SciFi Japan
    DVD Release and Special San Francisco Screening on January 26 Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: VIZ Pictures Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, will release the newest volume of its ongoing NEW PEOPLE ARTIST SERIES – DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO (Near Equal Moriyama Daidou, 2001) on DVD January 26th. This intriguing documentary profiles the life and art of Japan’s foremost photographer and highlights his unorthodox style and technique. The DVD will carry an MSRP of $24.92 U.S. / $35.99 CAN and will be distributed by VIZ Media. Daido Moriyama has been a major force in artistic photography since the late 60’s, but his true persona has been hidden behind a veil of mystery since he has refused any major media appearances - until now.

    “Hit Me With Music Vol. 2” Film Series Runs this January Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen San Francisco`s VIZ Cinema, the nation’s first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, opens 2010 with an exciting new program for January that continues to explore music as a cinematic theme. From rock ‘n roll to classical, music provides the soundtrack for young people’s lives. “Hit Me With Music, Volume 2” will showcase several films that each move to a different beat and will premiere SHINDO, MIDNIGHT SUN and OH! MY BUDDHA. VIZ Cinema’s ever popular "Weeknight Anime People" will screen the samurai action of SWORD OF THE STRANGER while the venue’s "New People Artist Series" plans a special presentation of the intriguing documentary, DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO. Preview trailers and screening times are

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special Thanks to Junko Kawaguchi The ninja action film KAMUI, directed by Yoichi Sai and co-produced/distributed by Shochiku Co., Ltd., will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, to be held in Toronto, Ontario from September 10- September 19, 2009. KAMUI is one of eight international films newly added to the festival`s Special Presentation Program. Founded in 1976, TIFF takes over 23 screens in downtown Toronto for 10 days each September. Last year, more than 300,000 attendees turned out for screenings of 312 films from 64 different countries. KAMUI is a live action adaptation of Sanpei Shirato`s manga The Legend of Kamui, which was originally serialized in the Japanese anthology magazine Garo from December 1964 to July 1971. An English language version of The Legend of Kamui was first released by VIZ Media in 1987. In 1969, the story

    Press Notes and Photos from Shochiku Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Movie Site: ICHI Special Thanks to Aki Harimoto SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. The famed ZATOICHI returns to the screen once again... this time as the female character ICHI. With eyes that cannot see, the audience will reach her soul, where emotions burst with relentless action! Introduction Zatoichi— a wandering blind swordsman who protects the innocent and fights injustice— has been one of the the most popular samurai heroes in Japanese cinema and television. The character was featured in one of Japan`s longest-running movie series, with 26 films produced between 1962 and 1989 starring Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi. Katsu also played the role in the 112 episode television series THE TALE OF ZATOICHI, which aired from 1974 to 1979. In 2003, "Beat" Takeshi Kitano directed

    Author: Elliot Gay Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special thanks to Aki Harimoto and Stuart Galbraith IV Founded in 1895 as a Kabuki theater company, Shochiku Co., Ltd. has been one of the top movie production and distribution companies in Japan since 1920. The studio has produced the works of some of Japan`s most respected directors; a partial list includes such greats as Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa, Hiroshi Shimizu, Keisuke Kinoshita, Nagisa Oshima, Yoji Yamada, Kinji Fukusaku, and Takeshi Kitano. Shochiku also created the beloved Tora-San film series, which featured 48 entries produced from 1969-1995 and earned a spot as "the longest movie series in the world" in the Guiness Book of World Records. The studio is also known for its many samurai pictures and as well as cult film favorites like THE X FROM OUTER SPACE and GOKE, BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL.

    The New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts to Screen More than 50 Feature Films in June and July Source: Subway Cinema, Japan Society Special Thanks to Toyah Attwell and Grady Hendrix Beginning this month, New York City plays host to 24 days of Asian cinema. Subway Cinema`s New York Asian Film Festival (June 19- July 5) and Japan Society`s JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Films (June 30 - July 12) combined will feature more than 50 movies, exclusive Q&A’s with filmmakers, and other special events. This year also marks the third collaboration between JAPAN CUTS and NYAFF, who will co-present seven films at the Japan Society from July 1-5. Festival Venues The IFC Center 323 Sixth Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets) New York, NY 10014 Box office: (212) 924-7771 The IFC Center is the ultimate entertainment space for New Yorkers seeking

    Source: mPRm Public Relations press release Official Site (Hong Kong): WarlordsTheMovie Special Thanks to Clay Dollarhide The Wagner/Cuban Companies` Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s historical action epic, THE WARLORDS. Boasting an all-star cast, including Jet Li, Andy Lau (INFERNAL AFFAIRS) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (RETURNER, K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK), THE WARLORDS was a huge critical and commercial hit in China, winning eight Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director for Chan and Best Actor for Li. Depicting the same historical events that were the basis for the Shaw Brothers classic BLOOD BROTHERS, THE WARLORDS is set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s. Jet Li stars as General Pang, who after a surviving a massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead,

    Source: Alex Hernandez, New York-Tokyo Official Movie Site: In TOKYO!, three visionary directors (Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho) come together for an omnibus triptych examining the nature of one unforgettable city as it’s shaped by the disparate people who live, work (and run amok) inside an enormous, constantly evolving, densely populated Japanese megalopolis — the enchanting and inimitable Tokyo. Rhapsody, psychogeography, urban valentine, freak show, mindwalk and many other things, TOKYO! is a fantasy in three movements that will make you see one of the world’s greatest cities— if not any city— with a new point of view. In the tradition of such films as NEW YORK STORIES, NIGHT ON EARTH, PARIS JE T’AIME and its forthcoming sequel NEW YORK I LOVE YOU, TOKYO! addresses the timeless question of whether we shape cities, or if cities shape us— while in the process, revealing

    New Drama from the Award-Winning Director of THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special Thanks to Aki Harimoto Shochiku Co., Ltd. announced today that they would start production of Yoji Yamada’s latest feature, OTOUTO (original Japanese title). The film will start shooting in mid-January 2009. Yoji Yamada now returns to modern drama for the first time in 10 years, following the enormous success of the samurai trilogy that included the Academy Award nominated film THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI (Tasogare Seibei, 2002), THE HIDDEN BLADE (Kakushi Ken, Oni no Tsume, 2004) and LOVE AND HONOR (Bushi no Ichibun, 2006). His last feature was the highly acclaimed KABEI – OUR MOTHER (Kabei, 2008), which premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival in competition and moved the audience to tears with the strong drama of a family`s struggles through the hard times of WWII. Shochiku Co. Ltd., will produce

    Star-Studded Line Up at 2008 Event Source: Roger Bilheimer Associates press release Official Site: New York Anime Festival The second annual New York Anime Festival (NYAF), which will take place in New York City September 26 – 28 at the Jacob K. Javits Center, boasts a wide cross-section of prominent guests from the worlds of fashion, music, food, as well as comics, fulfilling the festival’s goal of expanding beyond anime specifically to embrace many aspects of Japanese pop culture. In its first year in 2007, the New York Anime Festival became an immediate success, playing host to thousands of fans and instantly becoming the fourth largest anime festival in the United States. “Our festival is like an entire world unto itself, with an enormous and dedicated fan base which literally soaks up all that we have to offer,” notes Lance Fensterman, Show Manager for NYAF. “This

    Combined US/Japanese Effort Preserves a Landmark in Japanese Cinema; Academy Presents 3 Month Celebration of Akira Kurosawa Source: Kadokawa Pictures, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Special Thanks to Oki Miyano Contents: Kadokawa Pictures press release: The Rashomon Restoration Project The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release: Academy to Salute Akira Kurosawa The Rashomon Restoration Project Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences It has been ten years since the legendary director Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 - September 6, 1998) passed away. Kadokawa Pictures is now completing the task of digitally restoring Kurosawa`s RASHOMON with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Considering RASHOMON`s arts and cultural values, Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the US, and The

    Part 1: Go Speed Go! A Series Overview Part 2: Racers Start Your Engines! How it All Began Part 3: Speed Racer is Born! MACH GO GO GO Comes to the U.S. Part 4: The Aftermath of Speed Part 5: The Movie and Beyond Author: James Long On May 9th, one of the most eagerly awaited events in the history of SPEED RACER came to fruition when the big screen, live action adaptation of the adventures of these classic characters was released to theaters across America. The notion of a live action version of SPEED RACER has been bandied about Hollywood for a couple of decades now. The earliest mentions of such a project appear to have come about in 1986, when then-student David Lane Seltzer was watching the movie TOP GUN. Scenes of Tom Cruise wearing his helmet

    Godzilla-themed satire featuring STAR TREK`s George Takei Author: Robert Troch and Jim Cirile Official Movie Site: SHOWDOWN OF THE GODZ At long last SHOWDOWN OF THE GODZ is here! What is it? Why is it here? SHOWDOWN OF THE GODZ is an independent family film that ANY kaiju fan can appreciate, and any non-kaiju fan can enjoy. A satire starring David Gassman (RAYMAN series, THE BOURNE IDENTITY), Alixx Schotland, Ayla Guttman and the legendary George Takei (STAR TREK, HEROES), SHOWDOWN OF THE GODZ is a 17 minute short film written by Jim Cirile and Aaron Schnore, produced by John Reefer, Jim Cirile, Robert Troch, Julien Calderbank and directed by Julien Calderbank. The story goes like this... Jesse (David Gasman) is the world`s biggest Japanese monster movie fan. Trapped in a stultifying insurance job and a deteriorating marriage, the only bright spot in his

    A Month of New and Classic Films at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres! Source: American Cinematheque From the American Cinematheque... Join us for more of what you love best – new and vintage classic and cult fantastic films, including a Sneak Preview of Larry Bishop’s phantasmagorical biker pic HELL RIDE (produced and edited by Quentin Tarantino), the Pang Brothers’ newest, RE-CYCLE, the U.S. Premiere of the new animated STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS and the World Premiere of Norman England’s documentary, BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE. Plus, more British horror classics from the Golden Age, including JACK THE RIPPER, A STUDY IN TERROR, THE TELL-TALE HEART, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, brand new prints of Hammer Studios Christopher Lee adventure pix THE DEVIL-SHIP PIRATES, THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER and TERROR OF THE TONGS, a new print of Hammer’s hardboiled wartime atrocity opus THE CAMP ON BLOOD ISLAND, plus

    Source: San Francisco Film Society Special thanks to Jennifer Young Director Bong Joon-Ho continues his US tour with an appearance next week in San Francisco... From the SFFS website: Bong Joon-Ho at the Clay Monday, March 5 -Clay Theatre Sponsored by KOFIC (Korean Film Council) In anticipation of the theatrical release of director Bong Joon-Ho’s fun and scary monster movie THE HOST (SF International Animation Showcase, 2006), we’re screening two of his wonderful earlier films, MEMORIES OF MURDER (SFIFF, 2004) and BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE, on March 5. The director is expected to be in attendance at both. 6:30 pm MEMORIES OF MURDER (2003) 127 min: A police investigation into a series of brutal murders in the 1980s becomes a powerful portrait of a repressive society. Based on Korea`s first serial killer case, this elegiac film offers a commanding sense of story and a tone balanced

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