Battle Royale (2000), renowned director Kinji Fukusaku's last completed film, will be shown in Los Angeles from December 24th, 2011 through January 2nd, 2012. (Fukusaku died during filming of the sequel, which was completed by his son Kenta and released in 2003.)
Based on the 500+ page novel by Koushun Takami, which was published in 1999 and later made into a manga series by Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi, the film depicts a group of ninth graders who are transported by authorities to a remote island where they are tasked to kill one another until only one remains. Because of the subject matter, the film was very controversial in Japan and has had few screenings in the U.S., although it has been available as a Region 1 DVD for several years.
The film might be considered a cross between The Most Dangerous Game and Lord of the Flies. It most definitely is a pre-cursor to the The Hunger Games, at least from all I've read about the book and and seen about the upcoming film (or perhaps that should be "films").
|"Beat" Takeshi Kitano explains the rules of the Battle Royale.|
Battle Royale was first shown in North America as a co-presentation of Japan Society and the New York Asian Film Festival this past summer, one of the films included in Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. This was billed as a "celebratory" screening because the film could not properly be considered "contemporary," the other thirty+ films in the festival all being from 2010 or 2011.
Now some lucky Angenlinos will have the opportunity to see it this holiday season. And some will be very lucky indeed, since four lucky winners of a contest sponsored by VCinema will get free tickets!
Information about the film, the screening schedule and the contest is available at VCinema.