SciFi Japan
    See a Japanese Monster Double-Feature for Free, Courtesy of NYAFF and SciFi Japan Source: Subway Cinema/New York Asian Film Festival Special Thanks to Toyah Attwell and Grady Hendrix Next week sees the launch of the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Films. Running from June 19-July 12 at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue, at West 4th Street) and from July 1 - 5 at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues) in New York City, the combined festival will feature more than fifty movies, Q&A`s with filmmakers, and special events. The lineup also includes two new Japanese giant monster movies; MONSTER X STRIKES BACK: ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! and the short GEHARHA: THE DARK AND LONG HAIR MONSTER. The films will be shown as a double feature at the IFC Center on Friday, June 19

    After Two Years, Producers, Director, and Screenwriter Named for English Language Adaptation Source: Variety, Korean news sources, various Special Thanks to Kim Song-ho (Loomis) By 2004, South Korean movie director Bong Joon-ho had achieved the critical and commercial success most filmmakers struggle their whole career for. His second film, the crime drama MEMORIES OF MURDER (Salinui Chueok, 2003), topped the Korean box office in 2003 and won Best Movie, Best Director, and Best Actor at that year’s Grand Bell Awards, the Korean equivalent of the Academy Awards. But when he announced his next project would be a monster movie called THE HOST (Gwoemul) the reaction was decidedly mixed. Monsters had never been a popular genre in Korea. Prior to THE HOST, only a handful of films such as YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP (Daekoesu Yonggary, 1967), A*P*E (King Kongui Daeyeokseub, 1976), and Shim

    THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA and the All-New Sequel THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN Play the Egyptian Theatre Official Movie Website: THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN Event Website: American Cinematheque Special Thanks to Michael Schlesinger THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA was an affectionate, meticulous and hilarious re-creation of the notoriously cheap and cheesy black and white sci-fi/horror movies of the mid-1950s... those films quickly made in the wilds of Bronson Canyon for a few thousand bucks. Writer/Director Larry Blamire headed a cast including Fay Masterson (THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, EYES WIDE SHUT), Andrew Parks (DONNIE BRASCO), Brian Howe (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, DEJA VU) and Jennifer Blaire (THE MAJESTIC) as a gaggle of beloved stereotypes in pursuit of "that rarest of all radioactive elements - atmosphereum." THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA premiered at the 2001 Mill Valley Film Festival in California.

    Author: Ed Godziszewski Official Movie Site: MONSTER X STRIKES BACK SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. Every now and then, a film comes along that helps to redefine a genre, offering a fresh take on a familiar subject. Unfortunately, MONSTER X STRIKES BACK/ ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (Girara no Gyakushu / Samitto Kiki Ippatsu!) is not that film, although you get the idea that the director thinks that is what he has done. Going into this film, I knew what to expect…an off-the-wall comedy made by Minoru Kawasaki, one of Japan’s most eccentric filmmakers who specializes in offbeat concepts, starring a giant monster who was a less than successful (box office) one-shot character from the monster boom of 1967. When the director’s resume boasts titles like EXECUTIVE KOALA and THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, you know to expect more lowbrow

    The Japanese Studio Provides News and Photos for the Upcoming Sequel to THE X FROM OUTER SPACE Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Movie Site: MONSTER X STRIKES BACK Introduction by: Keith Aiken On January 29th, 2008, Shochiku surprised kaiju fans with the announcement that— 41 years after THE X FROM OUTER SPACE— they would be reviving Guilala for a new film, MONSTER X STRIKES BACK/ ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (Girara no Gyakushu / Samitto Kiki Ippatsu!). The studio also revealed that Guilala`s return would be written and directed by Minoru Kawasaki, the cult filmmaker responsible for such movies as THE CALAMARI WRESTLER (Ika Resuraa, 2004), EXECUTIVE KOALA (Koara Kachou, 2005), and THE WORLD SINKS EXCEPT JAPAN (Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu, 2006). In keeping with Kawasaki`s sensibilities, MONSTER X STRIKES BACK will feature the traditional trappings of the daikaiju genre (such as monster suits

    Author: Kim Song-ho (Loomis) Official Website: Cloverfield Movie SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains plot details for CLOVERFIELD. CLOVERFIELD may not be the greatest giant monster film of all time, but it is the most realistic one. As with other genres, giant monster films have long been made from a simple premise without much drastic change - a giant creature which possesses overwhelming might causes unprecedented disaster. CLOVERFIELD overcomes it with style. This film even blows the audience out of their seats sometimes. The film confines every aspect of the story within the first person point of view. Except for the opening and end credits, the body of the film consists of footage from a single camcorder. It easily reminds the audience of the similarly constructed THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, but there is an important difference between BWP and 1-18-08. A camcorder can shoot new footage

    The Cast and Crew Discuss the Highly-Anticipated Monster Movie Source: Paramount Pictures Official Website: Cloverfield Movie On the eve of his departure for Japan, Rob (Michael Stahl-David) sees his going-away party as an opportunity to confess unresolved feelings and tie up loose ends. His agenda takes an unexpected turn when a jolt shakes the revelers. The crowd quiets down to watch news reports of an earthquake, then rushes to the roof to assess the damage. A fireball explodes on the distant horizon. A power failure follows. Confusion gives way to panic as the partygoers stumble through the blackout and into the streets. Amid the human screams and one inhuman roar, Rob and his friends must traverse a landscape that has changed, overtaken by something otherworldly, terrifying, monstrous… Paramount Pictures Presents A Bad Robot Production CLOVERFIELD Executive Producers Guy Riedel, Sherryl Clark Produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan

    A look at King Kong toys from Japan Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Special Thanks to Kevin Frederick A SciFi JAPAN RETROSPECTIVE Japan has always been renowned for the great wealth of collectibles and toys that have been manufactured there over the decades. While the United States is certainly not lacking its own heap of quality items, there is one character that the Japanese have lately seemed to get right when the US has dropped the ball considerably: King Kong, or more specifically the 1933 incarnation of King Kong. What is most surprising about this is that King Kong is an American icon that frequently rivals Godzilla in popularity among fans. That is not to say that there haven’t been serviceable attempts to produce good likenesses of Kong in America. The release of Peter Jackson’s KING KONG remake in 2005 saw a great amount

    Author: Ed Godziszewski Revised and Updated from Monster Attack Team #7 (1997) 1966 was a vintage year for Japanese fantasy and science fiction films- the Golden Age of Toho was still in full bloom, with THE ADVENTURES OF TAKLAMAKAN (Kiganjo no Boken), WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (Furankenshutain no Kaiju: Sanda tai Gaira), and GODZILLA VS THE SEA MONSTER (Gojira, Ebira, Mosura: Nankai no Daiketto) all seeing release. Rival studio Daiei was likewise enjoying a Golden Age of its own, following up the success of GAMERA (Daikaiju Gamera, US title GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE, 1965) with GAMERA VS BARUGON (Daikaiju Ketto-Gamera tai Barugon, aka WAR OF THE MONSTERS) as well as a unique trio of period fantasy films in which the title character was a giant statue called Daimajin. MAJIN (Daimajin), THE RETURN OF MAJIN (Daimajin Ikaru) and MAJIN STRIKES AGAIN (Daimajin Gyakushu) all followed

    Media Blasters and Tokyo Shock bring the acclaimed Takashi Miike film to American theaters and DVD Source: Media Blasters, Inc. New press release: Check back with SciFi Japan in the next few days for additional information on THE GREAT YOKAI WAR and the American Cinematheque`s Japanese Giant Monsters Festival.

    The Highly Anticipated Animated Short Premieres in New York City Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Special Thanks to Peter Tatara, Tom Wayland, and Central Park Media A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE This past Tuesday, May 9th 2006, Central Park Media held the official New York City Premiere of NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS at the wonderful ImaginAsian Theater on 59th Street. Central Park Media, a small New York based distribution company that takes much pride in finding great Japanese animated films that would go unnoticed by bigger companies, became interested in NEGADON after they acquired the independent CG horror short KAKURENBO: HIDE AND SEEK last year. That film was received very well and was even shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. NEGADON is the product of director Jun Awazu, who left his 9-5 job in pursuit of his kaiju dream. In

    UC Berkeley Offers Class on Japanese Monster Cinema Author: Bob Johnson It was a cold and rainy night as I made my way to the UC Berkeley Campus to give a talk on Japanese superheroes. Who would have thought that in a place of higher learning, a prestigious California University, that a group of 55 students would be gathering to hear a talk about Ultraman, Kamen Rider or Kidaida? How did it all come to be? How did it all start? Two students at the school, Matthew Horwitz and Dustin Winslow, through a program that allows students to develop and coordinate semester-long courses, got together to offer KAIJU CINEMA: AN INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE GIANT MONSTER MOVIES. What started out to be a humble, 35-student class soon swelled to an amazing 55 students, with another 20 or so turned away for lack of classroom space. Students gather

    Author: Sean Kotz of CreatureScape Sources: •Chevalier, Jean and Alain Gheerbrant. A Dictionary of Symbols. Blackwell Publishers: Cambridge, Mass. (1994). •Cooper, J. C. Dictionary of Symbolic and Mythological Animals. Thorsons: London (1992). •MacKenzie, Donald A. Myths of China and Japan. Gramercy Books: New York (1994). Beginning with 1965’s GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE, American audiences have had a hard time getting over the fact that, obviously, Gamera is a giant turtle. In fact, in the Harris Associates Incorporated/NTA release for American viewers, devotes no less than five minutes of film time to debating this “hallucination.” Every English speaking character who hears the story scoffs and dismisses the premise as silly. In other words, even the Americans in the film can’t believe in a “giant turtle” and initially Gamera’s only defender is a rather eccentric (but genuinely comical) Dr. Contrare. Part of the problem is that Godzilla, Gamera’s more

      Source: Central Park Media, CoMix Wave Official US Site: Negadon Attacks Official Japanese Site (in English): Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon New press release: For more information and photos for NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS, please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan.  

    The Giant Flying Turtle Celebrates His 40th Anniversary with a New Film Author: Keith Aiken Translations: Oki Miyano Source: Kadokawa Herald Pictures, Inc., Kadokawa Pictures USA Official Movie Site: Gamera.jp Special Thanks to Ed Godziszewski and Daisuke Ishizuka A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE Over the past four decades, the giant monster Gamera has been called “Invincible”, “The Friend of All Children”, “Super Monster”, and “The Guardian of the Universe”. Now, the popular kaiju returns with a new title; “The Brave”. Six years after Gamera’s last big screen appearance; Kadokawa Pictures announced that they would be bringing the monster back in an all-new motion picture. Shochiku is handling theatrical distribution in Japan, where the film will be released on April 29, 2006 as GAMERA: THE LITTLE BRAVES (Chiisaki Yusha-tachi Gamera). International sales are being handled by Kadokawa Herald Pictures, Inc., who

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