They've acquired 6 Imamura films, including A MAN VANISHES:
SIX (6) RARE SHOHEI IMAMURA FILMS ACQUIRED BY ICARUS FILMS FOR U.S. DISTRIBUTION
July 10, 2012, New York: Icarus Films today announced its acquisition of all North American distribution rights to six films by the celebrated Japanese director Shohei Imamura, including the renowned 1967 film A MAN VANISHES.
The only Japanese director to twice win the Palme d’or, the highest honor of the Cannes Film Festival, Shohei Imamura (1926-2006) was “one of the most significant filmmakers of Japan’s postwar generation.” (Dave Kehr, The New York Times)
“Humanist, iconoclast, ‘anthropologist,’ investigator and innovator, Imamura has produced a body of work over the past four decades that is unequalled for its audacious insights into Japanese society, its tumultuous energy and formal daring,” wrote James Quandt, curator of a Imamura film retrospective and editor of Shohei Imaura.
Never before released in the United States, these six films were all made during a pivotal time in the filmmaker’s career from 1967 to 1975. They include his first independent production A MAN VANISHES, a key work in the filmography of a director who said “I’d like to destroy this premise that cinema is fiction.”
An investigation into the disappearance of an office worker, A MAN VANISHES conflates the boundaries of documentary and fiction. It is an early example of what film historian Donald Ritchie called, “One of Imamura’s major themes… [the] confrontation of illusion with reality (and the resultant problem of telling which is which).”
Also being released by Icarus Films are five Imamura documentaries that explore related themes of disappearance and return and in which he “opened up various unhealed wounds from the war years.” (Tony Rayns, The Independent) Information about the films is included below.
Jonathan Miller, president of Icarus Films, negotiated and concluded the distribution agreement with Anais Clanet, Manager and Head of Sales for Wide House/Wide Management. Icarus Films is currently producing newly subtitled, high definition masters
of the films. They will be released to theatrical audiences this fall; a special boxed-set of all six films will come to home entertainment audiences in the winter.
The films are:
A MAN VANISHES NINGEN JOHATSU / 人間蒸発 / 130 minutes / 1967 When a seemingly contented businessman disappears without a trace, his fiancé goes to great lengths to find him in this gorgeously photographed black-and-white film.
IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN MALAYSIA MIKAHEI O OTTE / 未帰還兵を追って～第一部 マレー篇 / 50 minutes / 1971 Camera in hand, Imamura embarks on a quest for soldiers who deserted the Japanese army for life in the neighboring country of Malaysia during World War II.
IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN THAILAND MIKAHEI O OTTE N°2 / 未帰還兵を追って～第二部 タイ篇 / 50 minutes / 1971
In a follow-up to his portrait of men who abandoned the Japanese army for life in Malaysia, Imamura conducts a corresponding investigation in Thailand.
THE PIRATES OF BUBUAN BUBUAN NO KAIZOKU / ブブアンの海賊 / 46 minutes / 1972
Remote and impoverished islands in the Philippines are revealed to be the home of rival factions of pirates in this absorbing investigation into a little-known way of life.
OUTLAW-MATSU RETURNS HOMES MUHOMATSU KOKYO E KAERU / 無法松故郷に帰 / 47 minutes / 1973
A fiery, fiercely independent soldier and friend of the filmmaker comes home back to Japan after 33 years spent living in Thailand… only to be greeted by family conflict and ambivalence.
KARAYUKI-SAN, THE MAKING OF A PROSTITUTE KARAYUKI SAN / からゆきさん/ 70 minutes / 1975
As young girls, the Japanese sex-trafficking victims profiled in this powerful documentary were taken to Malaysia and forced to work as prostitutes.