Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Winning Battle Royale

A few weeks back I slapped together a video and submitted it to an Ain't it Cool News contest to win a special edition copy of Kinji Fukasaku's final film, Battle Royale.

And I won.


For those not familiar with the infamous classic that I now have a very sexy special edition of, lets just say that The Hunger Games is to B.R. what Twilight was to Let The Right One In. It's a film about a class of middle school teens being forced by their government to fight each other to the death, only this film doesn't soften that concept for the mainstream in the least. There's lots of blood and drama and even a few moments of beauty. It's quite disturbing and not for everyone. Made in 2000, it's still banned in several countries. Though my Mom got me an imported copy this last Christmas, this BluRay marks the first official release in the States from what I understand.

Kinji Fukasaku was a giant in Japanese cinema, best known by Americans for directing the Japanese half of Tora! Tora! Tora!, he worked extensively in the Yakuza (Japanese gangster) genre with such films as Graveyard of Honor and Sympathy for the Underdog. For many contemporary fans of Yakuza films from the likes of Takashi Kitano (who stars in B.R., as the former teacher of the class now put in charge of their game of death) and Takashi Miike (who went on to remake Graveyard of Honor), Fukasaku is one of the elders that they are responding to with their existential/surrealistic "Neo-Yakuza" films. My point being... Battle Royale is a blood-soaked masterpiece. I can't wait to look over all the behind the scenes footage and finally compare BluRay to DVD formats by watching the same video in both. But in the mean time, I just wanted to express my gratitude to AICN news for this awesome prize.

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