Sunday, October 9, 2016

TOKYO BLACKOUT! Teruyoshi Nakano's Birthday Blowout Features a Screening of This Obscure Sci-Fi Flick!

Teruyoshi Nakano celebrates his 81st birthday. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

October 9, 2016, marked Teruyoshi Nakano's 81st birthday (despite the persistent misinformation in the West that his birthday falls on October 1), and on his birthday, many of Nakano-san's fans gathered to take in a screening of the rather obscure sci-fi epic Tokyo Blackout (1987). 

Model maker Takashi Naganuma discusses his work. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Although it was directed by Toshio Masuda (The Last Days of Planet Earth) and based on a novel by Sakyo Komatsu (Submersion of Japan), the film remains little known outside Japan (and even within Japan!) among tokusatsu fan circles. It's not a bad film by any means, but it's a little slow and has a tendency to be a bit melodramatic. In any case, I enjoyed seeing it in 35mm. I doubt I'll ever have another chance to see it that way!

After the film, its SFX director (and the day's guest of honor) Teruyoshi Nakano discussed his work on the film, and model maker Takashi Naganuma also added his expertise to the proceedings.

After the Q&A session ended, we ate dinner with the guests, and then Nakano-san's birthday cake was brought out. As you'd expect, Nakano-san blew out the candles. No word on what he wished for.

An unexpected treat was a special showing of a TV interview from circa 1981, featuring Teruyoshi Nakano, Tomoyuki Tanaka, and Tsuburaya Productions' Koichi Takano. The trio discussed tokusatsu movies, and at one point Nakano-san was paired with an interesting Godzilla attraction suit that I've never seen before. (Eleking appeared alongside Takano-san for his scenes.) There was also some behind-the-scenes footage taken inside Tsuburaya Productions' office, and in the background was director Noriaki Yuasa, who was working on Ultraman 80. Very cool stuff!

All in all, it was a great day spent in great company. Let's do it again soon!

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