Drafthouse Films announced today the acquisition of North American rights to Japanese director Hitoshi Matsumoto’s (Big Man Japan) R100, a comic tale of male self-destruction. R100 received its world premiere as part of Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section and made its US premiere at Fantastic Fest last weekend. A VOD/Digital and theatrical release is planned for 2014.
R100 (a riff on the Japanese movie rating system, whose equivalent to NC-17 is R18) tells the story of lonely everyman, Takafumi Katayama (Nao Ohmori of Ichi The Killer infamy), who hires a boutique S&M agency that specialize in random acts of extreme public degradation. At first, this changes his outlook on life for the better, but a bizarre accident violates the terms of the contract and hurdles Takafumi into a confounding spiral that will test his very soul. The Hollywood Reporter said about the film, “its hard to remember a film about S&M as funny as this one, or one as beautifully and weirdly imagined.” And Twitch Film remarked, “it [delivers] an intensely intelligent [and] fabulously acted study of the lengths people will go to secure happiness…Matsumoto is one of the most ferociously unique filmmakers on the face of the planet.”
"There's probably no bigger fan of Hitoshi Matsumoto's comedy in North America than me," said Drafthouse Films Founder Tim League. "Without Matsumoto, there's no Jackass; there's no extreme reality TV. With the release of his brilliant new film R100, I hope to expose this legendary comic genius to a new, wide audience."
The deal was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Miyuki Takamatsu of Free Stone Productions on behalf of the producers.