SciFi Japan
    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

    Japan Society Concludes "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series on May 14th Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Tahmid Mannan New York – The final screening of Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" has arrived! Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. On Friday, May 14, the series finishes off with a clang, screening Kazuo Ikehiro’s THE LONE STALKER (6:30 PM) and Kenji Misumi’s THE DEVIL`S TEMPLE (8:30 PM), two rare and wonderfully unique films for the series’ stars: Raizo Ichikawa and Shintaro Katsu. Truly one of Ichikawa’s most impressive performances (in fact one of his last, released one year before his death in

    New Movie Plays Fast and Loose with History, But Still Packs a Punch! Author: Bob Johnson Official Movie Site: Astro Boy Warning: This review may contain some spoilers... Astro Boy (known as Tetsuwan Atom, or Mighty Atom, in Japan) made his big screen debut this weekend in the US with Imagi’s new CGI adventure. The robot boy with rockets in his loafers is treated with respect, however the story and subplots come across as a bit rushed and things happen a little too fast. In this version Metro City is a flying island in the clouds above the Earth, where the wealthy live and are served by a robotic populace. Below on Earth, civilians live in a robotic junkyard where used up scraps of obsolete robots are discarded from the floating upper class. Dr. Tenma helps a power-mad politician President Stone to create a “Peace Keeper” robot

    Japan Society Continues "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series on April 24th Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Joel Neville Anderson New York – Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series screens monthly through May 2010. Having opened in December 2009, this Saturday`s second-to-last screening marks the final appearance of Shintaro Katsu’s Zatoichi in the film series as well as the introduction of Raizo Ichikawa’s Nemuri Kyoshiro in THE SWORD OF SEDUCTION (aka SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH 4). Tickets are $11/$7 Japan Society members, students and seniors. NEW TALE OF ZATOICHI (Shin Zatoichi monogatari) Saturday April 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm 1963, 91 min, 35mm,

    Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com 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

    Japan Society Screens 13 Rare Movies Starring Actresses Ayako Wakao, Meiko Kaji and Mariko Okada Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Joel Neville Anderson Up next from New York City`s Japan Society is the 2010 Globus Film Series “Mad, Bad… & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties”, presenting 13 rare movies of actresses Ayako Wakao, Meiko Kaji and Mariko Okada. At the opposite end from the stereotype of docile Japanese women— heroic good mothers, chaste daughters and hardworking faithful wives— the three actresses embodied the transgression of limits, breaking rules, flouting norms and generally upsetting everyone. This series explores the idea of unconventional beauty that these spellbinding actresses created through an unparalleled body of films. Both Wakao and Okada were muses and inspiration for two major film directors, Yasuzo Masumura and Kiju (Yoshishige) Yoshida, respectively, while Kaji navigated between filmmakers, a wild card of Japanese cinema at

    New Computer Animated Feature from the Makers of NEGADON Author: Keith Aiken Source: Kazuki Sunami, CoMix Wave Films Inc. Official Movie Site: planzet.jp Special Thanks to Elliot Gay A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE The year is 2053 AD. The Earth has lost a huge portion of its population to a mysterious lifeform that has appeared from space. With all of mankind’s attempts to counterattack ending in failure, the Fuji Base Japanese Area Forces puts their final plan to strike the enemy location into action; Operation Planzet. Hiroshi Akishima, pilot of the robot weapon, has been ordered to protect the people at Fuji Base without fail. Before the battle Hiroshi’s little sister Koyomi, his only surviving family, takes refuge on the safe planet of Mars. Thus begins Planzet, the battle for mankind’s fate. Hiroshi and his comrades face insurmountable odds. How will humanity be able to fight

    Suspense thriller arrives in U.S. theaters March 12 Author: Richard Pusateri Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Movie Site: motherfilm.com (US), mother2009.co.kr (Korea) Special Thanks to Marina Bailey Director Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST) brings the Hitchcock flavor to MOTHER. First, well, it`s called "MOTHER" and takes maternal issues and other family matters to a length not seen in Alfred Hitchcock`s movies. It also has a "wrong man" theme, more than one McGuffin, a little voyeurism, a lot of suspense and several plot twists. In true Hitchcock style, some macabre sequences are delivered with a reserved humor. Several small objects with large significance flit in and out of the story; sometime shifting their significance with each appearance, in one case disappearing (or was its importance all my imagination?) and in another instance providing the story`s resolution. Comparison to the works of the Master of Suspense Hitchcock,

    New Murder Mystery from the Director of THE HOST Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Movie Site: motherfilm.com (US), mother2009.co.kr (Korea) Special Thanks to Marina Bailey MOTHER (Madeo, 2009), the latest film from award-winning Korean director Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST) is a unique murder mystery about a mother`s primal love for her son. The movie has been picked up for release in the United States by Magnolia Pictures and begins its theatrical run on March 12th. Check magpictures.com/dates for theaters and screening times. The following production notes are courtesy of Magnolia Pictures... MOTHER A film by BONG Joon-ho Running time: 129 min. Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards (Nominee – Best Foreign Film) Official Selection: 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival 2009 Cannes Film Festival 2009 Toronto Film Festival 2009 Tribeca Film Festival 2009 New York

    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: NewPeopleWorld.com 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

    Romance, Anime, and 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2 in San Francisco Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen February is the month of love and VIZ Cinema, the nation’s first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, sweetens this theme with a pair of captivating love stories by director Isshin Inudo, presented in association with Asmik Ace Entertainment. Don’t miss the chance to attend the West Coast premieres of these heartwarming cinematic masterpieces. How far would you go in the name of LOVE? VIZ Cinema is privileged to present director Inudo’s JOSEE, THE TIGER AND THE FISH, screening February 5th –18th; and LA MAISON DE HIMIKO, showing February 18th – March 4th. To celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day for the entire month of February, filmgoers who also bring a date (or a friend) will receive a special 50% discount

    Japan Society Presents the Second Installment of "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Sean Levine New York – Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series screens monthly through May 2010. Having opened in December, the second installment in the series is ZATOICHI, THE FUGITIVE on Friday, January 22 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $11/$7 Japan Society members, students and seniors. ZATOICHI, THE FUGITIVE (Zatoichi kyojo-tabi) Friday, January 22, 7:30 pm 1963, 86 min., 35 mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tokuzo Tanaka. With Shintaro Katsu, Miwa Takada, Masayo Banri, Junichiro Narita, Katsuhiko Kobayashi.

    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: NewPeopleWorld.com 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

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