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Quentin the reason Zatoichi's Pilgrimage isn't on R1 DVD


#1

Now then, as many of you out there know, we’re MAJOR fans of the Japanese Zatoichi film series, which depicts the adventures of a legendary blind swordsman played by the late Shintaro Katsu. All of the 26 films in the series are now available on DVD in the States (from Home Vision, AnimEigo and Media Blasters)… save one: Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage, the missing 14th tale in the series. Exactly WHY this film is unavailable on DVD here, and who owns the release rights to the title, has been a mystery we’ve been investigating for close to three years now. But we’ve finally uncovered the answer to those questions… and they might surprise you.



As it turns out, Miramax purchased the U.S. rights to the film a number of years ago. Apparently, director Quentin Tarantino was interested in doing a remake of the film. Of course, not long after this, Japanese director Takeshi Kitano (also known as Beat Takeshi) created his own updated version of the series, Zatoichi, which was also released to theaters and DVD in the U.S. through Miramax. Because of this, the future of Tarantino’s version is uncertain. Unfortunately, also uncertain as a result of all this has been the fate of a U.S. DVD release of the original Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage. We would like to strongly urge Buena Vista and Miramax to release the film on DVD, and we encourage all of you who are fans of these films to let the studio know you want Pilgrimage on disc ASAP. Sadly, pretty much everything DVD related at Miramax is on hold at the moment due to the Disney-Miramax split. In the meantime, we’ve updated our Zatoichi series review page with this new information.



Source: Digital Bits


#2

Since when is Quentin in charge of Miramax?


#3

I’d say since he got them to bury City on Fire.


#4

That was a rhetorical question, but let me answer it anyway: since NEVER. Quentin Tarantino is not in charge of and has never been in charge of Miramax, therefore any unfair editing or treatment of Asian films is not his fault.


#5

So him getting Harvey to delay Hero for two years after it was nominated for an Oscar, so he could slap his name on it, and market it off Kill Bill is just coincidence?


#6

Who said he got Harvey to delay it for two years?


#7

Well he was in China at the same time both films were shooting. ::slight_smile:


#8

So what you’re saying is that you don’t have proof that Quentin got Harvey to delay Hero for two years?


#9

Not direct proof. But let’s face it. It adds up. I mean he knows what’s hot, many of the films Miramaxe has mutilated he’s mentioned in passing, and what happened with Hero also happened with Iron Monkey.


#10

So basically, you don’t have any proof that QT delayed Hero and you’re just talking out of your ass?


#11

Perhaps I don’t, but there’s obviously a suspicious rapport between the Quentin and Harvey which makes it hard to believe that something isn’t going down.


#12

So this can be all placed into the realm known as “Conspiracy Theory”, am I right?


#13

More like circumstancial evidence.


#14

My impression of QT’s influence at Miramax is as follows:



He brings “cool” Asian films to Harvey and Bob’s attention, who may then acquire them to be remade or released in North America. Harvey and Bob try to use Tarantino’s name to promote these releases by printing “presented by Quentin Tarantino” on promotional materials/posters/ads, what have you…



I don’t think QT has much of an influence in the timing or delays of releases however. I don’t think he goes out of his way to "hide"competing films from North American audience, other than not to overshadow his own movie released at the same time. Since he doesn’t seem to be making his own Zatoichi any time soon, I don’t believe he has an interest in keeping Z.'s Pilgrimage locked in the vault.



What do you think of that


#15

jeff: Well it’s nice to know you’re meeting me halfway on the subject. You could be right. Although the fact that he’s only criticized the brothers for Hero indicates he’s hiding something. Or that Harvey’s co-opted him. As for Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage, it’s probably in the same state of limbo as the rest of the Miramaxe library until the new management takes over. I’m hoping we’ll see a subbed and uncut Fist of Legend and Drunken Master 2 when Bob and Harvey are gone, but those slimy bastards just got their hands on New Police Story and The Promise through their new company. Of course, Harvey claimed he loved and respected Asian films in general, so all eyes are on him, now that he can’t point fingers at Eisner.


#16

Gatsu: I know you. I’m watching you from the edge of your property line.


#17

Yeah, I think the Weinstein’s have a little disconnect with the fans of Asian cinema… ie they don’t really know what the fans want… or else they want to maximize their audience by altering the movies to preconceived notions of what they think will sell.



Their best bet is to just act as a North American distributor and keep their hands off the films themselves other than to add Eng. subtitles… ie. release them in a timely manner and keep the films original form so that audiences can watch what the Asian directors intended.


#18

I wish they wouldn’t slap Tarantino’s name on every Japanese film he gets brought here, because other than Kill Bill I’ve never had any interest in Kung fu/Japanese type movies; but when QT’s name is on it I feel pressured to see it lest my few other Tarantino geek friends think I’m unfaithful. But then I’m just watching some dubbed crap I don’t even want to see and really, what is the point in that? All of this logic follows with the reason I think Sleep with Me sucked tits.