Kanai Katsu DVD-Box Set

Here at Yale, we just enjoyed a pleasant and provocative visit from the great independent filmmaker Kanai Katsu as part of our East Asia in Motion symposium.

We screened Mujin retto (The Desert Archipelago) and Good-Bye on film (the first in 35mm and the second in 16mm) with digital subtitles: the prints were in very good visual condition and the grad students doing the subtitles were spot on. In the discussion afterwards, we got into Kanai's experience at the Daiei studios (where he worked with Kinugasa Teinosuke, so I got to talk to him earlier about the director of A Page of Madness), his impetus for going independent, his connections with Nihon University film people like Adachi Masao and Jonouchi Motoharu, his relations with Oshima Nagisa and Ogawa Shinsuke, his inspirations from existentialism and Surrealism, and especially his depictions of zainichi Koreans and his experience of filming Good-Bye in Korea (he said it was the first postwar Japanese film to be shot in South Korea).

One good piece of news is that Kanai-san has put out a DVD-box set of his films WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES. It's a limited edition, numbered, and with Kanai's signature. More info on the set and on ordering can be found here. Few of the works of the 1960s Japanese New Wave are available with subtitles, so it is even rarer to find some important works at the fringe of the New Wave, between fiction and experimental film, coming out with subtitles.

There's a great trailer for a Kanai retro on YouTube:

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