SciFi Japan
    7 titles Programmed by Third Window Films and 5 Directors Coming from Japan Source: Third Window Films Official Site: 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: (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: (Japan), (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: (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: (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: (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: (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

    Source: Japan Society, Subway Cinema, Pony Canyon Special Thanks to Shannon Jowett, Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix The hit Japanese time-travel comedy THERMAE ROMAE (????????, Terumae Romae, 2012) makes its New York Premiere today (Sunday, July 14) as a co-presentation of 2013 New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. The screening will take place 5:15 pm at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street - Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium, New York, NY 10017). The following text comes from the English promotional materials for THERMAE ROMAE and are courtesy of the film`s international sales agent, Pony Canyon... Hiroshi Abe -- as an ancient Roman??? An epic bath fantasy transcends time and space. Hiroshi Abe and Aya Ueto star in the phenomenal live action film adaption!!! INTRODUCTION An ancient Roman architect (specializing in baths) struggling to invent

    See a Great New Japanese Movie on the Big Screen for Free, Courtesy of Japan Society and SciFi Japan Source: Japan Society Official Site: Special Thanks to Jason Gutierrez The 2013 New York Asian Film Festival/Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema is now in full swing. Running through July 15 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and July 11-21 at Japan Society, the combined festival will feature more than 70 films, international and world premiere screenings, Q&A`s with filmmakers, and other special events. Our friends at Japan Society are offering SciFi Japan readers a chance to win free tickets to see one of five films premiering on their schedule... the winner of the 36th Japan Academy Prize for Best Picture and Best Director, THE KIRISHIMA THING; the crime thriller THE RAVINE OF GOODBYE; the anti-fascist erotic shocker A WOMAN AND WAR;

    Source: FilmDistrict, Strategy PR press release Official Movie Site: Special Thanks to Rachel Allen FilmDistrict has released the official one sheet poster for OLDBOY, starring Josh Brolin (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, TRUE GRIT), Elizabeth Olsen (GODZILLA) and Sharlto Copley (DISTRICT 9, ELYSIUM). Written by Mark Protosevich (I AM LEGEND, THE CELL, THOR) and directed by Spike Lee (DO THE RIGHT THING, INSIDE MAN), the film is a remake of the South Korean hit OLDBOY (????, Oldeuboi, 2003) by director Park Chan-wook. OLDBOY was produced by Roy Lee (THE RING), Doug Davison (THE GRUDGE, THE DEPARTED) and Nathan Kahane (50/50, EVIL DEAD). OLDBOY is a provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover

    Dark Fairy Tale at the Prince Charles Cinema in London Source: Terracotta Distribution press release Special Thanks to Claire Marty A sinister house deep in the forest is full of happy children... but what lies beneath the surface? To time with the UK release of HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS on DVD, ‘Terracotta Film Club’ offers the chance to watch the South Korean adaptation of HANSEL AND GRETEL (??? ???, Henjelgwa Geuretel, 2007) at the Prince Charles Cinema in London. YIM Phil-sung’s twisted version is a dark and gripping modern age fairy tale for adults, spinning the original Grimm story on its head. Following a car crash on a country road, Eun-soo (Chun Jeong-myeong) is led to safety by a girl in a red cloak (Shim Eun-kyoung), to her house, deep in the forest. Accepting her family`s hospitality for the night, he gradually learns that he

    Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Movie Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in the United States. In June 2012, HOTARU THE MOVIE: IT`S ONLY A LITTLE LIGHT IN MY LIFE (?? ???????, Eiga Hotaru no Hikari), the big screen spinoff from the manga-inspired television series, was released to theaters across Japan by Toho. NTV is now offering the film for international sales. The following production notes and movie images are courtesy of NTV... About Hotaru no Hikaru Hotaru no Hikari is a popular Japanese women`s romance comic written and illustrated by Satoru Hiura. It was serialized in Kodansha`s Kiss magazine from 2004 to 2009 and was collected in 15 volumes with a total of 3.8 million copies in circulation. The live-action HOTARUNOHIKARI: IT`S ONLY A LITTLE LIGHT IN MY LIFE (???????,

    No One is Left Untouched by Kirishima Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network), Showgate Official Movie Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in the United States. Last August, SciFi Japan profiled the new Japanese release, THE KIRISHIMA THING (???????????, Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo). NTV is now offering THE KIRISHIMA THING for international sales and has provided SFJ with images and English production notes for the film. Additional photos were supplied by Showgate, the movie`s theatrical distributor in Japan... Story and Commentary The film adaptation of the best-selling novel by the winner of the 22nd Shosetsu Subaru New Writer’s Award. Ryunosuke Kamiki x Daihachi Yoshida x Ryo Asai: A Coming-of-Age Classic for a New Generation! 103 minutes without Kirishima -- and everything falls apart. How will you feel after watching this story unfold?

    Two Detectives Must Escort a Murderer with a $10 Million Bounty on His Head Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie. Distance: 1,200 km. Time Limit: 48 hours The entire nation is your enemy! SHIELD OF STRAW (???, Wara no Tate) is the latest film by Takashi Miike, director of ACE ATTORNEY, FOR LOVE`S SAKE and LESSON OF THE EVIL. Adapted from Kazuhiro Kiuchi`s 2004 novel Wara no Tate, the movie is a crime action thriller about a Special Police team that must escort a vicious criminal with a $10 million bounty on his head. The two lead detectives are portrayed by Takao Osawa (GOEMON, ICHI) and Nanako Matsushima (THE RING, WHITEOUT). The murderer they must protect is played by Tatsuya Fujiwara (BATTLE

    His Final Opponent was a Tiger... Source: CREi Inc. Official Site: (Japan) CREi Inc. is now offering the Japanese suspense thriller NAMELESS CROSS (???????, Nanashi Shino Juujika, 2012) for foreign sales. Based on the novel of the same name by Ichiro Go, NAMELESS CROSS is the story of Mikami, owner of a small wrestling shop. Overwhelmed with debt, Mikami decides to search for a mysterious underground video -- valued at ¥30 million on the black market -- rumored to show a fight between a man and a tiger. After speaking to an old acquaintance, Mikami concludes that the fighter was a legendary kick boxer named Shintaro Shinzaki who disappeared without a trace. In order to discover the tape’s whereabouts he contacts Shinzaki’s girlfriend, Yukie, unaware that he has taken the first step down a deadly path. Does this tape exist? Can Mikami

    Source: TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) Official Movie Site: (Japan) On December 12th, Toho released LOVE FOR BEGINNERS (??????????, Kyo, Koi wo Hajimemasu) in Japanese cinemas. The live-action film is based on the popular (more than 8 million volumes sold) shojo manga series Today, I Begin Love with Tsubaki by Minami Kanan. LOVE FOR BEGINNERS opened in third place at the Japanese box office. Tsubaki Hibino (Emi Takei) is a plain and studious teen whose life to this point has had little to do with love... until she meets Kyota Tsubaki (Tori Matsuzaka), a cute and smart yet exceedingly cocky, long-haired boy who happens to be the most popular guy in school and shares a common name. Teasing Tsubaki for her outdated fashion and demeanor, Kyota proceeds to steal away her first kiss, leaving her incensed! But as she begins to catch glimpses

    Acclaimed Filmmaker to Attend Screenings of His Work at Museum of Modern Art Author: Marc Walkow Official Site: Art Theater Guild and Japanese Underground Cinema, 1960–1986 Acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi -- best known outside of Japan for his 1977 pop-art fantasy / horror film HOUSE (???, Hausu) -- will be making a rare trip to New York City this week for several film screenings and the launch of a new exhibition / film series at the Museum of Modern Art. Accompanying him will be his family, including daughter Chigumi, who was responsible for writing the original story for HOUSE, when she was only 14 years old! Obayashi (or OB, as he`s frequently called) is one of those rare filmmakers who has worked comfortably in both the art-house and commercial areas of his field. Beginning his work as an 8mm and 16mm filmmaker in the 1960s,

    Director Keishi Otomo to Attend Source: LA EigaFest press release Official Movie Site: (Japan) The hit film RUROUNI KENSHIN (??????, 2012) will make its North American premiere as the opening selection for the 2012 LA EigaFest. Rurouni Kenshi is a hugely popular manga series that has fans among not only those who read Japanese manga but is also beloved by people familiar with the subsequent anime series and video games. The film has succeeded in bringing the original story to a live action movie and was a blockbuster summer hit in Japan. The director, Keishi Otomo, will attend the premiere and opening red carpet ceremony. LA EigaFest is a Japanese film festival based in Los Angeles and hosted by the Japan Film Society. The event will run Friday, December 14 – Sunday, December 16, 2012 at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028.

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