Sunday, August 30, 2009

Enough Already!

I officially ended my work on VAMPIRE GIRL last night with the premiere of the English language subtitle version at Theater N in Shibuya.

But I get ahead of myself. The movie finally had its "normal" premiere (no subs) on 8/15/09. That day, I caught the morning screening in Shinjuku, which was given the send off by directors Nishimura and Tomomatsu, as well as actors Yukie Kawamura, Eri Otoguro, and Takumi Saito. Of course these are just the high profile people involved in the film, and in the audience were many of us who had worked on the film.

As my friends Yoko and Maki of the singing group Trippi's couldn't make the first screening, I arranged to meet them at Theater N in Shibuya for the next stage introduction by directors and actors. I guess this was my 300th time to see the film...

Afterward, the staff / cast went over to an "izakaya" to celebrate. Drinking, eating, laughing, story telling, silliness... It was the typical after screening party that I've come to enjoy. Takashi Shimizu of The Grudge fame was there, and we both fell pray to the demented (i.e. disturbed) ways of Sayako Nakoshi, who plays the dethroned wrist cut champion in VG. Shimizu fared better than I, as she drew blood from my thumb. Shimizu is also an actor in the film, playing a Chinese language teacher.

Following this the group moved to what the Japanese lovingly refer to as 二次会 or second party. "Machine Girl" director Iguchi waddled in with Aya Kiguchi, the star of his new Robo Geisha film, which I have yet to see, but probably will pass on. His films are too crass even for the likes of me. I spent most of the time talking actor technique with Shimizu, who I think is a phenomenal director and one of the funniest men on the face of the Earth. (Shimizu was supposed to be at the English subtitle screening last night but opted out to go to a hot spring with his family, which was probably a better deal for him. But he was kind enough to send Nishimura a rather elaborate note to the audience that included a message for me and my last film FEED ME.)

The following day (8/16) I went over to Imagica to catch a screening of Shimizu's new 3D film, "The Shock Labyrinth." The film was completed at 1pm that day, and screened for a small group at 6pm. Kind of cutting it close...? While I don't hate 3D and do enjoy it on occasion (like when seeing "Parasite" in the early 80s), I really don't think it much more than a gimmick. But, hell, if someone said they'd finance a 3D film of mine I'd jump on that in no time flat! Still, it was a decent film and Shimizu always has an interesting way to present his story elements. Fortunately for Shimizu, he was less hung over than I from the night before.

Anyway, last night went fine. I had a good time and could relate some of the challenges of putting the subs together, with Marc Walkow of the NY Asian Film Festival relating the impression the film had made on the non-Japanese audience when it had it's first screening in NY last month. Was it last month? Earlier this month? I could look it up on the web... too lazy.

My film "It's All Good" creeps closer to completion. I got the score last week from Kow Otani. As usual, he delivered something truly different. I can't say it's what I was expecting, but it works and adds depth to the entire film. Still so much to do...

Oh yeah... The photo here is me with one of Monami's (Vampire Girl) blood swords. Stupid, cheap digital cameras can't get the focus right on those things in low light...

1 comment:

  1. ohhh this is cool. my friends & i are planning to watch VG on halloween. it's great to know someone who worked on the film. esp. the one who did the subs. hehe..