Film nerd moment: my favorite director Shinya Tsukamoto just got his early work re-released in HD.
The Tokyo Fist re-release is especially exciting. But first, let me explain…
Who Is Shinya Tsukamoto?
Shinya Tsukamoto is a Japanese cult director who works on his films as writer, director, producer, lead actor, cinematographer, editor, and art director, because he likes to have all the fun himself. He’s supported his independent productions by working as a major actor in Japanese cinema.
He has said his early work is about the relationship between the body and the city, and how we become disconnected from our bodies living in the city. For this reason, Tsukamotos films are a visceral experience. While other films draw you into your head, you feel Tsukamotos in your body.
If you’re interested in Tsukamoto, I highly recommend Tom Mes book Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto. It is one of the best books of film criticism I’ve ever read, and I reference it again every few years for inspiration.
My personal favorite of Tsukamoto’s films is Tokyo Fist.
When I first saw Tokyo Fist, I had to track down an old copy on ebay that had the subtitles burned on to the image with spelling errors. It was the worst presentation possible, yet the film was so powerful, it managed to break through all of the limitations of it’s distributor.
After I saw it, I thought “if I ever become a famous filmmaker, I’m going to track down a print of this film and re-release it in HD.” Looks like someone beat me to it, and I couldn’t be happier.
If you’re interested in getting into his work, Bullet Ballet may be the most accessible.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man will be the weirdest film you’ve ever seen…
And A Snake of June is a strange exploration of sexuality.
Shinya Tsukamoto is one of the greatest directors in the world. I’m glad his films are finally getting the release they deserve. Check them out.
Read more: Watch the 2016 Documentary Nominee Trailers