Some people say the "never say die" attitude is dead. I say come on down to Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas and discover how wrong you are! Faced with receiving a Japanese-language film print with no English subtitles -- and no time to get another -- most film festivals would either cancel the screening altogether or project a DVD, which looks pretty ghastly when blown up on a big screen. But not Fantastic Fest.
Yatterman, directed by prolific Japanese master filmmaker Takashi Miike, arrived on a beautiful-looking HD-CAM, complete with a special video introduction by the director for Fantastic Fest, but, sadly, without the requisite subtitles. Quickly realizing that not everyone one in the audience was fluent in Japanese, the festival folks came up with a unique plan on the fly. They would project the print on the top 4/5 of the screen, and then project the English subtitles from a DVD on the bottom 1/5 of the screen, masking off the rest of each respective image.
I know, it sounds absurd. Introducing the film, programmer Zack Carlson explained the problem and asked the audience if we would be willing to try to watch it under these circumstances. Everyone agreed -- we'd already ordered food and drinks anyway, and I, for one, figured that Miike had probably created some rich, imaginative imagery for the film, which should look great on the big screen even without subtitles. As it turns out, the unwieldy combination worked incredibly well.
Watch the trailer for Yatterman after the jump!