SciFi Japan
    Source: Third Window Films, The Associates press release Official Movie Site: kawasoko.com (Japan), thirdwindowfilms.com/sawako-decides (UK) Special Thanks to Adam Torel Yuya Ishii`s award winning comedy SAWAKO DECIDES (??????????, Kawa no Soko Kara Konnichi Wa, 2010), comes out in cinemas this July at the ICA in London and various other regional UK sites. SAWAKO DECIDES was the 19th Pia Film Festival scholarship winner and was picked as official selection for both the Berlin Film Festival and London Film Festival (among many others). It made its North American premiere at the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival/Japan Cuts, and won awards for `Best Film` and `Best Actress` at the Fantasia International Film Festival. The film stars the critically acclaimed actress Hikari Mitsushima, who started her career as a child star in REBIRTH OF MOTHRA II (???2 ??????, Mosura Tsuu Kaitei no Daikessen, 1997) before moving

    DEATH NOTE`s Tatsuya Fujiwara is the Ultimate Gambler in Big Screen Manga Adaptation Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network) Additional Images: 4Digital Media Official Movie Site: kaiji-movie.jp (Japan) Special Thanks to Asuka Kimura, Tzeling Huang, Steve Beecham and Steve Kirkham KAIJI (Kaiji Jinsei Gyakuten Geemu) is a 2009 live action film based on the best selling manga series. It was produced by a partnership of companies that include the Nippon Television Network (NTV), Toho, Kaiji manga publisher Kodansha, Horipro, YTV, Vap, DN Dreampartners, and Hint Inc. KAIJI was released theatrically in Japan by Toho on October 10, 2009. The film was a box office success, earning ¥2.1 billion yen (approximately $23 million US) during its theatrical run. A sequel has been announced for release in Japan in 2011. NTV is handling world sales of KAIJI and has promoted the movie at international trade shows such as the American

    Takashi Miike`s Violent Samurai Tale Opens in Cinemas May 6th Source: The Associates press release Official Site: 13assassins.jp (Japan), 13assassins.com (US) Takashi Miike, the director responsible for such uncompromising and unforgettable movies as AUDITION and ICHI THE KILLER indelibly stamps his trademark style on the Samurai genre with the ultra-violent, all-action, blood-spattered epic 13 ASSASSINS (??????, Jusan-nin no Shikaku, 2010). One of the most prolific, wildly unpredictable and controversial directors in cinema, here Miike reinvents himself once more “in top, slash-tastic form” (Variety), throwing in several obvious nods to the works of Akira Kurosawa and enough grotesquery to satisfy his loyal legions of fans, with a movie that has been described as a “handsomely mounted samurai adventure” (Cinematical) that is “too damn magnificent to ignore” (Twitch). Executive produced by Toshiaki Nakazawa (producer of DEPARTURES, the winner of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign

    Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Site: 13assassins.jp (Japan), 13assassins.com (US) Beginning this month, 13 ASSASSINS (??????, Jusan-nin no Shikaku, 2010) will be distributed in the United States by Magnet Releasing, a division of Magnolia Pictures (THE HOST, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, MONSTERS). Cult director Takeshi Miike (ICHI THE KILLER, AUDITION) delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan`s feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a wartorn future. 13 ASSASSINS is now available on Video On Demand and starts a limited theatrical run on April 29th. Check the Magnolia Pictures website for theater locations and dates. The following press notes and images are courtesy of Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures... Sedic International and Magnet Releasing in Association with

    Source: Roadside Attractions LLC Official Movie Site: THE LAST GODFATHER (Korea), lastgodfathermovie.com (US) The famous South Korean comedian and film director Shim Hyung-rae (DRAGON WARS) returns with his latest Hollywood film, this time a comedy. Shim`s THE LAST GODFATHER (??? ???, 2010), co-starring Harvey Keitel (TAXI DRIVER, RESERVOIR DOGS), Jason Mewes (CLERKS, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK) and Blake Clark (THE WATERBOY). The film is now playing in cinemas across the United States... check lastgodfathertheaters.blogspot.com for theater listings. Synopsis: In 1951, Don Carini (Harvey Keitel), the mafia`s most powerful godfather, gathers his followers to announce the heir to the family. Each expects to be crowned the next Don, but they hear a shocking story from Don Carini. During his travels in Asia, he fell in love with an Korean woman who bore him a son. His now adult lovechild Young-gu (Shim Hyung-rae),

    Award Winning Film Set in Fukushima Prefecture is a Testament to the Enduring Human Spirit Source: MediaLab press release Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Erik Jansen NEW PEOPLE, the nation’s only entertainment complex dedicated to Japanese popular culture, will present a special screening of director Lee Sang-il’s celebrated film, HULA GIRLS, to raise funds for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief. HULA GIRLS will screen on Saturday, March 26th at 2:00pm, 4:30pm and 7:00pm at VIZ Cinema. Suggested donations are $10.00 or more per person. NEW PEOPLE is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown at 1746 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. 100% of proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, administered by JCCCNC and Union Bank in San Francisco’s Japantown. More information on the screenings and the work of this relief organization is

    Source: Third Window Films, The Associates press release Official Movie Site: coldfish.jp (Japan), thirdwindowfilms.com/cold-fish (UK) Special Thanks to Adam Torel The latest feature from cult Japanese writer-director Sion Sono (LOVE EXPOSURE), COLD FISH (??????, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2010) is the third release from Nikkatsu`s new genre film label, Sushi Typhoon. Inspired by and loosely based on the real-life exploits of serial killer couple Gen Sekine and his ex-wife Hiroko Kazama (the perpetrators of Tokyo’s notorious 1993 “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” killings), the film is a psychotic cavalcade of sex, violence and comedy that has been hailed by Variety for its “gleeful humour and dare-you-to-watch aesthetic”. Now COLD FISH is coming to theatres in the United Kingdom, giving filmgoers a chance to witness “yet another step in Sion Sono`s rise as one of Japan`s most consistently bold and intriguing film makers… [that] stands

    Japanese Gangster Film Series Spans 50 Years, with 15 films and a Guest Appearance by an American Movie Legend Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Shannon Jowett and Joshua Pagillo Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence March 9-19, 2011, at Japan Society New York, NY: Years before Coppola’s GODFATHER enthralled a nation and decades before SOPRANOS and BOARDWALK EMPIRE fed viewers’ insatiable appetites for serial gangster melodrama, the yakuza (Japanese mafia) were mainstays of the Japanese film industry. From March 9-19, Japan Society presents the Globus Film Series "Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence", featuring 15 seminal films encompassing 50 years of snarling, swaggering, tattooed and inexplicably sexy cinema icons from Japan. In addition to celebrated classics by Hideo Gosha (THE WOLVES), Kinji Fukasaku (COPS VS. THUGS, BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY), the

    Director Kim Jee-woon Delivers Extreme Revenge Flick with Vengeance Author: Richard Pusateri Source: Magnet Releasing Official Movie Site: isawthedevilmovie.com (US), isawthedevil.co.kr (Korea) Special Thanks to Marina Bailey Film Publicity SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. I SAW THE DEVIL (??? ??? , Akmareul Boattda, 2010) has a lot of great buzz and early reviews going for it. The well-acted riveting story has fine photography and great pacing. The momentum carries interest over some implausible situations and other plot holes. But still, I found myself uncomfortable enjoying this slick slasher/serial killer/revenge movie. The action relentlessly escalates as more characters become involved being drawn in (or pulled down) by the obsession of the wronged hero government secret agent Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun ). I SAW THE DEVIL has plenty of effective suspense and well-staged action scenes. The lush cinematography by Lee

    Psychological Thriller from the Director of KAMIKAZE GIRLS and MEMORIES OF MATSUKO Opens February 18th Source: Third Window Films, The Associates press release Official Movie Site: kokuhaku-shimasu.jp (Japan), thirdwindowfilms.com/confessions (UK) Special Thanks to Adam Torel Following the critical acclaim of his previous features, KAMIKAZE GIRLS (Shimotsuma Monogatari, 2004) and MEMORIES OF MATSUKO (Kiraware Matsuko no Issho, 2006), genre-busting auteur Tetsuya Nakashima returns with CONFESSIONS (??, Kokuhaku, 2010), a notably darker but equally absorbing and typically idiosyncratic work, this time adapted from the award winning debut novel by Kanae Minato. Written and directed by Nakashima, CONFESSIONS has been selected as Japan’s official entry in the Best Foreign Film category of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards (the final list of nominees will announced on 25th January 2011) and received great acclaim following its UK premier screening at the Film4 Frightfest All-Nighter in October, 2010 at

    DRAGON WARS Director`s Newest Comedy Comes to the US Author: Kim Song-ho Source: Younggu Art and CJ Entertainment official press materials Official Movie Site: THE LAST GODFATHER The Korean studio CJ Entertainment announced on January 26 (Korean date) that the company and the American distributor Roadside Attractions LLC have reached a deal via MOU (memorandum of understanding) for the North American release of THE LAST GODFATHER (??? ???, 2010). The movie is the latest comedy by writer/director Shim Hyung-rae, the filmmaker behind such monster movies as YONGGARY (??? aka REPTILIAN, 1999/2001) and DRAGON WARS (D-WAR, 2007). THE LAST GODFATHER is about Young-gu (played by director Shim himself, who is also a popular comedian and actor in Korea), who in fact is a long-lost son of the 1950s fictional New York mob boss Don Carini (Harvey Keitel). Before retirement, Don Carini calls the dim-witted

    New Horror Film from Sushi Typhoon and the Director of LOVE EXPOSURE Source: Sushi Typhoon Official Movie Site: coldfish.jp (Japan) Special Thanks to Marc Walkow After the international acclaim of his masterpiece LOVE EXPOSURE (Ai no Mukidashi, 2008), director Shion Sono is back with COLD FISH (??????, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2010), the third release from Nikkatsu`s new genre film label, Sushi Typhoon. The film is a horror story— with a bit of Sono`s trademark black humor— inspired by the real life crimes of exotic dog breeder Gen Sekine, his common-law wife Hiroko Kasama, and his business partner Nagayuki Yamazaki, who murdered and dismembered a number of people in 1993. COLD FISH made its World Premiere this past September at the 67th Venice Film Festival. The North American Premiere followed that same month at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the film has since played

    Filmmakers from Japan and China Explode the Truth of War in a Four Film Series Source: Japan Society press release Special Thanks to Shannon Jowett and Kanako Shirasaki Shadows of the Rising Sun: Cinema and Empire Featuring the NY Premiere of CATERPILLAR Friday-Sunday, December 10-12, 2010 at Japan Society New York, NY – War is honor, glory, and the wisdom of the nations swept away by the wind of fear and the fires of bloodshed. This winter Japan Society tells the multifaceted story of Japan`s quest for Empire and its tragic downfall, as seen through the eyes of filmmakers from Japan and China. From December 10-12, "Shadows of the Rising Sun: Cinema and Empire" encompasses four epoch-making titles, poised between past and present, exploring the conflagration and its dreadful consequences. Featured films range from Kon Ichikawa’s 1959 arch-classic FIRES ON THE PLAIN to

    Zen & Its Opposite: Essential (& Turbulent) Japanese Art House (October 15 2010-February 18 2011) Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Kanako Shirasaki and Shannon Jowett New York, NY – Japan Society`s Monthly Classics film series, Zen & Its Opposite: Essential (& Turbulent) Japanese Art House peers into the dark side of the classical repertoire of the late 1950s and 1960s, illuminating the paradoxical and little understood unity of Zen Buddhism and violence. Timed with The Sound of One Hand: Painting and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin (October 1, 2010–January 9, 2011), Japan Society`s major exhibition of 18th century Zen paintings, Zen & Its Opposite launches Friday, October 15, with Masaki Kobayashi’s KWIDAN at 7:30 pm, screening another 4 films monthly through February 13, 2011. In Zen & Its Opposite, 5 master filmmakers offer the bloody and all-too-human spectacle of sin, folly and

    Source: Japan Foundation, Sydney press release Official Site: japanesefilmfestival.net Special Thanks to Evon Fung and Amanda Thompson The 14th Japanese Film Festival concluded last Sunday with record audiences of 7,700 in Sydney alone. The week-long festival screened 20 sessions all up, with four sessions selling out, and another two almost reaching full capacity. Opening night saw the red carpet rolled out at Regent Place, Sydney for the festival’s opening night gala. NSW’s Minister for the Arts and Minister for Fair Trading, The Honorary Virginia Judge MP began the night with a warm welcome, together with Dr Masahiro Kohara, Consul-General of Japan. Festival guests enjoyed the latest cinematic screenings from Japan, some winning fantastic on-the-spot lucky-door prizes thanks to our generous sponsors. Others took advantage of the festival’s special events with significant guests from Japan, Tsutomu Abe (Director, KYOTO STORY), Tadao Sato (Japan`s leading film critic), Shigeki

    Source: Japan Foundation, Sydney Official Site: japanesefilmfestival.net Special Thanks to Amanda Thompson and Evon Fung Currently sitting in sixth position of Sydney’s top ten film festivals according to Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Travel Guide, is the Japanese Film Festival, continuing its euphoric presence for its 14th year. Last year, the festival received an audience of 10,000 entering our festival doors to participate in a panoramic feast of Japanese cinema. This year, with a line up of 22 feature films, 21 of which are Australian premieres, the 2010 program promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Special Guests and Events (Sydney only) ANIME MATSURI: From the studio that created the animation sequences in KILL BILL Vol. 1, Production I.G’s Naoyoshi Shiotani joins the festival for a Q&A session on Saturday 27 November for the special double screening of two Production I.G films, TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE and

    Source: VIZ Pictures, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Jane Lui and Erik Jansen VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, makes October a month full of premieres, special events and mini film festivals with a compelling new roster of just-announced screenings. The month begins with an encore screening of the acclaimed World War II documentary 442: LIVE WITH DIGNITY, DIE WITH HONOR to be followed by a presentation of director John H. Lee’s newest romantic drama SAYONARA ITSUKA – GOODBYE, SOMEDAY. Anime and pop culture fans shouldn’t miss the new animated racing action of REDLINE, premiering at VIZ Cinema the same week of its release in Japan, as well as a one-day-only rare encore screening of HATSUNE MIKU U.S. LIVE, which presents a live film ‘concert’ by Japan’s most popular virtual idol. This event will also feature a rare

    Films Include Works of Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa and Takeshi Kitano plus Women in Contemporary Japanese Cinema and Japanimation Source: Barbican Centre, Sarah Harvey Publicity press release Special Thanks to Helene Muron For two months, from 19 October to 19 December, Barbican Film presents ASPECTS OF JAPANESE CINEMA, an impressive programme of Japanese film. The programme includes three "Directorspectives" focusing of the work of Japanese film directors from three different eras of cinema, for whom costume and set design formed a critical element of their work – Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa and Takeshi Kitano. The Mizoguchi Directorspective launches on Sunday 24 October with a screening of THE WATER MAGICIAN accompanied, for the first time in the UK, by benshi narration and live traditional Japanese musical accompaniment on the koto. The screening will be introduced by Japanese film expert Tony Rayns. The season also features GirlsWorld, a series of contemporary Japanese

    Japanese Film, Fashion, Music and Art Celebrated in a Week of Activities Leading Up to All-Day Event Showcasing the Best in Modern Asian Popular Culture Source: VIZ Pictures, MediaLab press releases Official Site: J-Pop.com Special Thanks to Erik Jansen NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination bringing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores, will expand its upcoming 2010 J-Pop Summit Festival, happening on Saturday, September 18th in San Francisco’s Japantown, with a special series of events taking place at the venue each night during the week leading up to the Festival. Beginning on Monday, September 13th and continuing every evening through Friday, September 17th, different aspects of Japanese and Asian film, anime, fashion design, music and other forms of pop culture will be celebrated in a series of unique screenings, interactive discussions, multimedia presentations and live performances. Special gift

    A Fantastic Array Of Japanese Films Feature Surfing, Godzilla, Giant Robots, And The End Of The World Source: VIZ Pictures, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen May is a month to celebrate obsessions at VIZ Cinema. The nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, unfolds its most varied line-up yet, spotlighting a variety of obsessions ranging from surfing to art to science fiction and anime. VIZ Cinema complements a remarkable new exhibit – THE SURF SHOP – opening Saturday, May 15t in the SUPERFROG Gallery featuring Japanese surf-inspired art, custom surfboards and more with a special BIG SURF weekend of new and classic surfing films. Sci-fi fans will want to catch VIZ Cinema’s first-ever Kaiju Shakedown, with four films featuring the world’s most famous Japanese monster dinosaur on 35mm prints! The theatre is also

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