25 May 2008

Grumble!

I knew it was true, but now I have official confirmation. Tartan USA is dead. This is terrible news, but I'm not surprised. The studio, an American branch of the UK company, released a number of extremely popular Asian films, including Park Chan-wook's Vengeance trilogy, as well as challenging films from the rest of the world, including Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs, Catherine Breillat's Anatomy of Hell, Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin, Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu and Carlos Reygadas' Battle in Heaven. This is terrible news, unless some savvy studio has bought their collection.

Films in limbo now include: Kim Ki-duk's Breath, Koen Mortier's Ex Drummer, Brad McGann's In My Father's Shoes, Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (though I don't know if the studio had actually picked it up as they were dying by the time this was released), György Pálfi's Taxidermia, and Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer.

8 comments:

filmbo said...

With IFC, Wellspring, and Weinstein as sister companies, I'm not too worried about these titles joining the list of the arcane.

If anything, a bigger company might afford to release their back catalog, if there are many titles.

Joe said...

Technically, Wellspring is dead as well. The Weinsteins have acquired most (all?) of their catalog, but I haven't seen them release anything from it.

According to the article, their catalog is for sale. One would imagine, with all the popular Asian titles, that the Weinsteins would pick it up, but what would they do with the rest?

thejamminjabber said...

That is a shame. Taxidermia is a fantastic film. Can't wait for more from that guy.

Joe said...

Taxidermia is fantastic, I can't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Taxidermia is fantastic but nothing like silent light. In all my years as a cinema-addict I have not received more pleasure from the screen than with this movie. A shame that there is not an audience for these movies and their brave distributors have to shot off bussiness.

Mike Weller

Joe said...

I'm quite the fan of Reygadas, although I think Japon is considerably better than Battle in Heaven. I can't wait to see Silent Light, and hopefully, someone can carry on the Tartan USA's torch, although I think the future looks grim.

Steve C. said...

Don't forget Roy Andersson's You, the Living. Someone needs to find that film a new home right quick.

Joe said...

You, the Living is absolutely stunning. I think Tartan was already dying by the time that was released at Cannes. I think it's probably the finest film I've seen all year.