Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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A Colt Is My Passport

(Koruto wa ore no pasupoto)
Sponsored by: FAB Press

Canadian Premiere

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“The style of an ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS or BREATHLESS, but with the heroic myths and unflappable cool of the protagonists unpunctured by modern realism and cynicism. The heroes are cool, the girls are pretty, and the action is exciting” - David Austin, CINEMA STRIKES BACK

Credits

Director: Takashi Nomura
Screenplay: Shuichi Nagahara, Nobuo Yamada
Cast: Jo Shishido, Jerry Fujio, Ryotaro Sugi
Distributor: Nikkatsu

Description

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 the retrospective series NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: 1960S NIKKATSU ACTION CINEMA, curated by Marc Walkow of Outcast Cinema, is to provide an opportunity for Western audiences to discover some surprising new classics of Japanese genre cinema.

Takashi Nomura's A COLT IS MY PASSPORT has a lot in common with Seijun Suzuki's classic BRANDED TO KILL, from its atmospheric black-and-white stylistics to its hunted hitman hero, played in both pics by chipmunk-cheeked Joe Shishido. COLT, however, was released first, early in 1967, and gives full play to Shishido's zero-cool cojones and panache. It's one of his Nikkatsu favourites. Shishido plays a hitman hired by a gang to whack a rival oyabun (gang boss). He does the deed with a sniper rifle, in an extended, dead silent sequence, and, together with sidekick Jerry Fujio, makes his escape. Before they can board their getaway plane, however, they are snatched by thugs from the rival gang. The mesmerising finale unfolds with a minimum of dialogue, a maximum of tough-guy daring and smarts. It borders on the surreal, but its impact is explosive. A COLT IS MY PASSPORT has become the signature film in the on-going Nikkatsu Action theatrical tour curated by Marc Walkow of Outcast Cinema. A runaway hit everywhere it's screened, its unforgettable finale is guaranteed to get audiences cheering, and will have you instantly hooked and eager for another hit of Nikkatsu Action! Grab your chance to see this one-off cinematic event with both hands!

—Mark Schilling