SciFi Japan
    Source: Pony Canyon, Inc. Official Site: kanouso-movie.com (Japan) A melody that led to lies. A song that led to love. From Kotomi Aoki`s best-selling manga series The Girl Who Loved Lies comes the live action feature film THE LIAR AND HIS LOVER (?????????????, Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru). The movie will be released in Japan by Toho this December. The following press notes are courtesy of international sales agent, Pony Canyon, Inc... Introduction In 2007 Kotomi Aoki’s hit comic I’m In Love With My Sister (????????, Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru) was adapted into the feature film MY SISTER, MY LOVE. An adaptation of I Give My First Love To You (??????????, Boku No Hatsukoi o Kimi Ni Sasagu) followed in 2009. Now, her new manga series The Girl Who Loved Lies -- which has already sold over 2.9 million copies

    Source: Shochiku, GAGA Corporation Official Site: bushikon.jp (Japan) A TALE OF SAMURAI COOKING - A TRUE LOVE STORY (?????, Bushi no Kondate) is based on a real-life family from the Edo Period that survived countless upheavals with their culinary talents. Oharu (Aya Ueto, AZUMI and THERMAE ROMAE) has a great sense of taste and excellent skills of cooking, but her stubbornness leads her husband to divorce after only one year of marriage. The head chef of the Kaga clan, Dennai Funaki (Toshiyuki Nishida, SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, OUTRAGE BEYOND), recognizes Oharu`s talent, and proposes that she marry his son and heir, Yasunobu (Kengo Kora, FISH STORY, A STORY OF YONOSUKE), four year her junior. The Funaki are well known as the “Kitchen Samurai” of the Kaga clan, but Yasunobu is more interested in sword fighting and cannot cook at all. In order to save the Funaki family name

    Source: SDP Inc. (Stardust Pictures) Official Site: sakurahime-movie.com (Japan) Additional Material: Nippon Connection An erotic costume drama in old time Japan. Romance beyond fate and cruel fighting between greedy men and zombies! Filmmaker Hajime Hashimoto (ANOTHER BATTLE/CONSPIRACY, AIBOU SERIES: X DAY) directs his third release for 2013; PRINCESS SAKURA: FORBIDDEN PLEASURES (??, Sakura Hime). The controversial story is adapted from the 1817 kabuki play Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsho (?????) by Nanboku Tsuruya IV, author of the classic ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan (????). PRINCESS SAKURA: FORBIDDEN PLEASURES stars Kyoko Hinami (VANISHED: AGE 7), Munetaka Aoki (HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI, RUROUNI KENSHIN), Yuma Asami (PHONE CALL TO THE BAR 2), Yusuke Hirayama (20TH CENTURY BOYS: BEGINNING OF THE END, WILD 7) and Denden (GOLDEN SLUMBER, HIMIZU). SYNOPSIS One night in the Edo period... A spring storm blows strongly while cherry blossoms flutter down in

    Source: Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia press release Official Site: sitgesfilmfestival.com Prolific director Takashi Miike, a leading figure that has a special connection with the upcoming Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain), returned to the festival for screenings of his latest works. Arriving from Japan on October 18th, Miike attended screenings of LESSON OF THE EVIL (????, Aku no Kyoten, 2012) and SHIELD OF STRAW (???, Wara no Tate, 2013), presented in collaboration with the Japan Foundation. The director was welcomed with a standing ovation in the master class he offered at the Festival and where the book dedicated to him by the Festival was also presented. The prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike said that he felt truly moved by his welcome at the Festival. The session also was put to good use to present the

    Press Notes for Upcoming Mystery Movie Source: Asmik Ace Entertainment, Inc., Lotte Entertainment Official Site: genomehazard.asmik-ace.co.jp (Japan) Based on the 1998 novel by Shiro Tsukasaki, the South Korean/Japanese co-production GENOME HAZARD will open in Toho Cinemas in Japan on January 24, 2014. Hidetoshi Nijishima (DOLLS, THE WIND RISES) stars as Ishigami, an average working-class man plunged into a nightmare. One day he comes home from work and discovers his wife dead. Just then, he receives a phone call from his wife and collapses in utter confusion. Suddenly, two strangers claiming to be the police barge in and accuse Ishigami of murdering his wife. Escaping from the strangers, Ishigami struggles to find out what happened to his wife. As he searches for answers, Ishigami begins to lose his memory and finds himself acting like someone else. Is he truly who he thinks he is,

    Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network), Tokyo International Film Festival Official Movie Site: kiyoku-yawaku.com (Japan) Can people love again after losing someone special? The summer they were 15, Kanna’s childhood friend Haruta died. “I’ll never love anybody again...” But when she meets Roku, time -- frozen since that day -- begins to tick again. Introduction BEYOND THE MEMORIES (????, Kiyoku Yawaku) is an exquisite, heart-wrenching tale of love. The movie is based on Kanna`s Story, the final chapter of Kiyoku Yawaku, a masterpiece by the charismatic Ryo Ikuemi, who has been a top girls manga artist for 30 years with a following of devoted fans. This legendary bestselling manga has sold over 2.95 million copies and is her first work to be adapted into film. In the role of the main character, Kanna is Masami Nagasawa, who brought Japan to tears in CRYING OUT

    Source: Nikkatsu Corporation Official Site: arcana-movie.com (Japan) Special Thanks to Emico Kawai "SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT UNTIL YOU CANT SHOOT ANY MORE”. This is the debut feature film of Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, my chief assistant director for many of my own films. Be sure not to miss the launch of this future master. -- Takashi Miike Nikkatsu`s new horror/suspence film ARCANA (????, Arukana) opened in Japanese cinemas on October 19th. Based on Yua Kotegawa`s manga series of the same name -- serialized in Shueisha`s Weekly Young Jump from September 2000 to December -- film is directed by Takashi Miike alumnus, Yoshitaka Yamaguchi. ARCANA was shot in Joso, Ibaraki, in cooperation with the Joso Film Commission. STORY What would you do if you met yourself? While pursuing a gang of ruthless killers, Detective Murakami (Masataka Nakagauchi) is ordered to a gruesome crime scene. There he

    Press Notes and High-Res Photos from Horror Movie Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: roommate2013.com (Japan) Toei Co., Ltd. will release their new horror thriller ROOMMATE (??????, Rumumeito, 2013) in Japan on November 9, 2013. The film is based on the 1997 novel of the same name by author, Aya Imamura, who died early this year. ROOMMATE stars Keiko Kitagawa (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT, AKUMU-CHAN: THE MOVIE) and Kyoko Fukada (THE RING 2, YATTERMAN). Synopsis Harumi Hagio (Keiko Kitagawa), a 23-year old temp worker, is badly injured in a car accident. As she convalescences in the hospital, Harumi becomes friends with Reiko Nishimura (Kyoko Fukada), the kindly young nurse taking care of her. While Harumi and Reiko only met in the hospital as patient and nurse, they quickly establish a close connection to each other. As Harumi`s discharge from the

    Source: Fuji Television Network Official Site: kiyosukaigi.com (Japan) The movie the whole universe has been waiting for!! Director Koki Mitani’s newest masterpiece is a historical epic!! In 2011, critically acclaimed screenwriter, producer, film director and entertainment pioneer Koki Mitani secured his reputation as Japan`s leading writer-director with A GHOST OF A CHANCE (???????, Suteki na Kanashibari), the No.1 Japanese live-action film of the year. Now the filmmaker returns with his latest undertaking; the historical epic THE KIYOSU CONFERENCE (????, Kiyosu Kaigi, 2013) starring 26 of Japan`s top stars. In 1582, before the unification of Japan, Nobunaga Oda was forced to take his own life at Honno-ji Temple during a violent revolt led by Mitsuhide Akechi. Following Oda’s death, Japan held the Kiyosu Conference -- the “conference that changed the course of history” -- to resolve the Oda clan’s succession of leadership. Mitani gives

    Welcome to the World that No One Dares to Explore... Until Now! Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, Free Stone Productions, Silversalt PR Official Site: r-100.com (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie. INTRODUCTION Japan`s most absurdist auteur and one of the country`s leading comedians, Hitoshi Matsumoto, has captivated audiences all over the world with the unique storytelling and striking visual style of his films BIG MAN JAPAN (2007), SYMBOL (2009), and SCABBARD SAMURAI (2011). Now Matsumoto presents a whole new vision with his fourth directorial effort, R100 (2013), an intense sex comedy about a man who joins a mysterious club which opens the door to another world he has never before experienced. Whatever the subject, Matsumoto knows absolutely no boundaries, defying any filmmaking conventions. Each of his films is a planet of its own

    Source: T-Joy Co., Ltd., Loaded Films Ltd. Official Movie Site: play-in-hell.com (Japan) Additional Material: Venice International Film Festival This article contains adult language. Following an extraordinary, internationally praised run of films including LOVE EXPOSURE (??????, Ai no Mukidashi, 2009), COLD FISH (??????, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2011), GUILTY OF ROMANCE (??????, Koi no Tsumi, 2011), HIMIZU (???, 2012) and THE LAND OF HOPE (????, Kibou no Kuni, 2012), Sono wanted to take a break from overly serious subject matter. He recently made his debut as a standup comedian in Tokyo and dusted off a wild action-comedy screenplay he wrote in the early years of his career entitled WHY DON`T YOU PLAY IN HELL? (???????, Jigoku de Naze Warui). WHY DON`T YOU PLAY IN HELL? is a passionate love letter to film and filmmaking, brilliantly fusing pipe dreams of cinematic glory, violent yakuza wars and

    7 titles Programmed by Third Window Films and 5 Directors Coming from Japan Source: Third Window Films Official Site: raindancefestival.org Special Thanks to Adam Torel Third Window Films are pleased to have taken on board a big chunk of programming of the Way Out East Strand of the 21st Raindance Film Festival, one of the largest independent film festivals in the world! Running September 25th-October 6th in central London (Piccadilly Circus), this year`s festival will have a special focus on Japanese independent cinema with a strand called Way Out East featuring 13 films, of which 7 were programmed by Third Window Films. There will be UK premiers of Third Window`s latest acquisitions: SAKE-BOMB and SHADY. They will also be bringing over 5 directors from Japan to represent their latest works, so Raindance will surely be THE PLACE to be in the UK for catching the latest and

    New Japanese Crime Thriller Based on True Events Source: Nikkatsu Corporation Official Movie Site: kyouaku.com (Japan) Special Thanks to Emico Kawaii SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie. Based on true crime cases, THE DEVIL`S PATH (??, Kyoaku) exposes the secret underbelly of crime in modern Japan. The film opens in Japan on September 21st and is now being offered for international sales by Nikkatsu. STORY Journalist Shuichi Fujii (Takayuki Yamada) receives a letter from convicted killer Junji Sudo (Pierre Taki). Writing from death row, Sudo, a former yakuza, wants to confess to crimes unknown to the police. On visiting Sudo in prison, Fujii learns about a real estate broker named Kimura (Lily Franky) -- also called "Doc" -- who masterminded a string of murders for insurance money that Sudo worked muscle for. Set up

    Gifted with a rare talent broaching such “taboo” subjects as sex and violence through films that are written based on actual incidents, including but not limited to LOVE EXPOSURE (??????, Ai no Mukidashi, 2009), COLD FISH (??????, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2011), and GUILTY OF ROMANCE (??????, Koi no Tsumi, 2011), Sion Sono has been overtaking international film festivals every time he introduces his productions to the world. After presenting COLD FISH for the Orizzonti section of the 67th Venice International Film Festival and Guilty of Romance for the directors fortnight of the 64th Cannes Film Festival, Sono, with his last movie HIMIZU (???, 2012), successfully brought the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor and Actress to its main cast Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. Now, as a theme for his latest movie THE LAND OF HOPE (????, Kibou no

    Source: Phantom Film Co. Ltd. Official Movie Site: ikiteru.jp (Japan), thirdwindowfilms.com/isnt-anyone-alive (UK) Additional Material: Nippon Connection, Third Window Films From Gakuryu Ishii (a.k.a. Sogo Ishii), the director of ELECTRIC DRAGON 80000V and LABYRINTH OF DREAMS, comes ISN`T ANYONE ALIVE? (????????????, Ikiteru mono inai noka, 2012), his first feature film in 10 years! Starring award winning sensational newcomer Shota Sometani from HIMIZU! Urban Myth becomes reality... Will the World End? Story When people talk about bizarre urban myth at the University hospital, people are dying inexplicably one after the other... With the air of “Energy Void” throughout, this is dark comedy based on the theater of the absurd ISN`T ANYONE ALIVE? by an award winning playwright Shiro Maeda. About the Film With internationally acclaimed films such as CRAZY THUNDER ROAD (???????????, Kuruizaki Sanda Rodo, 1980), BURST CITY (????, Bakuretsu Toshi, 1982), THE CRAZY FAMILY

    Source: Free Stone Productions Official Site: wowow.co.jp/shokuzai (Japan) Additional Material: Nippon Connection SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in North America. Kiyoshi Kurosawa`s PENANCE (??, Shokuzai, 2012) marks the celebrated director’s anticipated return to the international festival circuit after the success of 2008’s TOKYO SONATA (????????), which won a string of awards including the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival. PENANCE is based on the third book by author Kanae Minato, whose debut novel Confessions sold over 2 million copies and was adapted to an equally popular film. The story is a shocking portrayal of a chain of tragic events as seen from the viewpoints of five different women, which reveals the poison and darkness lurking in the human heart. Starring Kyoko Koizumi, Yu Aoi, Eiko

    Source: Toei Co., Ltd., TV Asahi Official Site: aibou-xday.jp (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie. The most popular crime drama in Japan is back on the silver screen in the new movie, AIBOU SERIES: X DAY (?????? XDAY, Aibo Shirizu X DAY), opening March 23, 2013. The television series AIBOU: TOKYO DETECTIVE DUO (??, Aibo) -- also known as PARTNERS -- premiered on TV Asahi on October 9, 2002. Created by Yasuhiro Koshimizu, the show centered on the eccentric detective Ukyo Sugishita (played by award-winning actor/singer Yutaka Mizutani) and his hot-blooded partner Kaoru Kameyama (Yasubumi Terawaki) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police`s (MPD) Special Task Unit, a group made up of the police system`s cast-offs and dropouts. AIBOU: TOKYO DETECTIVE DUO became the most successful Japanese crime drama series of the decade, beating its prime-time

    Source: Phantom Film Co. Ltd. press notes Official Site: imflash-movie.com (Japan) Additional Material: Nippon Connection, Japan Society A Cult Guru, A Famme Fatale and 3 Bodyguards.. Then the fatal accident which changes their lives forever. Who is the target and who is the killer? The fierce fight on the red-hot island is about to begin! I`M FLASH! (?????????!, Aimu Furasshu!, 2012) is a stylish violent-action-thriller from visionary filmmaker Toshiaki Toyoda (9 SOULS, BLUE SPRING), starring Tatsuya Fujiwara (BATTLE ROYALE, DEATH NOTE) and Ryuhei Matsuda (TABOO, BLUE SPRING). Story Rui Yoshino (Tatsuya Fujiwara) is the charismatic young master of a lucrative religious sect calling itself “Life is Beautiful”. Life is indeed beautiful for the cocky cult leader. Famous, fast-talking, good looking and filthy rich, he has the attention of the mass media while his many followers (particularly the female ones) treat him as a

    Writer-Director Takanori Tsujimoto and Star Mitsuki Koga Headline Guest-Heavy Event at Montreal Fest Source: Fantasia International Film Festival press release Official Site: bushidoman.tumblr.com (Japan) Special Thanks to Marc Walkow and Ted Geoghegan The Klockworx Co. Ltd. and Two Guns Film have announced that BUSHIDO MAN (??????), a brand-new action / comedy from dynamic Japanese filmmaker Takanori Tsujimoto, will make its North American Premiere at Montreal’s prestigious Fantasia International Film Festival on July 27th, following a successful release across Japan last month. The film is headlined by martial arts expert and action star Mitsuki Koga. Tsujimoto is best-known for his hard-hitting style of modern action filmmaking, featured in his pair of HARD REVENGE, MILLY films (2008-09), and in KILL and THE WOMEN OF FAST FOOD, two live-action, omnibus features made in collaboration with legendary animator Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL, PATLABOR). The HARD

    Source: pictures dept. Additional Material: Nippon Connection, Japan Society Near the end of the 20th century, just before Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control, masses of people go on a rampage on Tokyo’s Chuo train line and love runs wild... In an alternate history, 1997 Tokyo is a gangland war zone, divided between feuding factions from the Chinese Baihubang and the Japanese Kamikaze. The Kamikaze prowl the streets in a campaign bus, spewing vitriol from a loudspeaker. Their leader is a bald lunatic whose only abiding passion is for a severed pig’s head he keeps in a plastic bag. The hyperactive narrator tells us that ancient race hatred is the war’s driving force. But when one Kamikaze girl meets a beautiful Chinese junk dealer, a lesbian Romeo & Juliet story blossoms. Soon they and the other self-described closeted queers, freaks, and cripples of

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