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Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo II and III picked up by IFC Films

HollywoodNews.com: IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, announced today that the company has acquired North American rights to two films from director Shinya Tsukamoto’s acclaimed Tetsuo trilogy: TETSUO III: THE BULLET MAN, the third installment in the series and the first new Tetsuo film in nearly 20 years, and TETSUO II: THE BODY HAMMER (1992), the second film in the series. The series tells the story of a man who, upon getting angry, becomes a human weapon. The company plans an early 2011 release for both films.

Shinya Tsukamoto was among a group of directors responsible for a revival of innovative and daring Japanese cinema beginning in the early 1980’s. TETSUO I: THE IRON MAN (1989), Tsukamoto’s first major feature and a now legendary cyberpunk classic, was one of the seminal films made during this period. The Tetsuo films have won worldwide acclaim for their inventive visual effects and industrial themes, which are often cited as an influence by a generation of Western filmmakers including David Cronenberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Gaspar Noé, as well as Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.

TETSUO III: THE BULLET MAN, Tsukamoto’s first English-language film, stars Eric Bossick as Anthony, a young man who was born and raised in Tokyo and is now raising a family there. What should be a happy time in Anthony’s life is not: his wife is crippled by anxiety and unable to leave the house. She also has recurring nightmares about a horrible fate awaiting the pair’s young son, Tom. Those nightmares turn out to be prophetic when Tom is cruelly run down in the street. Anthony flies into a terrible rage, and soon discovers that the power of his emotion transforms him into a strange, metallic monster. This delights the mysterious man who ran down Anthony’s son, a man who now continually taunts Anthony from a distance.

An early version of TETSUO III: THE BULLET MAN had its world premiere at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. After Venice the filmmaker made revisions and launched a new cut, which debuted at the 2010 TriBeCa Film Festival. The film has the aggressive visuals, special effects and soundtrack that are Tsukamoto’s trademark while also being the first Tetsuo installment with a strong narrative.

Director Shinya Tsukamoto expressed pleasure at having the multifaceted independent distributor introduce TETSUO III: THE BULLET MAN and reintroduce TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER to North American audiences.

“This project started as TETSUO AMERICA 17 years ago, so I am very glad that the new film will be released in the United States. IFC is the ideal distributor for this film,” said Tsukamoto.

Said IFC President Jonathan Sehring: “As a lover of Japanese action cinema from an early age, I have always admired how that culture has used popular cinema as a way of reflecting real-world anxieties and conflicts. The TETSUO movies are no exception, and I am very excited to bring them to a whole new generation of audiences.”
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for BULLET MAN with Fionnuala Jamison of Coproduction Office and with Kiyo Joo of Goldview for BODY HAMMER.

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