Film Activism: Kamikaze ’89 on Kickstarter

Yesterday, I was pleased to learn  about (and back) this Kickstarter for an American re-release for Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s final starring role in a cult film called Kamikaze ’89 (1982). This is a re-release both theatrically and on DVD/Blu-ray.

At this time, we’ve organized the North American theatrical premiere on June 3, at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY. Where it screens next is, partly, up to you – although we can’t guarantee bringing the film to every town, with your support we can reach theater operators all over the map. Any funds raised in excess of the initial $20,000 will go towards expanding the film’s theatrical impact, or investing into future stages of the release cycle, like making the best possible DVD and Blu-ray package. This film is truly an unsung classic and we can’t wait to bring it back to the public eye with your support.

Here’s the campaign blurb:

Kamikaze ’89 was the final acting role of its star (and master filmmaker) Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Directed by his friend Wolf Gremm, the film is not often cited among Fassbinder’s important achievements. That’s due for a change. Set in a dystopian, futuristic Germany (actually only 7 years after its 1982 production date), Kamikaze ’89 is perhaps Fassbinder’s crowning achievement as an actor. The film also marks his last collaboration with longtime muse Brigitte Mira, and co-stars Franco Nero, of Django fame as well as Fassbinder’s final project as a writer/director, Querelle. It is also the only film in which he wears a leopard-print suit in every scene, which we think is reason enough to consider it more than a mere “footnote to film history,” as Vincent Canby said in his original New York Times review. Finally, you’ll love the electronic score by Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, who as a band defined the sounds of many cult classic films, from William Friedkin’s Sorcerer to Michael Mann’s Thief to Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark.

They’re seeking $20,000 (this is NOT a flexible funding project). Here’s their statement on the funds:

In order to bring this film the attention it deserves, we’re planning a nationwide (and Canada!) theatrical re-release. Although Film Movement has a long track record dating back to 2002, this will be our first large-scale theatrical re-release under the Film Movement Classics banner. We know from handling new releases over the past 13 years that putting a film into movie theaters and on Blu-ray is expensive. We figure $20,000 is the minimum we need to raise to get it out there for the theatrical release alone. If we can raise an additional $10,000, we’ll put it towards the creation of a brand new 35mm print, made with the utmost care from the new 4K digital master. The true cost for this is actually significantly higher – closer to $35,000 to do it right – but if we meet this goal, we will have the generous assistance of Ziegler Film, Kamikaze’s original production company, in covering the balance for this vital asset. Finally, if this campaign is a hit, we’ll be able to invest further in new restorations and releases; you’re not just backing this film, you’re backing our mission to celebrate classic cult and arthouse cinema.

For more about the rewards and to back the project visit its page.

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