SciFi Japan
    Japan Society Continues "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series on April 24th Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Joel Neville Anderson New York – Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series screens monthly through May 2010. Having opened in December 2009, this Saturday`s second-to-last screening marks the final appearance of Shintaro Katsu’s Zatoichi in the film series as well as the introduction of Raizo Ichikawa’s Nemuri Kyoshiro in THE SWORD OF SEDUCTION (aka SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH 4). Tickets are $11/$7 Japan Society members, students and seniors. NEW TALE OF ZATOICHI (Shin Zatoichi monogatari) Saturday April 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm 1963, 91 min, 35mm,

    Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen April welcomes Spring, and VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, celebrates the season of the sakura (cherry blossom) with a colorful – and tasty – schedule of films and fun events. Don’t miss a very rare personal appearance by Director Yuri Nomura for the U.S. premiere of her acclaimed documentary film about gastronomy, EATRIP. Known widely in Japan as a chef, author and teacher, and also for her Food Creative Team, “Eatrip,” that takes ‘eating’ to the next level. EATRIP created a buzz in film festivals worldwide and now comes to San Francisco! Nomura will attend the U.S. premiere of EATRIP at VIZ Cinema on April 10th as part of the 43rd annual Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown. Tickets are available to

    Japan Society Screens 13 Rare Movies Starring Actresses Ayako Wakao, Meiko Kaji and Mariko Okada Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Joel Neville Anderson Up next from New York City`s Japan Society is the 2010 Globus Film Series “Mad, Bad… & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties”, presenting 13 rare movies of actresses Ayako Wakao, Meiko Kaji and Mariko Okada. At the opposite end from the stereotype of docile Japanese women— heroic good mothers, chaste daughters and hardworking faithful wives— the three actresses embodied the transgression of limits, breaking rules, flouting norms and generally upsetting everyone. This series explores the idea of unconventional beauty that these spellbinding actresses created through an unparalleled body of films. Both Wakao and Okada were muses and inspiration for two major film directors, Yasuzo Masumura and Kiju (Yoshishige) Yoshida, respectively, while Kaji navigated between filmmakers, a wild card of Japanese cinema at

    New Computer Animated Feature from the Makers of NEGADON Author: Keith Aiken Source: Kazuki Sunami, CoMix Wave Films Inc. Official Movie Site: planzet.jp Special Thanks to Elliot Gay A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE The year is 2053 AD. The Earth has lost a huge portion of its population to a mysterious lifeform that has appeared from space. With all of mankind’s attempts to counterattack ending in failure, the Fuji Base Japanese Area Forces puts their final plan to strike the enemy location into action; Operation Planzet. Hiroshi Akishima, pilot of the robot weapon, has been ordered to protect the people at Fuji Base without fail. Before the battle Hiroshi’s little sister Koyomi, his only surviving family, takes refuge on the safe planet of Mars. Thus begins Planzet, the battle for mankind’s fate. Hiroshi and his comrades face insurmountable odds. How will humanity be able to fight

    Suspense thriller arrives in U.S. theaters March 12 Author: Richard Pusateri Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Movie Site: motherfilm.com (US), mother2009.co.kr (Korea) Special Thanks to Marina Bailey Director Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST) brings the Hitchcock flavor to MOTHER. First, well, it`s called "MOTHER" and takes maternal issues and other family matters to a length not seen in Alfred Hitchcock`s movies. It also has a "wrong man" theme, more than one McGuffin, a little voyeurism, a lot of suspense and several plot twists. In true Hitchcock style, some macabre sequences are delivered with a reserved humor. Several small objects with large significance flit in and out of the story; sometime shifting their significance with each appearance, in one case disappearing (or was its importance all my imagination?) and in another instance providing the story`s resolution. Comparison to the works of the Master of Suspense Hitchcock,

    New Murder Mystery from the Director of THE HOST Source: Magnolia Pictures Official Movie Site: motherfilm.com (US), mother2009.co.kr (Korea) Special Thanks to Marina Bailey MOTHER (Madeo, 2009), the latest film from award-winning Korean director Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST) is a unique murder mystery about a mother`s primal love for her son. The movie has been picked up for release in the United States by Magnolia Pictures and begins its theatrical run on March 12th. Check magpictures.com/dates for theaters and screening times. The following production notes are courtesy of Magnolia Pictures... MOTHER A film by BONG Joon-ho Running time: 129 min. Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards (Nominee – Best Foreign Film) Official Selection: 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival 2009 Cannes Film Festival 2009 Toronto Film Festival 2009 Tribeca Film Festival 2009 New York

    Theatre Also Announces Lecture on Anime Icon Hayao Miyazaki, and Screenings for 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Cinema in San Francisco, CA, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, has announced a variety of notable film screenings, festivals, lectures and other special events to be held throughout the month of March. Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films: Vol.1 YAKUZA NIGHT FEVER! New activities kick off on March 5th with Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films. Come celebrate the launch of Japanese pop culture critic and Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias’s new film/lecture series. Also sponsored by SEGA of America, the evening’s events begin at 6:00pm and will include a reception, a lecture on

    Romance, Anime, and 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2 in San Francisco Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen February is the month of love and VIZ Cinema, the nation’s first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, sweetens this theme with a pair of captivating love stories by director Isshin Inudo, presented in association with Asmik Ace Entertainment. Don’t miss the chance to attend the West Coast premieres of these heartwarming cinematic masterpieces. How far would you go in the name of LOVE? VIZ Cinema is privileged to present director Inudo’s JOSEE, THE TIGER AND THE FISH, screening February 5th –18th; and LA MAISON DE HIMIKO, showing February 18th – March 4th. To celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day for the entire month of February, filmgoers who also bring a date (or a friend) will receive a special 50% discount

    Japan Society Presents the Second Installment of "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Sean Levine New York – Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series screens monthly through May 2010. Having opened in December, the second installment in the series is ZATOICHI, THE FUGITIVE on Friday, January 22 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $11/$7 Japan Society members, students and seniors. ZATOICHI, THE FUGITIVE (Zatoichi kyojo-tabi) Friday, January 22, 7:30 pm 1963, 86 min., 35 mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tokuzo Tanaka. With Shintaro Katsu, Miwa Takada, Masayo Banri, Junichiro Narita, Katsuhiko Kobayashi.

    DVD Release and Special San Francisco Screening on January 26 Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: VIZ Pictures Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, will release the newest volume of its ongoing NEW PEOPLE ARTIST SERIES – DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO (Near Equal Moriyama Daidou, 2001) on DVD January 26th. This intriguing documentary profiles the life and art of Japan’s foremost photographer and highlights his unorthodox style and technique. The DVD will carry an MSRP of $24.92 U.S. / $35.99 CAN and will be distributed by VIZ Media. Daido Moriyama has been a major force in artistic photography since the late 60’s, but his true persona has been hidden behind a veil of mystery since he has refused any major media appearances - until now.

    “Hit Me With Music Vol. 2” Film Series Runs this January Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: NewPeopleWorld.com Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen San Francisco`s VIZ Cinema, the nation’s first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, opens 2010 with an exciting new program for January that continues to explore music as a cinematic theme. From rock ‘n roll to classical, music provides the soundtrack for young people’s lives. “Hit Me With Music, Volume 2” will showcase several films that each move to a different beat and will premiere SHINDO, MIDNIGHT SUN and OH! MY BUDDHA. VIZ Cinema’s ever popular "Weeknight Anime People" will screen the samurai action of SWORD OF THE STRANGER while the venue’s "New People Artist Series" plans a special presentation of the intriguing documentary, DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO. Preview trailers and screening times are

    Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special Thanks to Junko Kawaguchi The ninja action film KAMUI, directed by Yoichi Sai and co-produced/distributed by Shochiku Co., Ltd., will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, to be held in Toronto, Ontario from September 10- September 19, 2009. KAMUI is one of eight international films newly added to the festival`s Special Presentation Program. Founded in 1976, TIFF takes over 23 screens in downtown Toronto for 10 days each September. Last year, more than 300,000 attendees turned out for screenings of 312 films from 64 different countries. KAMUI is a live action adaptation of Sanpei Shirato`s manga The Legend of Kamui, which was originally serialized in the Japanese anthology magazine Garo from December 1964 to July 1971. An English language version of The Legend of Kamui was first released by VIZ Media in 1987. In 1969, the story

    Press Notes and Photos from Shochiku Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Movie Site: ICHI Special Thanks to Aki Harimoto SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. The famed ZATOICHI returns to the screen once again... this time as the female character ICHI. With eyes that cannot see, the audience will reach her soul, where emotions burst with relentless action! Introduction Zatoichi— a wandering blind swordsman who protects the innocent and fights injustice— has been one of the the most popular samurai heroes in Japanese cinema and television. The character was featured in one of Japan`s longest-running movie series, with 26 films produced between 1962 and 1989 starring Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi. Katsu also played the role in the 112 episode television series THE TALE OF ZATOICHI, which aired from 1974 to 1979. In 2003, "Beat" Takeshi Kitano directed

    Author: Elliot Gay Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special thanks to Aki Harimoto and Stuart Galbraith IV Founded in 1895 as a Kabuki theater company, Shochiku Co., Ltd. has been one of the top movie production and distribution companies in Japan since 1920. The studio has produced the works of some of Japan`s most respected directors; a partial list includes such greats as Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa, Hiroshi Shimizu, Keisuke Kinoshita, Nagisa Oshima, Yoji Yamada, Kinji Fukusaku, and Takeshi Kitano. Shochiku also created the beloved Tora-San film series, which featured 48 entries produced from 1969-1995 and earned a spot as "the longest movie series in the world" in the Guiness Book of World Records. The studio is also known for its many samurai pictures and as well as cult film favorites like THE X FROM OUTER SPACE and GOKE, BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL.

    The New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts to Screen More than 50 Feature Films in June and July Source: Subway Cinema, Japan Society Special Thanks to Toyah Attwell and Grady Hendrix Beginning this month, New York City plays host to 24 days of Asian cinema. Subway Cinema`s New York Asian Film Festival (June 19- July 5) and Japan Society`s JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Films (June 30 - July 12) combined will feature more than 50 movies, exclusive Q&A’s with filmmakers, and other special events. This year also marks the third collaboration between JAPAN CUTS and NYAFF, who will co-present seven films at the Japan Society from July 1-5. Festival Venues The IFC Center 323 Sixth Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets) New York, NY 10014 Box office: (212) 924-7771 The IFC Center is the ultimate entertainment space for New Yorkers seeking

    Source: mPRm Public Relations press release Official Site (Hong Kong): WarlordsTheMovie Special Thanks to Clay Dollarhide The Wagner/Cuban Companies` Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s historical action epic, THE WARLORDS. Boasting an all-star cast, including Jet Li, Andy Lau (INFERNAL AFFAIRS) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (RETURNER, K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK), THE WARLORDS was a huge critical and commercial hit in China, winning eight Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director for Chan and Best Actor for Li. Depicting the same historical events that were the basis for the Shaw Brothers classic BLOOD BROTHERS, THE WARLORDS is set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s. Jet Li stars as General Pang, who after a surviving a massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead,

    Source: Alex Hernandez, New York-Tokyo Official Movie Site: tokyothemovie.com In TOKYO!, three visionary directors (Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho) come together for an omnibus triptych examining the nature of one unforgettable city as it’s shaped by the disparate people who live, work (and run amok) inside an enormous, constantly evolving, densely populated Japanese megalopolis — the enchanting and inimitable Tokyo. Rhapsody, psychogeography, urban valentine, freak show, mindwalk and many other things, TOKYO! is a fantasy in three movements that will make you see one of the world’s greatest cities— if not any city— with a new point of view. In the tradition of such films as NEW YORK STORIES, NIGHT ON EARTH, PARIS JE T’AIME and its forthcoming sequel NEW YORK I LOVE YOU, TOKYO! addresses the timeless question of whether we shape cities, or if cities shape us— while in the process, revealing

    New Drama from the Award-Winning Director of THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special Thanks to Aki Harimoto Shochiku Co., Ltd. announced today that they would start production of Yoji Yamada’s latest feature, OTOUTO (original Japanese title). The film will start shooting in mid-January 2009. Yoji Yamada now returns to modern drama for the first time in 10 years, following the enormous success of the samurai trilogy that included the Academy Award nominated film THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI (Tasogare Seibei, 2002), THE HIDDEN BLADE (Kakushi Ken, Oni no Tsume, 2004) and LOVE AND HONOR (Bushi no Ichibun, 2006). His last feature was the highly acclaimed KABEI – OUR MOTHER (Kabei, 2008), which premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival in competition and moved the audience to tears with the strong drama of a family`s struggles through the hard times of WWII. Shochiku Co. Ltd., will produce

    Star-Studded Line Up at 2008 Event Source: Roger Bilheimer Associates press release Official Site: New York Anime Festival The second annual New York Anime Festival (NYAF), which will take place in New York City September 26 – 28 at the Jacob K. Javits Center, boasts a wide cross-section of prominent guests from the worlds of fashion, music, food, as well as comics, fulfilling the festival’s goal of expanding beyond anime specifically to embrace many aspects of Japanese pop culture. In its first year in 2007, the New York Anime Festival became an immediate success, playing host to thousands of fans and instantly becoming the fourth largest anime festival in the United States. “Our festival is like an entire world unto itself, with an enormous and dedicated fan base which literally soaks up all that we have to offer,” notes Lance Fensterman, Show Manager for NYAF. “This

    Combined US/Japanese Effort Preserves a Landmark in Japanese Cinema; Academy Presents 3 Month Celebration of Akira Kurosawa Source: Kadokawa Pictures, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Special Thanks to Oki Miyano Contents: Kadokawa Pictures press release: The Rashomon Restoration Project The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release: Academy to Salute Akira Kurosawa The Rashomon Restoration Project Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences It has been ten years since the legendary director Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 - September 6, 1998) passed away. Kadokawa Pictures is now completing the task of digitally restoring Kurosawa`s RASHOMON with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Considering RASHOMON`s arts and cultural values, Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the US, and The

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