Sunday, August 12, 2012

Japanese film Battle Royale in Dormont, August 17 - 21.



One of the most popular, and most controversial, Japanese films in recent memory will be playing at Dormont's Hollywood Theater (map) this month. Here's how imdb summarizes Battle Royale:
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
And an excerpt of the Wikipedia summary of controversies:
The film was labeled "crude and tasteless" by members of Japanese parliament and other government officials after the film was screened for them before its general release. The film created a debate over government action on media violence. At one point, director Kinji Fukasaku allegedly gave a press statement directed at the age group of the film's characters, saying "you can sneak in, and I encourage you to do so." Many conservative politicians used the film to blame popular culture for a youth crime wave. Ilya Garger of TIME magazine said that Battle Royale received "free publicity" and received "box-office success usually reserved for cartoons and TV-drama spin-offs." The Japanese reaction to the film in the early 2000s has been compared to the British outrage over A Clockwork Orange in the early 1970s. Critics note the relation of Battle Royale to the increasingly extreme trend in Asian cinema and its similarity to reality television.

For eleven years, the film was never officially released in the United States or Canada, except for screenings at various film festivals. The film was screened to a test audience in the U.S. during the early 2000s, not long after the Columbine High School massacre, resulting in a negative reaction to the film's content.
The movie, released in 2000, didn't make it to Pittsburgh until this past April. It will run August 17th through 20th at 9:15 pm, and Tuesday the 21st at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $7.

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