SciFi Japan

    VIZ Cinema Welcomes Spring with Colorful Events and Films for April

    Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen

    April welcomes Spring, and VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, celebrates the season of the sakura (cherry blossom) with a colorful – and tasty – schedule of films and fun events. Don’t miss a very rare personal appearance by Director Yuri Nomura for the U.S. premiere of her acclaimed documentary film about gastronomy, EATRIP. Known widely in Japan as a chef, author and teacher, and also for her Food Creative Team, “Eatrip,” that takes ‘eating’ to the next level. EATRIP created a buzz in film festivals worldwide and now comes to San Francisco! Nomura will attend the U.S. premiere of EATRIP at VIZ Cinema on April 10th as part of the 43rd annual Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown. Tickets are available to attend a unique dinner and discussion with the Nomura, hosted in association with Sylvan Mishima Brackett, owner of PEKO-PEKO and the former creative director at the world-renowned restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, CA. VIP tickets are $50.00 and include dinner and reception (April 10th, 7:00pm) and are now available for purchase online. Other new films opening in April include SAKURAN, GRAVITY`S CLOWNS and a special GUNDAM Forever Movie Marathon! Science fiction fans can also look forward to the next installment of TokyoScope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films Vol. 2, which this month focuses on MECHA MANIA: Four Decades of Slam-Bang Sci-Fi Robot Anime, and a special screening of K-20: THE FIEND WITH 20 FACES to celebrate the release of the film on DVD by VIZ Pictures on April 20th. SAKURAN (2007) March 26th – April 8th (111min, Digital, English subtitled, Directed by Mika Ninagawa, Cast: Anna Tsuchiya, Kippei Shiina, Yoshino Kimura, Presented by Asmik Ace Entertainment)

    Based on the manga by Moyoko Anno, SAKURAN (wild cherry blossom) illustrates the life of Kiyoha, a girl who had an unfortunate childhood being brought up to become a Yoshiwara courtesan in the Edo era. After an attempt to run away from the district, Kiyoha rises up to the stardom of “Oiran”, the status of the most wanted courtesan. She struggles and dreams to obtain her freedom one day. Starring Anna Tsuchiya of Kamikaze Girls in her first leading role. *This film contains nudity. Parental guidance recommended. TokyoScope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films Vol.2- MECHA MANIA: Four Decades of Slam-Bang Sci-Fi Robot Anime Friday, April 9th 7:00pm Ticket price: $8 General Patrick Macias, Editor in Chief of Otaku USA, hosts the 2nd talk in his series. This time it’s all about Japan’s ‘mecha’ (robots and machines) obsession. Also co-hosting the event will be author and critic Tomohiro Machiyama, who is highly respected as an Otaku culture guru in Japan, who also together with Macias wrote Cruising Anime City. Patrick and Tomohiro will give us an insight into the world of mecha anime through its history from the 60’s Tetsujin 28 –go to Gundam as well as Gurren Lagann. Don’t miss the delicious raffle giveaway at the event of tear-jerking treasures for super mecha fans!

    Gundam Forever Marathon

    Saturday, April 10 starting 11:00am Ticket price is $10 General. Combo Ticket $25. MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM MOVIE I (1981) (Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, Digital, 137 min., English Dubbed) MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM MOVIE II: SOLDIERS OF SORROW (1981) (Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino Digital, 134 min., English Dubbed) MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM MOVIE III: ENCOUNTERS IN SPACE (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen, 2009) (Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, Digital, 141 min., English Dubbed) In the year 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation and its space colonies are engaged in an apocalyptic war. The rebellious Duchy of Zeon, using humanoid fighting machines called Mobile Suits, has all but vanquished the Federation. Now the Federation’s last hope is the prototype Mobile Suit, Gundam. When a twist of fate makes young civilian Amuro Ray the sole-pilot of Gundam, Amuro’s own battle begins – a struggle not only for the Federation’s survival, but for his own.

    EATRIP (2009) April 10th – April 15th (U.S. Premiere) (80min, 35mm, English subtitled, Directed by Yuri Nomura, Cast: Tadanobu Asano, UA, Sen Souoku) EATRIP explores the interpersonal relationships that food nurtures. This documentary includes interviews with actor Tadanobu Asano, singer UA, tea master Sen Souoku, and many others. It takes you on a journey throughout Japan to look at how life can be led optimally through the daily ritual of eating. To eat is indeed to live. Life is just an “eating trip” (eatrip). Don’t miss the U.S. premiere of EATRIP with director Yuri Nomura herself hosting a reception + foods & talk party in association with Sylvan Mishima Brackett, owner of PEKO-PEKO catering and former creative director at Chez Panisse. There is only limited seats, so purchase your tickets early! VIP ticket: $50 (for April 10th @ 7:00pm)

    GRAVITY`S CLOWNS (2009) April 16th – April 29th (114min, Digital, English subtitled, Directed by Jun-ichi Mori, Cast: Ryo Kase, Masaki Okada, Fumiyo Kohinata, Presented by Asmik Ace Entertainment) Based on the bestselling novel by Kotaro Isaka, ”A Pierrot”. A serial arsonist leaving mysterious grafitti by the burn site is on the loose in Sendai. Brothers Izumi and Haru, both with names derived from the English word ’spring’, hold bitter memories from the past. They become obsessively drawn to solving the arson case on their own. Their family secrets are unraveled as more clues are revealed. K-20: THE FIEND WITH 20 FACES (2009) Tuesday, 4/20 – 1 night only! 7:00 p.m. DVD Release Special! (137 min, Digital, English subtitled, Directed by Shimako Sato, Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Takako Matsu, Toru Nakamura) 7:00pm Ticket + DVD = $25 It is 1949 in Japan, in a world where World War II never happened and the nobility system is still in place. Heikichi, a circus acrobat, is deceived by “The Fiend (Kaijin) with Twenty Faces”, a.k.a. K-20, and is set up to take the fall for the phantom thief. Now, Heikichi must wage war against K-20. Based on the bestseller mystery novel series by Ranpo Edogawa. Tickets – $25: The event ticket is $10 only for the screening, or $25.00 for a movie ticket, the brand new DVD, a poster, and a more!

    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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