Discotek is going to release a long overdue North American version of Fist of the North Star (aka Hokuto no Ken) this May. Though they’ve done well with previous asian oddities (Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs, Burst City), I’m holding my breath to see just how good or bad the quality of the release is. Having just recently watched a clean VHS copy of the English dub, I’m very aware that anything could be better than what original western audiences were subjected to years ago, but here’s hoping that the countless limb severing and head explosion scenes in this version cause my TV to bleed through my carpet.
For those who are in the unfortunate position of having never seen the feature-length film before, other than pleading with you to watch it, I don’t know what else to say to you besides, “This franchise is such a big deal that at one point, you could (can?) even get Hokuto no Ken instant ramen.” What started out as a comic written by a guy whose name sounds like a Japanese person saying “Bronson” made it’s way past the world of video games with the hopes of entering your stomach.
More images of manly, hyper-violent noodles can be found here. If you’re reading this long after this post has been made, you can check out Discotek’s news page for updates and availability.
All this month – and next month if you can believe it – the Gene Siskel Film Center is showing an astounding twenty films from extraordinarily influential Japanese director Nagisa Oshima. Unfortunately I dragged my heels on posting this, assuming that anyone who reads a&o probably wouldn’t watch any of these…though I suppose that was an unfair assumption on my part. Either way, whether you’re a cinephile or not, you should definitely watch as many of Oshima’s films as you can – especially in an incomparable theater setting like the Siskel Center. It’s very possible that you’ll never get a chance to some of these films (with English subtitles) ever again, and you certainly won’t get a chance to see so many of Oshima’s films at once.
All show times for the films listed below can be found at the Siskel Center site, or you can give them a call at 312-846-2600.
A TOWN OF LOVE AND HOPE (1959, 62 min.)
BOY (1969, 105 min.)
THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM (1970, 94 min.)
THREE RESURRECTED DRUNKARDS (1968, 80 min.)
DEATH BY HANGING (1968, 117 min.)
DEAR SUMMER SISTER (1972, 95 min.)
PLEASURES OF THE FLESH (1965, 90 min.)
IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1972, 95 min.)
THE CATCH (1961, 97 min.)
MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE (1983, 122 min.)
GOHATTO (1999, 100 min.)
EMPIRE OF PASSION (1978, 106 min.)
CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH (1960, 96 min.)
NIGHT AND FOG IN JAPAN (1960, 107 min.)
VIOLENCE AT NOON (1966, 99 min.)
SING A SONG OF SEX (1967, 103 min.)
THE SUN’S BURIAL (1960, 87 min.)
DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF (1968, 94 min.)
THE CEREMONY (1971, 122 min.)
JAPANESE SUMMER: DOUBLE SUICIDE (1967, 98 min.)