SciFi Japan

    Japanese Gangster Movies, Asian Art Film Fest, GUNDAM Anime in March at VIZ Cinema

    Theatre Also Announces Lecture on Anime Icon Hayao Miyazaki, and Screenings for 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen

    VIZ Cinema in San Francisco, CA, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, has announced a variety of notable film screenings, festivals, lectures and other special events to be held throughout the month of March. Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films: Vol.1 YAKUZA NIGHT FEVER! New activities kick off on March 5th with Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films. Come celebrate the launch of Japanese pop culture critic and Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias’s new film/lecture series. Also sponsored by SEGA of America, the evening’s events begin at 6:00pm and will include a reception, a lecture on the history of Japanese yakuza (gangster) cinema, and the debut of SEGA’s highly anticipated new video game, YAKUZA 3, for the PlayStation 3. Tickets are only $10.00. Macias’ hour-long lecture starts at 7:00pm and will trace the history of gangster cinema in Japan, highlighted with clips from such genre masterpieces as BRUTAL TALES OF CHIVALRY, BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY, DEAD OR ALIVE, and LIKE A DRAGON. Macias will discuss the culture of the yakuza genre and its action-packed, blood-soaked cinematography, along with themes of loyalty and betrayal these films often explore. SEGA’s YAKUZA 3 is the next chapter in the prestigious video game saga, offering an authentic, gritty and, often, violent story set in modern day Japan. Following the events of the previous game, Kazuma and his adopted daughter Haruka have left Kamurochoto to seek a new life in Okinawa where they manage an orphanage for children. However, their peaceful life is soon interrupted when a series of events unfold, pulling Kazuma back into the shadowy past he thought he had left behind. Making its first appearance exclusively on the PlayStation 3 platform, the rich story and vibrant world of Yakuza 3 lets players engage in intense brutal clashes on the streets of Okinawa, and the pulsating and, often, dangerous city of Tokyo where only the strongest will survive. YAKUZA 3 will carry an ESRB rating of ‘M’ For Mature Audiences. NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival VIZ Cinema will present the NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival, a special collection of six insightful documentaries each profiling a unique Japanese contemporary artist. The 4-day festival runs March 6th – 9th and features the U.S. theatrical premieres of several films featuring the Neo-Japanese “Hip-Hop-Samurai” painter Hisashi Tenmyouya, the cynical artistic genius of Makoto Aida, and the life and work of master sculptor Katsura Funakoshi. By popular demand, the festival has announced encore showings of three documentaries on artists Yoshitomo Nara, Yayoi Kusama, and photographer Daido Moriyama. Summaries of each film and a list of screening times are available at Special festival passes are available for $30.00 offer and access to ANY screening at ANY time during the festival! General admission tickets for individual films are available for $10.00 each, Senior (+62) and Children (under 12) are $8. NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival Films Include:

    HISASHI TENMYOUYA: SAMURAI NOUVEAU- 3/6 Sat, 1:00pm & 3/7 Sun, 3:00pm MAKOTO AIDA: CYNIC IN THE PLAYGROUND- 3/6 Sat, 3:00pm & 3/7 Sun, 5:00pm KATSURA FUNAKOSHI: WHISPERING GAZE- 3/6 Sat, 5:00pm & 3/8 Mon, 7:00pm TRAVELING WITH YOSHITOMO NARA- 3/7 Sun, 7:00pm & 3/9 Tue, 5:00pm YAYOI KUSAMA: I LOVE ME: 3/7 Sun, 1:00pm & 3/9 Tue, 7:00pm DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO- 3/6 Sat, 7:00pm & 3/8 Mon, 5:00pm The Allure of Hayao Miyazaki Don’t miss a rare chance to attend a lecture given by Fred Schodt and Beth Cary, the translators of Starting Point: 1979-1996, an autobiography written by Academy Award winning film director and anime visionary, Hayao Miyazaki! Hear some interesting stories of these two recognized experts on anime and manga who spent time with Miyazaki and glean deeper insights into his world of incredible imagination. The Allure of Hayao Miyazaki will be held on March 10th at 7:00pm; tickets are $8.00. San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival VIZ Cinema also partners with the 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival to present DEAR DOCTOR, by award-winning director Miwa Nishikawa (SWAY and WILD BERRIES). DEAR DOCTOR is a drama centering on a physician that goes missing after moving to his post in a remote village with no other doctors. Notable for exposing the complicated human psyche, this touching film plays for one night only on Wednesday, March 17th at 9:15pm. Information and advance tickets ($12.00) are available at the festival website U.S. Premiere Of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC Anime fans won’t want to miss VIZ Cinema’s just-added week long screening of the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN) feature film (58 min) running March 19th – 25th. Gundam has been popular for more than 30 years and this brand new story is based on a bestseller written by acclaimed science fiction author Harutoshi Fukui. The film makes a special U.S. debut only one month after its original premiere in Japan and was made possible via a special arrangement with Studio Sunrise. In the year U.C. 0096, a colony called Industrial 7 is the stage for a young boy named Banagher`s encounter with destiny: the white Mobile Suit called the Unicorn Gundam. A mysterious Laplace`s Box becomes the basis for a galactic scale battle. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch the U.S. theatrical of the latest Gundam movie! Tickets are $8.00; no discounts apply.

    About NEW PEOPLE

    NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at

    About VIZ Cinema

    VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX-certified sound system.

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