SciFi Japan
    Official Site: Detroit Film Theatre Special Thanks to Kyle Byrd Starting this Saturday at 2:00pm, the Detroit Film Theatre in Detroit, MI presents seven consecutive weekends of monster and fantasy movie matinees on the big screen. The first half of each double feature will be a restored 35mm print of one of Ray Harryhausen`s classic stop-motion animation films, followed by a bonus second movie from Toho Studios. From the theater website: Saturday, June 16, 2:00 PM 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (USA—1957—directed by Nathan Juran) An American rocket ship returns from a trip to Venus, splashing down near the coast of Sicily. Along with its sole human survivor is a very much alive Venusian monster known as an Ymir, which soon grows to mammoth proportions in Earth’s atmosphere. Hopped up on his diet of sulphur and none too pleased with being poked and prodded by

    An Appreciation for an Unappreciated Film Author: Aaron Cooper Special Thanks to Bob Johnson and Jim Ballard Contents: SON OF GODZILLA: THE SCORE Certain films get very little respect, and not always for the correct reasons. Some of us at SciFi Japan decided to take a fresh approach at lesser appreciated films and at least argue the merits of why they deserve another glance. Why is a film like SON OF GODZILLA so reviled by fans? Perhaps it is the introduction of an offspring for the monster, or how that offspring is portrayed? Or the wildly different Godzilla design used for the suit in this film? Perhaps the South Seas Island backdrop is disappointing for those wanting more urban destruction? Maybe it’s a foggy nostalgia mixing Saturday night creature features with Saturday morning cartoons? It seems many people

    The Dryden Theatre presents two Toho kaiju films on the big screen this July Official Site: George Eastman House On July 27, Godzilla returns to Rochester, New York for the third year in a row as the historic Dryden Theatre hosts a Toho kaiju double-feature. From the Dryden Theatre website... FRIDAY, JULY 27 DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one regular admission price! 7:00 PM - MOTHRA (MOSURA, Ishiro Honda, Japan 1961, 91 min., Japanese with subtitles, 35mm) Two identical six-inch princesses (who sing and talk in unison) are kidnapped from their remote island home by an evil showman. They are pursued all the way to Tokyo by their protector, a giant caterpillar that smashes buildings, spins a cocoon, and becomes a giant moth. Perhaps the only contender for Godzilla’s title of most-beloved Japanese monster movie, MOTHRA, shown here in its original Japanese-language version, is a true classic.

    Concert Features Akira Ifukube’s Music for KING KONG VS GODZILLA Source: The Austin Wind Symphony Just a reminder for all the Godzilla fans in Texas that The Austin Wind Symphony`s "Creature Features" concert will take place this Friday, October 19th. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and will be held at the Bethany Lutheran Church in South Austin. For directions and a list of the pieces being performed visit the "Creature Features" website. The concert will feature music from JAWS (1975), BATMAN (1989), GREMLINS (1984), PSYCHO (1960), BEETLEJUICE (1988), JURASSIC PARK (1993), plus a special tribute to STAR WARS. It will be of special interest to Godzilla fans as it includes a world premiere performance of a suite of music from KING KONG VS GODZILLA. Prepared specially for The Austin Wind Symphony, the suite will include some of the most recognizable pieces from the incredible 1962

    Author: Oki Miyano and Keith Aiken Source: NTV, Sports Hochi On June 26 at 9:00pm, Japan’s Nippon Television Network will air a 2 hr drama entitled BATTLE AGAINST DEPRESSION- THE STORY OF THE TAKASHIMA FAMILY: SIX YEARS OF LOVE AND FIGHTING. The television movie chronicles actor Tadao Takashima’s (KING KONG VS GODZILLA, ATRAGON, FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD) long struggle with depression. Born July 27, 1930 in Kobe, Takashima was a talented jazz drummer and musician before switching to acting. He joined Shintoho in 1951 and appeared in such movies as YOUTHFUL JAZZ DAUGHTER (Seishun Jazu Musume, 1953) and FEARFUL INVASION OF THE FLYING SAUCERS (Sora to Guenban Kyonu Shingeki, 1956). After moving to Toho Studios, Takashima was paired with Yu Fujiki (GODZILLA VS THE THING) for a handful of musicals and salaryman comedies. In 1962, director Ishiro Honda chose the duo for leading

    OFF-RAMP interview with documentary producer Steve Ryfle airs tomorrow Source: NPR Offical Site: Off-Ramp The National Public Radio show OFF-RAMP covers news and events in Southern California. For this week`s show, OFF-RAMP takes a look at the new documentary BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE, which will premiere August 3 at the Egyptian Theatre. Host John Rabe also interviews BRINGING GODZILLA producer Steve Ryfle. From the press release... OFF-RAMP with John Rabe -- August 2, 2008 This time: We go panning for gold in the San Gabriel River just 15 minutes from Azusa. Learn panning techniques, hear the toll the obsession exacts on its victims, and meet the “mayor” of Nugget Alley. When Charlie Perry took the LA Times buyout this year, the paper lost a renaissance man. We’ll start a series of interviews with Perry, who resume includes rooming with a counterculture icon, observing the

    The Dryden Theatre presents two Toho kaiju films on the big screen Author: John Yeara Official Site: George Eastman House On Friday, July 27th, the historic Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY continues it`s summer tradition of monster double features. This time they are showing the original MOTHRA and, in a change from the original schedule, they will be following that with GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK. The originally scheduled GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORAH could not be obtained as Sony Pictures has had a problem with the print. Both films will be preceded by brief lectures from local Godzilla authority John Yeara. From the Dryden Theatre website... FRIDAY, JULY 27 DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one regular admission price! 7:00 PM - MOTHRA (MOSURA, Ishiro Honda, Japan 1961, 91 min., Japanese with subtitles, 35mm) Two identical six-inch princesses (who sing and talk in

    Source: Portland Radio Authority, Kyle Yount Today Friday, November 23 at 2:00pm the Portland Radio Authority’s show HORROR HOLOCAUST will have an episode devoted to “Japanese Monster Mayhem”. For two hours, hosts DJ Fulci and Damien Karras will play music, audio clips, and rarities from Godzilla, Gamera, Rodan, Ghidorah, Mothra, Mechagodzilla and other Japanese monster movies, mixed with conversation with special guest Kyle Yount of the Shrine of Gamera. HORROR HOLOCAUST can be heard on the Portland Radio Authority website. Just click on one of the "128 mp3 stream" links to open the show in a web-enabled mp3 player and spend the day after Thanksgiving enjoying two hours of kaiju music!

    Source: Subway Cinema Special Thanks to Madalena Tran and Grady Hendrix NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2008 JUNE 20 - JULY 6 at the IFC Center and Japan Society The New York Asian Film Festival is back like a bad dream, ready to cleanse the dirt from your soul with a barrage of sparkling, super-powered movies straight out of Asia. It’s a seventeen day orgy of new films from Takashi Miike, Johnnie To, Hur Jin-Ho, Koji Wakamatsu and Shinji Aoyama. Plus, our first-ever documentary (YASUKUNI) and our first movies from Indonesia (KALA) and Vietnam (THE REBEL). For the first fourteen days (June 20-July 6), NYAFF 2008 screenings will take place at the IFC Center. The final four days of the Festival (July 3 – July 6) will be held at Japan Society, where we’ll be co-presenting several films as part of their JAPAN CUTS:

    Source: American Cinematheque Beginning tomorrow and running thru the end of January, the American Cinematheque`s Aero Theatre will screen a dozen films by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa. The lineup includes such masterpieces as RASHOMON, YOJIMBO, RAN, THRONE OF BLOOD, and SEVEN SAMURAI. The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica, CA 90403. Ticket prices to the theater are $10.00 general, $8.00 students and seniors, and $7.00 for American Cinematheque members. Double features are two films for one ticket price. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office and on fandango.com. Complete ordering instructions, parking info, and directions are available on the Aero Theatre website. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ In A Lonely Place - Akira Kurosawa Retrospective Series compiled by Gwen Deglise Program notes by Chris D. and William Boodell Special Thanks: Sarah Finklea/JANUS FILMS; WELLSPRING; Jessica Rosner/KINO INTERNATIONAL; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.

    Author: Sean Kotz This year, for the first time, American audiences have a chance to see the original Japanese version of GOJIRA on a truly large scale thanks to Classic Media’s new double DVD set. Better yet, with GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS right beside the original, there is good reason to believe many non-Japanese, or gaijin, are making comparisons in their living rooms all across the USA. As has been said numerous times by many writers that while Terry Morse’s GODZILLA is an entertaining B-movie at most, Honda’s GOJIRA is a brilliant anti-war and nuclear protest film of substance. But, the power and resonance of the film for Japanese audiences extend beyond the nuclear metaphor and evocative images of Tokyo in flames. Honda’s original film also visually and thematically stresses a concept at the core of Japanese society called “wa”, or harmony of the group,

    Author: Sean Kotz MONSTER ZERO (Kaiju Daisenso) comes right in the dead center of the 1960s (like me) and it is one of those films that has been needled by critics for its limitations and zanier elements--like Godzilla`s cartoonish victory dance on Planet X. As the TV Guide review put it in back in 2004: “This sixth entry in the Godzilla series is one of the last to make a pretense that it will be viewed by anyone over the age of 12. Evil aliens attempt to take over the Earth in a plot that does little but kill time prior to the climactic battle among Godzilla, the three-headed dragon Ghidrah, and the flying lizard Rodan.” Despite the derisive tone, the comment about the age of the audience is accidentally rather astute. In fact, Godzilla films in the mid-sixties were in a transition from more

    KING KONG ESCAPES, But Not From the Universal Fire! Source: Thrillville Productions On June 12, "Thrillville Goes Ape" at the Cerrito Speakeasy Theater with a rare big screen showing of KING KONG ESCAPES, courtesy of Universal Studios: The criminal mastermind Dr Who is hired by a villainous nation looking for the Element X needed to build their nuclear arsenal. Who constructs the massive Mechani-Kong to mine the rare mineral, but radiation from Element X shorts out the robot. After the real Kong is discovered on Mondo Island by a UN research team led by Carl Nelson, Dr Who kidnaps Kong and Nelson`s team. Will the evil scientist force the strongest creature on earth to dig up Element X, or will King Kong escape? (1967, Universal, 96 min, English Dub) KING KONG ESCAPES was Toho`s second Kong film (following KING KONG VS GODZILLA) and was based on

    The Dryden Theatre presents four Godzilla films on the big screen this summer Author: Keith Aiken Source: John Yeara Official Site: George Eastman House Following last year’s successful screening of GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, the King of the Monsters returns to Rochester, New York. The historic Dryden Theatre, part of the George Eastman House motion picture museum, will host a great pair of Godzilla double features this summer. FINAL WARS was such a hit at the Dryden that Assistant Curator of Exhibitions Jim Healy and Rochester’s local Godzilla authority John Yeara went to work on bringing more Godzilla films to the theater. They’ve selected four movies that span the three different eras of the Godzilla series. Three of these films never received a wide theatrical release in the United States, so this will be a rare opportunity for fans to see them as they were meant to

    See a rare 35mm print of Toho`s classic ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE on the big screen and support a good cause Source: Bay Area Film Events Bay Area Film Events proudly presents two shows commemorating the career of Northern California TV legend Bob Wilkins and 40 plus years of hosting horror films, including the 35th anniversary of CREATURE FEATURES. Both shows will benefit and bring attention to the Alzheimers Aid Society of Northern California. Join Us for Two BIG Shows! The events kick off on Thursday March 22 with an 8:00PM show at the newly opened Cerrito Speakeasy Theater in El Cerrito. Bob Wilkins and his family will be in attendance along with the evening’s host CINEMA INSOMNIA’s Mr. Lobo from KTEH Channel 54, and special guests that include KTVU Channel 2’s movie critic Bob Shaw and former CREATURE FEATURES’ host John Stanley. The feature

    The Classic Novels Become the Newest Film from Studio Ghibli Author: Stan Hyde Official Sites: Studio Ghibli, Ursula K. Le Guin Additional Sources: Nausicaa.net, Ghibli World Studio Ghibli’s 15th feature film, TALES FROM EARTHSEA (Gedo Senki, “Record of Ged’s War”), will premiere in Japan this July. The story is taken from The Farthest Shore (1972) and Tehanu (1990), the third and fourth novels in the six volumes of the "Earthsea" series by Ursula K. Le Guin, the acclaimed author of such books as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Lathe of Heaven. Earthsea is a world mostly covered with water, where wizards command magic by using the true names of things which give them great power over the world (a theme which was also explored in Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning SPIRITED AWAY). In the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), a boy called Sparrowhawk comes of age,

    A Look Back at a Lost Classic. Author: CreatureScape More than 50 years after his cinematic birth, Godzilla is essentially a global household name. Like Elvis, James Bond, and Marilyn Monroe, he occupies a space in pop culture that is so large; one need never have seen a Godzilla film to recognize him. In his shadow are still towering figures. Rodan and King Ghidorah (a. k. a. Monster Zero) have both had rock bands named after them and Mothra garnered her own four film franchise . . . not including appearances in several Godzilla films. In contrast, even kaiju fans know very little about Varan, despite the fact that he is one of only a handful of Toho terrors to have his own film. Part of this was fate. Hot on the heels of GOJIRA (1954) and RADON (1957), DAIKIAJU BARAN was originally conceived as a Japanese-made-for-American-TV

    Ten years ago today, TriStar`s GODZILLA opened with special evening screenings in theaters across America. A moment of silence, please.

    Author: Keith Aiken Special Thanks to Brad Warner In 1948, the Actual Publishing Company, Inc. in New York launched the “men’s magazine” Vue— America’s Photo Digest. While nearly forgotten today, for more than twenty years Vue covered sports, cars, movies, adventure, hunting, travel and (of course) beautiful women. Publisher Allen Stearn devoted nearly half an issue to photographs of bathing suit and lingerie-clad ladies, from young hopefuls to established stars like Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren and Bettie Page. Vue Volume 7, Number 2 ran 130 pages and had a cover price of 25 cents. In addition to page after page of cheesecake photography, the issue featured a look at Thai kickboxing, showgirls competing for a part on THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW, survivors of an avalanche in the Alps, bow hunting, the Winchester ghost house, a behind-the-scenes report on Orson Welles’ ballet THE LADY IN THE

    The Dryden Theatre screens GODZILLA and SON OF GODZILLA this weekend Source: John Yeara Official Site: George Eastman House As previously announced here on SciFi Japan, the historic Dryden Theatre in Rochester, New York is hosting a pair of Godzilla double features this summer. The first screening takes place this week: FRIDAY, JULY 21 DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one regular admission price! 7:00 PM - GODZILLA (Gojira, 1954) It all started here… the first adventure of the screen’s biggest movie star (literally!). Director: Ishiro Honda, 98 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles 9:00 PM – SON OF GODZILLA (Kaijuto no Kessen: Gojira no Mosuko, 1967) A United Nations scientific team discovers that the South Pacific Island they’ve chosen for an important experiment is home to giant monsters, including a Baby Godzilla. Director Jun Fukuda, 84 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles Following on August 11

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