Almost every year since we screened FUDOH in 1997, TIFF has showcased one of that year's new works by Takeshi Miike. For this years choice, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, we had an extra treat in store for the audience from Miike.
The last time Miike was able to come to Toronto was for the world premiere of ICHI THE KILLER, but a little incident that became known as 9/11 left Miike stranded in a west coast US airport. Since then, every time we have selected one of his films, his shooting schedule has gotten in the way of him making a personal appearance. This year, as we were confirming guests, we were again denied his presence as the film was getting premiered in Venice and then he had to return to Tokyo for the film's theatrical release, but we were graced with the two lead actors, Yusuke Iseya and Yoshino Kimura. We were excited when we got the news as we had never had any actor appear for a Miike film, let alone two! They were a pleasure to have grace our stage and the audience took an immediate liking to them as you can see in the video. Once they left the stage, we had one more surprise for the fabulous fiends that are the Midnight Madness audience: a video message from Miike, hand delivered from Venice by the film's festival publicist, Jill Jones from DDA PR – one of the easiest going publicists I have had the pleasure to work with in my ten years at TIFF.
My favourite part of the video? The crowd's reaction when Miike tells them where the best audience in the world is located. Watch and see...
And SUKIYAKI DJANGO WESTERN was picked up by First Look for distribution in North America. Word is that a shorter version will be released.