Matchbox Cine is bringing Naoto Yamakawa’s cult classic The New Morning of Billy the Kid (ビリィ★ザ★キッドの新しい夜明け, 1986) back to western audiences, in a limited online presentation, December 3rd-5th, 2021. The film has not been available anywhere with English subtitles, and hasn’t screened in the west at all, since its original, lauded festival run. This event marks its 35th anniversary with an all-new English translation.
In the film, the titular anti-hero takes a job at the Slaughterhouse Saloon, “an arena of dreams where characters, images and situations from popular culture are transmitted into something entirely new.” (Tony Rayns) There, he encounters dish-washer Marx Engels, femme-fatale Sharlotte Rampling (sic) and a range of cultural figures in new guises, including Harry Callahan, Bruce Springsteen and Jesus.
The programme will screen exclusively on Matchbox Cine’s online platform, powered by Eventive. Rounding out the programme are two Yamakawa shorts based on Haruki Murakami short stories, Attack on a Bakery (1982) and A Girl, She is 100% (1983), also with new English translations.
The entire programme features Descriptive Subtitles/SDH and optional Audio Description, to ensure the films are accessible to as many people as possible. Tickets are priced on a sliding scale, so viewers decide what to pay, based on their means, with reference to a tiered sliding scale guide, Free-£8.
The programme is presented by Matchbox Cine as part of BFI’s Japan 2021: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. bfijapan.co.uk