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A continuation of Kino's commitment to uncompromising American talents, Kino's American Independent Series has recently released Azazel Jacobs' Momma's Man and Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy on DVD. This time, Kino is turning to three young directors who also managed to succeed in the competitive world of independent cinema.
An official selection at the 2009 New Directors/New Films and the influential SXSW Film Festival, The Toe Tactic offers a good dosage of "free-associative, good-humored surrealism" (A. O. Scott, The New York Times) by imaginatively combining live action and animation (in the style Hubley memorably brought to life in Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
Take Out also gathered impressive reviews from U.S. critics: Shauna Lyon, from The New Yorker, referred to Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou's feature film as "remarkable," and Eric Monder, from Film Journal International, wrote that Take Out is "city guerrilla filmmaking at its finest." Moreover, the debut feature of writer/directors Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival and was selected to the Slamdance, Urban World, and Asian American film festivals - to name a few.
Both DVDs come with an impressive list of special features: Emily Hubley's The Toe Tactic arrives with three short films by Emily Hubley, deleted scenes, animated storyboards and a stills gallery as special features.
And Kino's Take Out DVD brings an audio commentary with directors Sean Baker & Shi-Ching Tsou and actor Charles Jang, cast and crew interviews, two deleted scenes, the audition for the film's lead, Charles Jang, the original theatrical trailer and a stills gallery.
Both titles are set to prebook August 4, 2009, each with an SRP of $29.95. Their street date is September 1.
Korean-American actor Charles Jang is the main star in Take Out. He plays Ming Ding, a Chinese illegal immigrant who works as a deliveryman at a take-out restaurant and is struggling to make ends meet.
Ming is behind with payments on his huge debt to the smugglers who brought him to the United States, and the collectors have given him until the end of the day to deliver the money that is due. After borrowing most of the money from friends and relatives, Ming realizes that the remainder must come from the day's delivery tips. In order to do so, he must make more than double his average daily income.
In a social-realist style, and under the inspiration of filmmakers like Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, the camera follows Ming on his deliveries throughout the upper Manhattan neighborhood where social and economic extremes exist side by side.
Audio Commentary with Directors Sean Baker and Shi-Ching Tsou and Actor Charles Jang
Cast and Crew Interviews
Two Deleted Scenes
Charles Jang's Audition for Ming Ding
THE TOE TACTIC
A light-hearted and perceptive exploration of memory, regret and the nature of reality itself, The Toe Tactic follows Mona Peek (Lily Rabe) on an impulsive visit to her abandoned suburban childhood home. There, her lonely life is shaken by a flood of grief for her dead father and nostalgia for the world the two shared in decades gone by.
A lost wallet and a buried bone become the keys to a playfully fractured reality of talking dogs, a single mom, her son, his piano teacher, an amorous elevator man, an eccentric dowager, and the intricate web of secrets, longings and intersections that connects them.
Featuring Kevin Corrigan (Henry Fool), Mary Kay Place (Big Love), and Daniel London (Old Joy), the voice talents of Eli Wallach (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Andrea Martin (SCTV), and David Cross (Arrested Development), and a compelling soundtrack by indie band Yo La Tengo, the "free-associative, good-humored surrealism" (A.O. Scott, The New York Times) of The Toe Tactic heralds a truly independent and enchanting filmmaking vision.
Three Short Films by Emily Hubley