Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Vitagraph Films has entered into a distribution deal with Constantin Film to distribute THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, the 2009 Academy Award ® and Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, in all media in the United States. Written and produced by Bernd Eichinger (2005 Academy Award nominee DOWNFALL) and directed by Uli Edel (LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, CHRISTIANE F), the film dramatizes the history of the real-life West German terrorist group Red Army Faction (RAF), which rose to violent action against the German political status quo in the late 1960s. Led by Ulrike Meinhof, a prominent journalist who forfeited her career and children to engage in anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist acts of resistance, and Andreas Baader, the group’s youthful members went underground, sacrificing leading normal lives, to fight for a more human society – through terrorist bombings and bloodshed. THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX’s ensemble cast includes, Martina Gedeck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS, THE GOOD SHEPARD), Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN), Johanna Wokalek (AIMEE AND JAGUAR) and Bruno Ganz (THE READER, DOWNFALL). Based on Stefan Aust’s critically acclaimed non-fiction book Der Baader bMeinhof Komplex the film was Constantin Film’s biggest box office success in 2008. An updated edition of Aust’s book was released in March 2009.

Vitagraph Films currently plans to theatrically platform the release of the film in August 2009 in 18 of the top 20 markets.

“We are pleased that an American audience will now be able to see this exceptional film in theatres. David Shultz and Margot Gerber have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and Constantin Film is proud to be in business with Vitagraph Films,” says Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin Film AG. “This is a story that has not been widely told in America,” says David Shultz, President of Vitagraph Films.

“With the early years of our current century dominated by the aftermath of 9/11, this is an interesting time for audiences to take a look at a previous generation of terrorism – and through it, a complex political world history that continues to reverberate in our times.”
Vitagraph Films LLC is currently distributing THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH, TOKYO! and VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR. Established in 1999, some of Vitagraph’s previous titles include JCVD, Larry Clark’s WASSUP ROCKERS, Takashi Miike’s AUDITION and Alex de la Iglesia’s EL CRIMEN PERFECTO.


Constantin Film has been one of the most successful producers and independent distributors of feature films in Germany for over 25 years. The company, which is listed on the stock market since 1999, is also involved in the international production of theatrical films in English as well as TV production (TV movies, series, entertainment formats). The classic production and distribution operations were supplemented successfully in 2004 by license trading and the internal exploitation of video and DVD rights and intensified TV service production, with a particular focus on TV entertainment. Constantin Film’s international box-office hits include The Neverending Story, The Name of the Rose, the Resident Evil and Fantastic Four franchises, Perfume—The Story of a Murderer and Academy Award® nominees Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex. Forthcoming releases include Pope Joan and Pandorum.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vitagraph to take VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR into expanded marketplace

The fashion conscious are running down the runway to see VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR, boosting it into the position of highest grossing documentary of 2009. Now open in New York, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, it continues to roll out across the country with director Matt Tyranuer in person for q & a in as many as 3 cities per weekend!

Vogue columnist Andre Leon Talley will join the director for q & a at the City Cinemas 1, 2, 3 in Manhattan on Friday when the film expands beyond the Film Forum where it opened on March 18. Vitagraph Films will now work with the filmmakers to expand the number of cities where the film will open.

VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR is a feature-length film on the legendary designer Valentino Garavani in the wake of his exit in 2008 from the company he founded in Rome more than 45 years ago. Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, the film is an intimate, engaging and very funny fly-on-the-wall exploration of the singular world of one of Italy's richest and most famous men. The film documents the colorful and dramatic closing act of Valentino’s celebrated career, tells the story of his extraordinary life and work, and also explores the larger themes affecting the fashion business today. But at the heart of the film is the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

For theatres, to see photos and trailer and more:
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Tokyo! Opens Today on More LA Screens & Around the Country

We are holding a second week in Los Angeles and Orange County! Very exciting. There are photos on our Facebook Vitagraph fan page from director Michel Gondry's surprise appearance at the Nuart last week for a q & a with lead actress Ayako Fujitani. Oh and join our Twitter too. Our commentary is really exciting! Last week we went to an event at Royal/T. This weekend, the LA Cupcake Challenge (which is sold out!).

Here are some screens we are on this week in the LA Area. Check out this link for more cities and theatres:

You can join the Vitagraph e-mail list on our home page.

3/27/09: Irvine, CA
Edwards Westpark 8 Cinema
3755 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 622-8600

3/27/09: West Hollywood, CA
Laemmle's Sunset 5
8000 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, 90046
(323) 848-3500

3/27/09: Pasadena, CA
Laemmle's Playhouse 7
673 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, 91101
(626) 844-6500

3/27/09: Westwood, CA
Landmark’s Regent Theatre
1045 Broxton Avenue (between Weyburn & Kinross) Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 281-8223

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Nice Press, Ayako stays longer at the Nuart

As previously mentioned, Tokyo! opens in Los Angeles on March 20th after a successful New York opening. Will people love Tokyo! as much in our home town. We love the talented and charming Ayako Fujitani (who plays a young woman with some major transformation issues following a move to Tokyo to find her purpose in life with her fledgling filmmaker boyfriend). Anyway, Ayako has agreed to come to the Nuart for the 7:15 PM show on Friday, March 20 to discuss working with director Michel Gondry, having a "blue screen body," dragging a chair around, her impressions of making movies in Japan and more. She cut her teeth on Gamera and Ultraman flicks growing up and is also a writer.

Originally she was just doing an introduction, but now its a full fledged q & a after the screening. Ayako was interviewed by the LA Times' Michael Ordona so look for a profile on her in what is left of the paper on Thursday. Susan King wrote this great peice on the movie!

Vitagraph personnel will be hanging around the Nuart Friday night so come by and have a spring roll with us before, after or during one of the screenings!

We also open this weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area including Berkeley and San Jose. All of our theatres are listed at this link.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tokyo! Opens in our Hometown March 20!

Yes, Tokyo! is finally coming to Vitagraph's hometown, that little hamlet know as Los Angeles! David and Margot will be at the Nuart Theatre in West LA on March 20 for the 7:30 PM show and we hope to see all of our friends there too. We know we have at least 3 (followers of our blog). We can all go out for sake after the screening.

The lead actress in the Michel Gondry segment of Tokyo!, Ayako Fujitani is coming down to introduce the film for that show. See below for more on Ayako. She has a really cool retro looking digital camera.

You can actually win tickets to that show if you check out giveaways at Giant Robot and Royal/T or listen to KCRW.

And when you come be sure to say hi to Jim and Marc the Nuart managers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TOKYO! Achieves Highest Per Screen Average Gross in Opening Weekend with EXPLICIT ILLS coming in Third in the Country

TOKYO! Held Over at the Sunshine and Expands to Five Additional Theatres in New York and Chicago

Vitagraph Films is working on two films that opened against each other this weekend in New York, TOKYO! (distributed with Liberation Entertainment) and EXPLICIT ILLS (distributed with Peace Arch Entertainment). Both films performed well against studio mega-release WATCHMEN, coming in at 1st highest per screen average in the country for TOKYO! and 3rd for EXPLICIT ILLS. Both films opened on March 6, 2009.

TOKYO! came in ahead of WATCHMEN in the box office competition for highest per screen average this weekend, concentrated on one one screen while WATCHMEN went out on thousands. Opening March 6th, the films' three day gross came in at $23,460 on one screen (Landmark's Sunshine Cinema). WATCHMEN diluted its gross by being on too many screens and TOKYO! just snuck in and rose to the top.

The film continues its release with a planned opening at Chicago's Music Box on March 13 and expands in New York on four additional screens: BAM, Brooklyn Heights Cinema, AMC Empire on 42nd Street, Angelika's City Cinemas 1, 2, 3 in addition to a hold over at the Sunshine.

EXPLICIT ILLS came in 3rd in per screen average on one screen at the Angelika Theatre in New York with a gross of $9,125. The Angelika Film Center will hold it over for a second week. The film expands to Landmark's The Ritz at the Bourse in Philadelphia on March 13 and Los Angeles on March 20.

We are trying to find out what drew you to see the film so if you are reading, please comment.

Tokyo! Sneak Preview at the Egyptian with Michel Gondry & Akyako Fujitani In Person

The Sneak Preview of TOKYO! at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last night turned out to be a real treat with a surprise appearance by Michel Gondry who directed the triptych films' segment "Interior Design" starring Ayako Fujitani (pictured here with Gondry). Gondry is in town meeting with the studio about his next film, so he was able to attend the screening which was as much a multi-national collaboration as the film itself. Members of the American Cinematheque joined with Giant Robot Magazine, The French Film & TV Office, the Japanese American Cultural Community Center and the Korean Cultural Center to present TOKYO!

Henry Rollins
made the screening as well. Akyao brought her digital camera (a German/Japanese collaboration she explained) that looks like an old view camera which was a big hit with the photographers shooting her. Pre-screening activities included a Giant Robot t-shirt giveaway and an intro by Gondry in which he quoted Carax (one of his co-directors) as starting screenings by saying, "I doubt you will like it." He also let everyone know that TOKYO! brought in the highest per screen average in the country when it opened in New York this past weekend - outgrossing studio blockbuster WATCHMEN since the latter was open on thousands of screens nationwide and TOKYO! on just one in New York. Actress and Director stuck around for a lengthy discussion after the film. They spoke about the casting: Ayako recalled Gondry saying he "was tired of looking at pretty girls" when he found her. Looking pretty radiant herself, Ayako spoke about cutting her teeth as a child and teen on Gamera and other monster movies and doing physical acting for the benefit of special effects, including wearing a fair amount of blue screen on her person! Gondry recalled casting Ayako's boyfriend in the movie, a cocky ex-boy band member who he had to bring down to size when he met Ryo and his entourage for the first time. He says the filmmaker character Ryo Kase portrays is not at all based on him, but Ayako said that the joke on the set was that the young actor was trying to imitate some of Gondry's traits as a director to bring into his role as an ambitious young filmmaker. Differences in shooting in Japan? Gondry recalled a blessing ritual that began production. Following the discussion the audience was treated to Sapporo beer and a chance to talk about which segment of the three they liked best - Gondry's tale of the metamorphosis of a young woman who can't seem to find her place in Tokyo!, Leos Carax' story of a madman terrorizing Tokyo - or Bong Joon-ho's fable about a young man who lives as a shut in, but is forced out of his house after ten years to find the woman he thinks he can love. TOKYO! opens on March 20th in Los Angeles and many other cities as well.

See more pictures
View Album at Shutterfly

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tokyo! Premiere at the Japan Society last night

TOKYO! Premiered last night at the Japan Society and Vitagraph's team including Taeko from newyork-tokyo and Natascha Bodemann, publicist-at-large caught a few iphone photos of the festivities and contributed to this premiere coverage.

Despite the weather people braved going out to attend the premiere. We are still gathering details and photos, but from this early report we gather that Liberatio
n President Jay Boberg (pictured with Michel Gondry) and Leos Carax were in attendance along with David Cross of "Mr. Show," Vincent Musetto, reviewing for the NY Post, Alison Chernick (the director of "Matthew Barney: No Restraint"), reps from the Consulate General of Japan and others. Gabrielle Bell who wrote the original graphic novel that Gondry based his segment on, joined the directors onstage for the introduction. Reportedly Carax and Gondry stayed until the lights went on at the after party.

Ah the party.
Food: lots of great sushi, some sort of cool chicken on a skewer with a very fresh green vegetable, great little mini muffin-cupcake things with some sort of tofu icing in chocolate and vanilla flavor. The vanilla muffin-cupcakes had a green tea flavored tofu icing. And beer from Sapporo! Music was great, with favorites from 70's, 80's and 90's. The DJ was selected by Gondry and his name is forthcoming.

We hear that Indiewire covered the premiere so check out their site for posts (and to see our Tokyo banner ads).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Michel Gondry & Leos Carax In Person at the Sunshine Theatre with TOKYO!

Vitagraph Films is getting ready to release TOKYO! on March 6th in New York City. TOKYO! is a triptych film directed by Michel Gondry (BE KIND REWIND), Leos Carax (POLA X) and Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST).

Directors Leos Carax and Michel Gondry will appear in person at the theatre for opening weekend in New York! Here is when you can hear them talk with TOKYO!

Landmark's Sunshine Cinema
143 E. Houston St.
New York, NY
212 777-FILM #687

Friday March 6th 7:30pm Q&A with LEOS CARAX 10:25pm Film Introduction by LEOS CARAX Saturday March 7th 7:30pm Q&A with MICHEL GONDRY 10:25pm Film introduction by MICHEL GONDRY Sunday March 8th* 2:35pm Q&A with MICHEL GONDRY 5:00pm Film introduction by MICHEL GONDRY
*subject to change

Tokyo! opens across the country in March and April in a theatre near you as they say. Details on the Tokyo! website.