SciFi Japan
    Two-Part Film Festival Begins Tomorrow in Los Angeles Source: American Cinematheque The American Cinematheque joins the UCLA Film & Television Archive for a two-part retrospective celebrating the career of one of cinema’s most inventive and artful masters, Akira Kurosawa. Enraptured with the works of classic Hollywood director John Ford, Kurosawa skillfully borrowed elements from American genre films and wove them into the elegant tapestry of his Japanese works, which range from contemporary noirs to epic period pieces. Some of his greatest films include RASHOMON, THE SEVEN SAMURAI and RAN, though these three stunners hardly account for the entirety of his oeuvre, which spanned decades. Kurosawa`s career as a director featured a long-running professional relationship with actor Toshiro Mifune, whose charismatic, hyperbolic presence illuminated many of Kurosawa`s best films. Centennial Celebration: The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Part I— running at the Egyptian Theatre May 14 - 23,

    Bizarre Japanese Horror Film Now Playing in American Theaters Author: Kyle Byrd Source: Janus Films Official Movie Site: janusfilms.com/house When sitting down to review a film like Nobuhiko Obayashi’s HOUSE (Hausu), one has to dismiss everything they know about film criticism. It’s a film that is truly one of a kind, so the “rules” of film criticism are almost impossible to apply to it. When Toho mega producer Tomoyuki Tanaka gave TV commercial director Nobuhiko Obayashi a small chunk of money to make a horror film, its doubtful that he realized he was funding what would be one of the oddest films to come out of Toho Studios. HOUSE is a film that is truly beyond description. Obayashi took the imaginative musings of his 11-year-old daughter and turned them into what could be the most bizarre film I’ve ever seen (which is saying

    Author: Kim Song-ho Official Movie Site: ironmanmovie.marvel.com SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. IRON MAN 2 begins from the final scene of the previous film, where Tony Stark revealed his secret identity of Iron Man and made the press conference panic. However, this time we see it again not from where the film exactly ended, but from a different place - a shabby, small room in Russia. There lies an old man on his deathbed and his son, who keeps drinking vodka to get over sadness. At last, the old man dies and the son`s grief turns into rage. It`s the birth of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, the new enemy of Tony Stark/Iron Man. But in this sequel, Whiplash is not the only enemy. The US government tries to confiscate the Iron Man suit because it considers the suit as

    Author: Sean Kotz On March 31, 2010, New York City’s Japan Society launched a fascinating film series called “Mad, Bad... and Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties” highlighting counter-culture images of women in Japanese society featuring the work of three actresses--Ayako Wakao, Meiko Kaji and Mariko Okada. In contrast to the customary Japanese model of deferring, silent and bashful servants, their upstart female characters challenge the tradition but mostly with negative (and often downright evil) characters. However, as early as 1958’s VARAN (Daikaiju Baran), Toho’s monster films were offering positive, even heroic, alternatives to the accepted molds of housewife and office lady—the female reporter, a role that would develop into a staple during the Showa period and beyond. It is something of an unfortunate accident of history that VARAN is not well known, even among kaiju fans. Riding the giant monster boom of

    1631 Blanchard Dr. Roseville, CA 95747 916-622-4148 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Click on thumbnails for high-rez scans. Inking X-MEN: pencils by Phil Jimenez AVENGERS: pencils by George Perez

    Legendary Pictures to Develop and Produce Major Motion Picture Based on Toho`s Iconic Monster Source: Legendary Pictures press release, Warner Bros. Special Thanks to Gemma Cacho, Melissa Zukerman, Jessica Zacholl, and Erica Zilinskas Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years. Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a

    Eighteen Classics to Screen During Festival at Stanford Theater Source: Stanford Theater, akirakurosawa.com The historic Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, California reopens this weekend after remodeling and is off to a huge and auspicious start. Beginning February 20 and running through March 30, the theater will feature an Akira Kurosawa Film Festival. The festival will feature no less than eighteen of Kurosawa’s classic films, starting with THE SEVEN SAMURAI, considered by many to be the greatest film ever to come out of Japan. The Stanford Theatre first opened in 1925, and it served for decades as Palo Alto`s premier movie house. In 1987, after a blockbuster Fred Astaire Film Festival, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation bought the theatre and restored it to its original splendor. It is now owned and operated by the non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation, presenting classic Hollywood films. The renovated Stanford Theatre

    New Ultraman Movie On DVD & Blu-ray In Japan With English Subtitles Author: Jim M. Ballard Official Movie Site: Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Source: Bandai Visual The latest Ultraman movie MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY (Daikaiju Batoru Urutora Ginga Densetsu THE MOVIE) will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan on April 23 and will feature English subtitles. The DVD editions will be Region 2 encoded (only compatiable with DVD players in Japan, Europe and other Region 2 countries), while the Blu-ray disc will be fully compatiable with Blu-ray players in North America. Limited Edition DVD MEMORIAL BOX Product Code: BCBS-3600 Retail Price: 8,190 Yen Main Disc Specs: Color, 106 minutes total (96min movie + 10min features), Dolby Digital (5.1ch Dolby Surround / special features in stereo), single-sided and dual-layered, 16:9 (anamorphic), Japanese and English subtitles (removable) Bonus Disc Specs:

    Author: Keith Aiken Special Thanks to Kai Saari On the evening of Thursday, November 19th, the Japan Film Society and Sony Pictures Entertainment hosted a special premiere screening of the fully restored Toho sci-fi classic MOTHRA (Mosura, 1961). The invitation-only event was held in the Jimmy Stuart Building on the Sony Studios lot in Culver City for members of the press and Japanese Entertainment Industry in Southern California. Sony`s connection to MOTHRA dates back to 1961 when Columbia Pictures— now a subsidiary of Sony— helped finance the movie`s production and later distributed it theatrically, to television, and on home video in the United States. For their recent ICONS OF SCI-FI: TOHO COLLECTION DVD set, Sony undertook an extensive restoration of both the Japanese and American versions of MOTHRA, supervised by Michael Friend, the former director of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and

    Big Month of Asian Sci-Fi and Horror at the Plaza Theatre Source: Plaza Theatre Atlanta area fans of Asian monsters, anime, and science fiction are in for a treat as the Plaza Theatre has scheduled three great films— including the Toho classic RODAN— for September. The Plaza Theatre is located at 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30306. Check the theater`s official site or call 404-873-1939 for more information. Opening Friday, September 11th BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2009) Official Movie Site: Blood The Last Vampire On the surface, Saya is a stunning 16-year-old, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400-year-old "halfling." Born to a human father and a vampire mother, she has for centuries been a loner obsessed with using her samurai skills to rid the world of vampires, all the while knowing that she herself can survive

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter, various This past March 2nd, Comcast Corporation— the largest provider of cable services in the United States— launched a new brand advertising campaign on television, in print, and online. The centerpiece of the campaign was a series of TV commercials depicting real people living (and singing) in "Comcast Town", a colorful animated city filled with a variety of oddball creatures and characters. The commercials may also be viewed on the official Comcast Town website, alongside a virtual version of the city that visitors can explore online. Earlier this year, the Comcast Town campaign was also the focus of print ads in national magazines like Entertainment Weekly. One of the commercials repeatedly shows a creature identical to the Japanese movie monster Godzilla. The beast first appears battling a giant robot in Comcast Town, then as a toy figure on a shelf, next on a

    The Director Talks About His Colorful Contribution to the Godzilla Universe Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Special Thanks to Keith Aiken, Kevin Pyrtle of Wtf-Film, Brad Thompson, Ed Godziszewski, and Steve Ryfle A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE In September 1955, the Japanese studio Toho Co., Ltd. sold U.S. theatrical and television rights for their film GODZILLA (Gojira, 1954) to Edmund Goldman, owner of a small distribution company called Manson International. Goldman soon sold the movie to Harold Ross and Richard Kay of Jewell Enterprises, who in turn partnered with Joseph Levine of Embassy Pictures to form Trans World Releasing Corp. and distribute GODZILLA in America. The Trans World crew had the film dubbed in English and recut to include newly shot scenes featuring actor Raymond Burr (PERRY MASON). This new version was released to theaters in the United States in April 1956 as GODZILLA,

    San Francisco Venue Debuts Live-Action Science Fiction Feature on August 28th – the Same Day Film Premieres in Japan Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Movie Site: 20thboysfilms.com (US), 20th Boys (Japanese) Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination bringing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores, presents a very special world premiere of the final chapter of the 20th Century Boys trilogy of live-action films – 20TH CENTURY BOYS 3: REDEMPTION – this Friday, August 28th at the newly opened VIZ Cinema located in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Japantown. The special world premiere will take place simultaneously with the theatrical release of the film in Japan and will continue to play at the venue through September 3rd. For schedule and ticket information, please visit www.vizcinema.com. The 20TH CENTURY BOYS film trilogy

    Online Video Service Features Toho Titles Distributed by Sony Pictures Source: Crackle, Inc. Special Thanks to Chad Kaszer Sony Pictures Entertainment`s online video network Crackle, Inc. has made some new additions to their selection of Godzilla and Toho titles. The following videos can now be watched for free at crackle.com (descriptions courtesy of Crackle)... REBIRTH OF MOTHRA (1996) A new Mothra takes to the air and must battle Death Ghidorah to save humanity. REBIRTH OF MOTHRA II (1997) Mothra`s twin nymphs and children from the city find a lost temple, as well as a giant monster that is attracted to environmental calamities. REBIRTH OF MOTHRA 3 (1998) While Mothra`s powers are no match for the dragon, he is sent to the past, in the time of the dinosaurs, to battle a younger, and apparently less powerful, King Ghidorah. GODZILLA: THE SERIES MINISODE- Talkin` Trash (1998) Time for

    Toho Sci-Fi Double Feature in Hollywood on July 30 Source: American Cinematheque Special Thanks to Chris D Toho returns to Hollywood, CA this month with a great sci-fi double feature at the Egyptian Theatre. The Egyptian Theatre is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA 90028. Ticket prices to the theater are $10.00 general, $8.00 students and seniors, and $7.00 for American Cinematheque members. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office, and by using Fandango.com. Complete ordering instructions, parking info, and directions are available on the Egyptian Theatre website. Thursday, July 30 – 7:30 PM Giant Monsters and Japanese Sci-Fi Night! GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (Gojira, Mosura, Kingughidora: Daikaiju Soshingeki, 2001) Directed by Shusuke Kaneko, Special Effects by Makoto Kamiya, Starring Chiharu Niiyama, Ryudo Uzaki, Masahiro Kobayashi, Shiro Sano, Hideo Amamoto, Mizuho Yoshida, Rie Ota, and

    Online Video Service Features Toho Titles Distributed by Sony Pictures Source: Crackle, Inc. Special Thanks to Chad Kaszer In 2007, Sony Pictures Entertainment launched Crackle, Inc., a multi-platform next-generation video entertainment network that distributes digital content including programming from Sony Pictures’ vast library of television series and feature films. Among the many titles in the Sony Pictures library are a number of monster and sci-fi movies produced by Toho, plus Sony`s own American GODZILLA remake and the animated series spin-off from that film. Crackle Community Manager Chad Kaszer has announced that they have recently added several Godzilla/Toho videos which can now be watched for free at crackle.com (descriptions courtesy of Crackle)... MOTHRA (1961) A joint expedition of Rolisican and Japanese scientists explores the nuclear blasted island of Beiru and discovers many curious things, including two women only a foot high. Unscrupulous expedition leader Clark Nelson abducts the

    Source: Subway Cinema press releases Special Thanks to Toyah Attwell and Grady Hendrix NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2009 JUNE 19 - JULY 5 at the IFC Center and Japan Society This year the New York Asian Film Festival says “fiddle dee dee” to the economic apocalypse and we’re singing in the rain of fire and brimstone that heralds the end of the world. It’s our biggest, most ridiculous festival ever! Also, we’ll be presenting a number of movies in association with Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film at Japan Society, June 30 – July 12. Finally, before we get into the movies, we would like to give a huge, heartfelt thanks to our official airline sponsor, American Airlines, and our official hotel sponsor, the Kitano Hotel, both of whom have made it possible for us to bring over the massive number of

    The Dryden Theatre to Screen GODZILLA 2000 and GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORAH this Weekend Source: John Yeara Official Site: George Eastman House The King of the Monsters raids Rochester, New York once again when the historic Dryden Theatre (part of the George Eastman House motion picture museum) hosts the "Spaceships & Aliens & Godzilla Double Feature!" on June 5 and 7. The lineup includes GODZILLA 2000 and GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORAH, with both films to be introduced by Rochester’s local Godzilla authority, John Yeara. FRIDAY, JUNE 5 DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one regular admission price! 7:00 PM - GODZILLA 2000 (director: Takao Okawara, 1999, 99 min., English dub, 35mm) A government team salvages a spaceship that had crashed into the ocean millions of years ago. Unfortunately the craft still houses the consciousness of the alien crew, who begin looking for the means to recreate their long-decayed

    Explaining the Heisei Godzilla Timeline Author: Keith Aiken Special Thanks to Oki Miyano and Bruce Goldstein The original GODZILLA (Gojira, 1954) was a tremendous box office success that launched a wave of science fiction and monster movies from Toho Co., Ltd. Over the next twenty-one years, Toho released dozens of similar films, including fourteen Godzilla sequels. The first fifteen Godzilla movies are now known as the Showa series because all were produced during the Showa Period (“period of enlightened peace”), the reign of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito. Nine years after the last Showa film TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (Mekagojira no Gyakushu, 1975), Toho and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka decided to revive the Godzilla franchise. Rather than continue where the previous movie left off, Tanaka chose to make the new film THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (Gojira, a.k.a. GODZILLA 1985, 1984) a direct sequel to the original GODZILLA that would ignore

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