being terminated for making "incomprehensible" movies, as the studio suits put it. [Both of these Suzuki films, as well as several others, are available from The Criterion Collection. Enough said.]

NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS will feature eight films never before screened in the United States. The series will consist of:

A Colt is My Passport, directed by Takashi Nomura, September 28, 2007
The Warped Ones, directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara, November 9, 2007
Like a Shooting Star, directed by Toshio Masuda, December 14, 2007
Red Handkerchief, directed by Toshio Masuda, January 18, 2008
Gangster VIP, directed by Toshio Masuda, February 22, 2008
Plains Wanderer, directed by Buichi Saito, March 14, 2008
Glass Johnny: Looks Like a Beast, directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara, April 4, 2008
Roughneck, directed by Yasuharu Hasebe, May 2, 2008

Author and critic Mark Schilling, who began living in Tokyo in 1975 and who is currently the Japan correspondent for Variety, curated this show. He will introduce A Colt is My Passport, the series opener, on Friday, September 28th. Afterwards there will be a reception, and the author will be signing his book, appropriately titled No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema, which has been newly edited and published by FAB Press. Shilling's other works include The Yakuza Movie Book: A Guide to Japanese Gangster Films, which I'm currently reading and enjoying.

All films will be shown with new digital English subtitles, prints courtesy of Nikkatsu Corporation. Show times will be at 7:30 PM.

NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS is co-organized by Outcast Cinema. A tour of other US and Canadian venues is planned for later in 2007 and in 2008.

For further info click on this link to the NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS page at Japan Society.

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