A rare trip to the United States by filmmaker Takashi Miike has been canceled in the wake of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The acclaimed Japanese director was planning to present his new film, "13 Assassins," at SXSW in Austin last night prior to heading to New York City for an in-person retrospective of his work and an "Assassins" screening later this week at Lincoln Center.
Showings of Takashi Miike's films are continuing as planned.
"Japan was violently rocked, swallowed by the ocean as the lives of many disappeared amid the rubble," Takashi Miike said in a statement that was read prior to his SXSW showing at the Paramount Theater here in Austin last night. "I had wanted to be here with you all. I had wanted to thank you all for coming from the bottom of my heart. But that wish was not granted."
It was not the first time that tragic events prevented the Japanese filmmaker from an extended North American trip. Back in 2001, he was in Los Angeles on September 11, 2001 but was forced to cancel his trip to the Toronto International Film Festival for the debut of "Ichi The Killer." He was in New York two years ago for the world premiere of "Yatterman."
"It is unfortunate and I am very sorry," Takashi Miike said in his statement yesterday. "Please accept my regrets. But, from this adversity -- on our lives -- we will all rise up without fail. As a start, I would be grateful if you could enjoy Japan from this film."
Screenings in the Film Society of Lincoln Center's retrospective of the films of Takashi Miike, including a sneak preview of "13 Assassins" this Thursday, will show as scheduled. The series was co-programmed by Marc Walkow and is being co-presented by Subway Cinema.
UPDATE: The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema are partnering with The Japan Society to donate 10% of the ticket sales to all screenings in the Takashi Miike retrospective, Shinjuku Outlaw: 13 From Takashi Miike, to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, to support relief and recovery for the 2011 Tohoku - Pacific Ocean Earthquake.