Well, I don't mean to turn this blog into the bearer of bad news but we have another organization to sort of bid a fond farewell to. Some of you might know that Tartan USA shut its doors a couple of months ago and basically liquidated all of the films in their collection. The significance of this information to this blog is that Tartan had their "Asia Extreme" line of films which included some household titles like Oldboy, A Tale of Two Sisters, the re-release of Tetsuo, Vital, Marebito and others. Tartan also had a small but respectable line of other indie titles in their catalog including Battle In Heaven and The Cave of the Yellow Dog. This should have been a foreshadowing of worse things to come. In fact, the worse has come as Tartan's main UK branch appears as if they have done the equivalent of filing chapter 13 bankruptcy.
This is not particularly big news for the US since there is not much of a shortage of indie companies releasing seeming waves of Asian films. In fact, Media Blasters recent stepping up their Tokyo Shock line by dipping into the Shaw Brothers catalog suggests that they could theoretically pick up the Asia Extreme line. For UK and Euro film fans, though, the cut is much deeper since Tartan has been one company that has really pushed indie movies and their catalog certainly shows it; if you dig deep enough you will find that they had releases as diverse as El Topo, Battle Royale, Tokyo Story, and Super Size Me. For our UK and Euro fans' sake, we hope that Tartan can pull through OK.