SciFi Japan
    Press Notes and High-Res Photos from New Samurai Film Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) After opening in Japan in September, Shochiku`s SNOW ON THE BLADES (???????, Zakuro-zaka no Adauchi) will have its international premiere on November 2nd at the Hawaii International Film Festival 2014. Directed by Setsuro Wakamatsu (WHITEOUT, THE UNBROKEN), the film is adapted from a short story by Jiro Asada which was included in the 2003 collection Goroji dono Oshimatsu. This story captures the 13 year struggle between two samurai, Kingo Shimura (Kiichi Nakai), a dedicated personal bodyguard of Naosuke Ii (Kichiemon Nakamura) who brought Japan into the modern era, and his enemy Jubei Sahashi (Hiroshi Abe), one of the assassins, over a tragedy which struck Naosuke. The old feudal society of Japan rapidly gave way to a modernized county, but Kingo didn’t abandon the spirit of the

    Sion Sono`s Acclaimed Film Arrives in US Cinemas November 7th Source: Drafthouse Films Official Movie Site: (Japan), (US) Special Thanks to Ted Geoghegan This article contains adult language. Drafthouse Films is immensely proud to present WHY DON`T YOU PLAY IN HELL? (???????, Jigoku de Naze Warui, 2013), the unbelievable new genre-defying epic from Japan`s legendary Sion Sono, which hits U.S. theaters November 7th. Master filmmaker Sono (LOVE EXPOSURE, COLD FISH) describes his frenzied, gleeful new masterpiece as “an action film about the love of 35mm.” Based on a screenplay he wrote nearly fifteen years ago, WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? is among Sono’s very best work, as his trademark excess and outrageousness is infused with an affection for the previous century of Japanese cinema. This is Sion Sono with his talent and unique vision completely unleashed. There`s a war

    Author: Andrew Nguyen Official Site: LA EigaFest Ever since December 2011, the Japanese Film Society has held its annual LA Eigafest at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA. During the festival, the US public gained access to the latest in Japanese films, which range from serious drama to comedy, to the latest in Japanese animation. Furthermore, panels that take place during the festival offer insight into the business relations between the Japanese and American film industries. In additional, the annual Matsuri festival takes place in conjunction with LA Eigafest on Saturday at the front of the Egyptian Theater. Unlike the last three LA Eigafests, which took place in December, this one took place in September (from the 12th to the 14th) so to take advantage of the better weather conditions during the opening ceremonies and such. Hayato Mitsuishi is the President and Co-Founder of the Japanese

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd., Tokyo International Film Festival press release Official Site: (Japan) Tokyo International Film Festival is pleased to announce that the Japanese film, PALE MOON (???, Kami no Tsuki, 2014), has been selected as the only Japanese film for the 27th TIFF’s International Competition. PALE MOON is the eagerly anticipated new work from the talented Daihachi Yoshida, director of the award-winning THE KIRISHIMA THING (???????????, Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo, 2013). A normal housewife unexpectedly becomes involved in a large embezzlement case in this film adaptation based on the novel by Naoki Prize-winning author Mitsuyo Kakuta, known for The Eighth Day (Yokame no Semi). The protagonist Rika Umezawa is played by Rie Miyazawa, one of Japan’s most accomplished actresses. This collaboration of the author, the director, and the actress Miyazawa represents the pinnacle of modern Japanese filmmaking, and delivers non-stop suspense. Prepare

    Interviewer: Fabien Mauro Translator: Miyako Slocombe Special Thanks to Sion Sono, Xavier Fayet and Diane Malherbe (L’Étrange Festival), Frédéric Ambroisine L’Étrange Festival Official Website: (English) Sion Sono has become one of the most internationally acclaimed directors from Japan today, with award-winning works that include LOVE EXPOSURE (??????, Ai no Mukidashi, 2009), GUILTY OF ROMANCE (??????, Koi no Tsumi, 2011), COLD FISH (??????, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2011), HIMIZU (???, 2012), THE LAND OF HOPE (????, Kibou no Kuni, 2012), and WHY DON`T YOU PLAY IN HELL? (???????, Jigoku de Naze Warui, 2013). His latest film, TOKYO TRIBE (????? ????, Tokyo Toraibu), made its European Premiere on September 8th at the 20th edition of L’Étrange Festival at Le Forum des Images in Paris. Following the screening, Sion Sono spoke with interviewer Fabien Mauro to reveal some secrets behind the making of his new cinematic achievement,

    Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan Official Movie Site: (Japan) Two years after the blockbuster success of the first live-action RUROUNI KENSHIN (??????, 2012) movie, the story of Kenshin Himura returns to the big screen with the two-part sequel, RUROUNI KENSHIN: KYOTO INFERNO (????????????, Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Taika Hen, 2014) and RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS (?????? ??????, Rurouni Kenshin Densetsu no Saigo hen, 2014). KYOTO INFERNO opened nationwide in Japan on August 1st, knocking the new GODZILLA from the top spot at the box office. THE LEGEND ENDS will begin its Japanese theatrical run this Saturday, September 13th. STORY Kenshin Himura is a legendary swordsman in the wars accompanying the turbulent fall of Japan’s Shogunate in the 19th century. Once feared as ‘Battosai the Killer’, he has adopted a peaceful life since the arrival of the ‘new age’. But Makoto Shishio, the ‘Shadow Killer’ who succeeded

    See Two Great New Japanese Movies on the Big Screen for Free, Courtesy of Japan Society and SciFi Japan Source: Japan Society Official Site: Special Thanks to Jason Serrano Our friends at Japan Society present their second contest for SciFi Japan readers to win free tickets to see some of the great new films at Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. This time, we have passes for two murderous movies premiering next weekend... GREATFUL DEAD or KILLERS starring Kazuki Kitamura (GODZILLA: FINAL WARS). Both screenings will take place at Japan Society, located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues in New York City. GREATFUL DEAD (Gureitofuru Deddo) Friday, July 18 at 10:45 pm **East Coast Premiere Japan. 2014. 97 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Eiji Uchida. With Kumi Takiuchi, Takashi Sasano,

    Source: Eleven Arts Entertainment, Strategy PR/Consulting Official Movie Site: Special Thanks to Emily Lu Filmmaker Dave Boyle`s cross-cultural mystery MAN FROM RENO received the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film follows a Japanese crime novelist (Ayako Fujitani, GAMERA Trilogy) as she investigates a murder in San Francisco. MAN FROM RENO was produced by Ko Mori of Eleven Arts Inc and written by Dave Boyle, Joel Clark, and Michael Lerman. The film also stars veteran actor Pepe Serna (SCARFACE) and popular Japanese film & television star Kazuki Kitamura (THE RAID 2, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS). Making its world premiere at this year`s LA Film Festival, MAN FROM RENO received high praises from festival attendees and critics alike this week and became one of the festival favorites selling out both screenings. Director Dave Boyle`s reaction: "It`s an incredible

    Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) PARTNERS: THE MOVIE III (??-???III- ???????? ??????, Aibo Gekijo-ban III - Kyodai Misshitsu! Tokumei-Gakari Zekkai no Koto e) comes to theaters across Japan on April 26, 2014. Toei will release the film during Golden Week as part of TV Asahi`s 55th anniversary celebration. The film is the fifth theatrical release in the ongoing franchise based on Yasuhiro Koshimizu`s AIBOU: TOKYO DETECTIVE DUO (??, Aibo) -- aka PARTNERS -- Japan`s top-rated crime drama which has aired on TV Asahi since 2002. The first big screen adventure, PARTNERS: THE MOVIE (??-???-??????42.195km ????????????, Aibo gekijo-ban: Zettai zetsumei! 42.195km Tokyo Biggu Shiti Marason), was a box office smash in 2008 and was quickly followed by the spin-off CSI FILES (?????????????????, Kanshiki: Yonezawa Mamoru no Jikenbo, 2009). The direct sequel PARTNERS: THE MOVIE II (?? ??? II, Aibo gekijo-ban II)

    Popular Romance Manga Adapted as Feature Film Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) One day, Aoi was forced to live with Shuusei, the most popular boy from her school. He`s an annoying roommate, she thought... at first. But, suddenly, the relationship between two less-than-friends began to grow into something more. Toei will release the live action film L?DK - LIVING TOGETHER (???? ????, ???? Rabu Dookyo) in theaters across Japan on April 12th. The movie is based on the manga series L?DK (???????, Erudiikee) by Ayu Watanabe, which debuted in the March 2009 issue of Kodansha`s Bessatsu Friend magazine. The manga has sold more than 3.4 million copies as of November 2013, and was named the top shojo (girls) manga by Media Factory`s Da Vinci magazine "E-Book Award 2013". L?DK is directed by Yasuhiro Kawamura, who previously helmed the films NODAME

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) Shochiku will release the samurai comedy MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: SAMURAI (????????, Chokousoku! Sankin Kotai) to Japanese cinemas on June 21, 2014. Directed by Katsuhide Motoki (the KITARO movie series), the film stars Kuranosuke Sasaki (20TH CENTURY BOYS trilogy, THE LADY SHOGUN AND HER MEN, PEAK: THE RESCUERS) and Kyoko Fukada (SECOND VIRGINITY, WILD 7, ROOMMATE). Masaatsu Naito (Kuranosuke Sasaki) is the head of the small and poor clan. He is ordered by the shogun to come to the capital city, Edo, with his entire staff in just 4 days. The shogun`s command must be obeyed or the clan`s land will be taken away. But Naito has no money for travel, and it usually takes 8 days for the trip to Edo. How will he be able to accomplish this impossible task? Release Date: June 21, 2014

    Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, Nippon Television Network Official Site: (Japan) Warner Bros. Pictures Japan will release MONSTERZ (??????, Monsutaazu) at the Shinjuku Piccadilly and theaters across Japan on Friday, May 30th, 2014. INTRODUCTION Your heart will pound faster. You will forget to breathe... MONSTERZ features Japan`s latest and hottest stars, seen together for the first time! In the wake of a series of box-office successes such as the DEATH NOTE (?????, Desu Noto, 2006) series and SHIELD OF STRAW (???, Wara no Tate, 2013) -- 2013 Cannes Competition -- Tatsuya Fujiwara plays the Man. Takayuki Yamada plays Shuichi, adding another engaging performance to an amazing career that includes MW (MW-??-, 2009) and MILOCRORZE - A LOVE STORY (??????, Mirokuroze, 2012). Satomi Ishihara (SADAKO 3D) plays Shuichi`s love interest. Also starring are Tae Kimura (KAIDAN) and Yutaka Matsushige (REAL). The director is

    Source: Kadokawa Pictures Official Site: (Japan) Kadokawa Pictures presents "the birth of a new erotic × young girl action movie!" with RED X PINK (?×???, Aka × Pinku), opening at the Kadokawa Cinema Shinjuku and other Japanese cinemas on February 22, 2014. Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the company`s publishing imprint, Kadokawa Bunko, the film is adapted from the 2003 light novel written by Naoki Prize winner Kazuki Sakuraba and illustrated by Shin Takahashi. RED X PINK is the story of four young women who participate in "Girls Blood", an illegal mixed martial arts event held at an abandoned elementary school in Roppongi, Tokyo. Here, members of an underground fight club watch women in revealing cosplay outfits battle in an iron cage, night after night. One of the fighters, Satsuki, suffers from gender identity disorder. Another, Chinatsu, came to "Girls Blood" after

    Source: Kadokawa Pictures Official Site: (Japan) You’ll be eliminated by another “you”. Kadokawa celebrates their Horror Bunko imprint with the 20th anniversary film, BILOCATION (????????, Bairokeeshon, 2013), premiering October 21st at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The movie will be released in Japanese cinemas on January 18, 2014. BILOCATION is based on Hojo Haruka’s debut novel of the same name (published October 23, 2010 by Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co.) and promises "an imaginative psychological thriller unlike anything you`ve ever seen". The story deals with a supernatural phenomenon that has been reported worldwide... an individual appears in two different places at the same time. What if this alter ego exceeds your own experience and ability? And what if he/she tries to prevent you from standing in their way? Can you accept it, or will you kill the other “you”? BILOCATION depicts the nightmare of an alter ego

    Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) Yomi Hirasaka`s light novel series Haganai: I Don`t Have Many Friends (????????, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai) has been adapted in multiple manga and anime series with a total circulation (as of October 2013) of 6.1 million units. Now the story comes to the big screen with a live-action movie version from Toei. HAGANAI: I DON`T HAVE MANY FRIENDS is written and directed by Takuro Oikawa, whose previous credits include the thriller SHUFFLE (?????, Shaffuru, 2011) and the manga adaptation KAN-KIN-TAN-TEI (????, Kankin Tantei, 2013). Headlining the cast is Koji Seto, star of the series MASKED RIDER KIVA (????????, Kamen Raidaa Kiba, 2008-2009) and its movie spin-offs. Seito has recently focused on the horror genre with roles in JU-ON: BLACK GHOST (???????, Ju-on: Kuroi Shoujo, 2009), SADAKO 3D (??3D, 2012) and SADAKO 3D 2 (??3D2, 2013). The female lead

    Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Site: (Japan), (US) Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of US film distributor Magnolia Pictures, will release action cinema master "Beat" Takeshi Kitano`s BEYOND OUTRAGE to theaters in January 2014. The film was previously released in Japan and overseas as OUTRAGE BEYOND (?????? ????, Autoreiji Biyondo, 2012). With BEYOND OUTRAGE, Kitano returns to the hard boiled characters, black comedy and unflinching violence of his yakuza saga, OUTRAGE (?????? Autoreiji, 2010). This time, a manipulative police crackdown on organized crime has ignited a tricky power struggle in the yakuza underworld. BEYOND OUTRAGE is now available On Demand and will open in American theaters on January 3, 2014. STORY The Sanno crime family has grown into a massive organization dominated by young executives whose new approach to running the family is causing frustration and pent-up resentment with the old-guard members.

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) Shochiku will release THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE (????????, Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken) to Japanese cinemas on March 29, 2014. The movie is based on the novel by Kanae Minato, the best-seller novelist of Confessions and A Chorus of Angels, and directed by the talented Yoshihiro Nakamura (KAIBUTSU-KUN: THE MOVIE, GOLDEN SLUMBER). The cast includes Mao Inoue (REBIRTH, BOYS OVER FLOWERS series) and Go Ayano (RUROUNI KENSHIN, GANTZ). Noriko Miki (Nanao), a beautiful employee of Hinode Cosmetics, was murdered. People started to suspect one co-worker, Miki Shirono (Mao Inoue) as her killer. TV director Yuji Akahoshi (Go Ayano) investigates by interviewing their friends and families and also using multiple social media outlets. His efforts result in a devastating conclusion. Release Date: March 29, 2014 Cast Mao Inoue: Miki Shirono Yuji Akahoshi: Go Ayano Noriko Miki: Nanao Satoshi Shinoyama: Nobuaki

    Source: Pony Canyon, Inc., FilmPressPlus Official Site: (Japan) Special Thanks to Richard Lormand SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie. Pony Canyon and FilmPressPlus have issued more detailed production notes for THE MOLE SONG -UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI- (???? ????? REIJI, Mogura no Uta Sennuu Sosakan REIJI). Based on Noboru Takahashi’s long-running crime manga, the film is an epic adventure from actor Toma Ikuta, director Takashi Miike (13 ASSASSINS, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER), and screenwriter Kankuro Kudo (PING PONG, MAIKO HAAAAN!!). THE MOLE SONG -UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI- opens in Japanese cinemas on February 15, 2014. ? Introduction A very unpredictable undercover cop comedy -- where something crazy happens every five minutes! A star-studded cast goes wild on the screen!! You’ve never seen them like this before! Featuring... Shinichi Tsutsumi, Riisa Naka, Takayuki Yamada, Takashi Okamura,

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) JUDGE! (????!, Jajji!) is an original comedy from Satoshi Nagai, a young up-coming director who has made many popular TV commercials in Japan. The film stars Satoshi Tsumabuki (VILLAIN, TOKYO FAMILY, THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE) and Keiko Kitagawa (HANDSOME SUIT, THE AFTER-DINNER MYSTERIES, ROOMMATE). Kiichiro Ota (Satoshi Tsumabuki), a lazy employee for the top advertising agency in Japan, is ordered by his boss to embark on a special mission. Ota is to attend Santa Monica International Advertising Festival --the world`s largest advertisement award festival -- as a judge and win the Grand Prix award for his company`s TV ad. To help in his lobbying activities, Ota must attend festival parties every night. So he is forced to attend the festival with Hikari Ota (Keiko Kitagawa) -- another employee who happens to have the same last name

    Source: Pony Canyon, Inc. Official Site: (Japan) Scheduled for release in Japan in February 2014, THE MOLE SONG -UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI- (???? ????? REIJI, Mogura no Uta Sennuu Sosakan REIJI) will have its world premiere in November at the International Rome Film Festival. Based on the hit manga series, the film is a collaboration between actor Toma Ikuta, director Takashi Miike, and screenwriter Kankuro Kudo. ? Introduction A very unpredictable undercover cop comedy -- where something crazy happens every five minutes! A star-studded cast goes wild on the screen!! You’ve never seen them like this before! Featuring... Shinichi Tsutsumi, Riisa Naka, Takayuki Yamada, Takashi Okamura, Yusuke Kamiji! And...! Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Kenichi Endou, Sarutoki Minagawa, Ren Ohsugi, Koichi Iwaki!! ? What is The Mole Song...? The Mole Song is a comic series by the talented Noboru Takahashi, which was featured in Weekly Young

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