During their 1960s peak, Nikkatsu action films evoked a cinematic world neither foreign nor Japanese—it was a mix of the two, where Japanese tough guys had the swagger and moves of Hollywood movie heroes. These incredibly stylish gangster movies are equally comparable to the French New Wave, Spaghetti Westerns, and hard-boiled film noir, and this may be your only chance to see these long-lost gems, as none of them have ever been released on any home video format in the West. The aim of this retrospective series, NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: 1960S NIKKATSU ACTION CINEMA—curated by Marc Walkow of Outcast Cinema, first presented at the 2005 Udine Far East Film Festival, and leading to the publication of the acclaimed FAB Press book available to buy following each screening—is to provide an opportunity for Western audiences to discover some surprising new classics of Japanese genre cinema.
The films are presented in 35mm with a "live" subtitling system operated by the series curator, Marc Walkow of Outcast Cinema. We should emphasize again that this Canadian premiere screening is an unrepeatable, unique event. The chance to see these films is a true one-off that no serious fan of Japanese cinema can possibly afford to miss! We hope that these dramatic, stylish, and entertaining films might some day stand alongside those already enshrined in the critical canon. Once you've experienced a Nikkatsu action movie on the big screen, your only question will be how they have eluded Western audiences for more than 40 years. We're here to put that bizarre oversight right at long last! - Marc Schilling, author of the FAB Press book NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: NIKKATSU ACTION CINEMA