By The Editor
November 3, 2010 - 09:55
THE THEMES OF PASSION & PROWESS USHER IN THE FALL SEASON AT VIZ CINEMA
Passion For Spirituality, Food, Music, Love And More Among The Topics Featured In New Films At NEW PEOPLE Movie Theatre This Month
VIZ Cinema makes November’s cinema programming about the theme of prowess. Passion turns into expertise as one's art and expression matures. It could simply save a soul, become a powerful weapon, or even lead a popular movement. Tickets, screening times and complete details for each film are available at: www.vizcinema.com.
The month begins as the theatre proudly presents the opening night of the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival 2010 on November 3rd with the premiere of Journey from Zanskar, a new film from the producers of Hoop Dreams that follows a group of monks and children across the breath-taking and dangerous Himalayas. Heavy metal comedy is up next with a special one-night-only show on November 4th of Detroit Metal City, to celebrate the film’s brand new DVD release from VIZ Pictures. The New Media Film Festival and S.F. Bay Area Market & Forum will be held this month at the venue, featuring work from innovative creators using the latest technology to develop visionary content.
Then work up an appetite for the premiere of Chef of the South Polar, based on the hilarious autobiographical essay of a chef on an Antarctic research team who brings gourmet cuisine to one of the most inhospitable place on earth. Live From Tokyo next takes audiences to the backstreets of Japan’s capital to sample the city’s burgeoning underground music scene. This screening will be complemented by a simulcast of a live set from the band Sajjunu (also featured in the film) broadcast from the Super Deluxe club in Tokyo. Anime fans won’t want to miss special screenings of Patlabor The Movie, and Patlabor The Movie 2, presented in partnership with Bandai Entertainment, and also a premiere showing of Kamui Gaidan, based on the legendary 1970’s Japanese comic book by Sampei Shirato.
Director Yuki Tanada’s Electric Button then brings erotic flavors to audiences and manages to be as sweet as it is unsentimental, while effortlessly dancing across the lines of comedy, drama, romance and eroticism. And don’t miss the return of the TokyoScope Talk film discussion series as it holds a special Saturday afternoon session on ninja cinema! The month wraps up with a special film retrospective on removed Japanese actor and author Yukio Mishima.
Journey from Zanskar, Wednesday, 11/3 at 7:20pm San Francisco Premiere!
(Directed by Frederick Marx, 2009, 90mins, English, Tibetan, and Hindi with English subtitles)
Oscar-winning filmmaker Frederick Marx follows a group of monks and children across the breath-taking and dangerous Himalayas as they journey from Zanskar, one of the most isolated places on earth, to a Buddhist school in Manali (India).
Detroit Metal City, November 4th 7:00pm, One Night Only!!!
(Directed by Toshio Lee, 2008, 104min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Detroit Metal City takes the zany rock antics inspired by films like Spinal Tap to hilarious new extremes in this story, based on a popular manga comic created by Kiminori Wakasugi that has sold more than 4.5 million copies in Japan and features notable appearances by Gene Simmons from the legendary band, KISS, and Marty Friedman of Megadeth.
In the film, Soichi Negishi (played by Kenichi Matsuyama) is a sweet and shy young man who dreams of becoming a trendy singer songwriter. But for some reason, he is forced into joining the devil worshiping death metal band “Detroit Metal City” (DMC). In full stage make-up and costume, he transforms into Johannes Krauser II the vulgar-mouthed lead vocalist of the band. Against Negishi’s will, DMC rises to stardom. Things get even more complicated when the legendary king of death metal, Jack IL Dark (played by Gene Simmons), challenges DMC to a duel in the film’s climatic finale. What will be the fate of innocent Negishi as he climbs to the top of the death metal world?
NEW MEDIA FILM FESTIVAL SF BAY AREA MARKET & FORUM
Friday, 11/5 & Saturday 11/6
Join as VIZ Cinema brings together several leaders and content creators in film, TV, games, publishing, web, mobile technology and screen mobile, webisodes and mobile series, shorts, animation, and much more. Film screenings include selections from Sundance, Cannes, Los Angeles Film Festival premieres as well as work by the best local Bay Area talent working in New Media. Competition Judges are industry professionals from Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, Summit Entertainment, Creative Convergence and United Talent Agency.
More details and tickets are available at: www.newmediafilmfestival.com/newmediatickets.php
The Chef of South Polar Monday, 11/ 7 – Thursday, 11/12
(Directed by Shuichi Okita, 2009, 125mins, Japanese with English subtitles)
Based on the hilarious autobiography by the chef of an Antarctic research team!
Eight men join a research expedition to the Dome Fuji Station in Antarctica – an environment so cold that even viruses cannot exist, let alone living creatures. Jun Nishimura’s job is to cook for the members every day. He prepares the meals with the greatest care, sometimes with fine delicacies, and takes pleasure in watching everyone sitting down together and enjoying his food. In far away Japan, Nishimura has a family including a new-born son. The assignment lasts a year and a half and while his thoughts are with his family 14,000 kilometers away, the ultimate mission away from home must continue. Antarctic life is unlike anything in Japan. But as long as there is good food, it gives the team the strength to go on. Though the film is set in the coldest climate in the world, The Chef of South Polar will warm viewers up from the center of their hearts. Good food and human drama, full of laughter and love.
Live From Tokyo; Friday, 11/12 at 7:15pm
(Directed by Lewis Rapkin, 2010, 79min, HDCam, Japanese with English Subtitles,)
“Live From Tokyo” is a documentary film about underground music culture in Tokyo. The city’s reputation as a media-saturated hub for global information and cutting-edge innovation makes it the perfect setting for addressing a new outlook on music culture. This documentary takes the viewer through the back streets in Shinjuku, the intersections in Shibuya, the alleys in Koenji, and all over Tokyo, as it highlights the innovative musicians who create this multi-faceted artistic culture. The film features interviews and performances by DMBQ, Tenniscoats, Shugo Tokumaru, Nisennenmondai, PARA (ex-Boredoms members), Kirihito, d.v.d., and many more.
After the film screening, the band Sajjanu (featured in the film) will simulcast a live performance from Tokyo!
Sajjanu is a ripping new unit from Tokyo that performs incredibly complex through-composed compositions with few if any repetition. Combining the intensity of the Ruins with the quirkiness of the Boredoms and the compositional integrity of Zappa, Zorn and more, Sajjanu is creating a new Japanese music of infinite possibilities. In addition to releases in Japan, Sajjanu’s album Pechiku!! was released in 2009 on John Zorn’s New York-based Tzadik label.
Patlabor The Movie, November 13th (Subtitled) & 14th(Dubbed)
(Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 1989, 99min, Digital, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Set in an alternate 1999 in Tokyo where advanced robotic vehicles called Labors are heavily relied on to reshape the city, a maverick team of the Metropolitan Police force tries to uncover and thwart a devilish computer crime aimed at the heart of the Labor industry. As a powerful typhoon approaches the city and the schemes of a mad genius start to take full effect, time is running out for the team of Special Vehicles Section 2 to act on the offensive, or risk citywide devastation by eight thousand Labors gone berserk!
Patlabor The Movie 2, November 13th (Subtitled) & 14th(Dubbed)
(Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 1993, 113min, Digital, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Set three years after the first film, PATLABOR 2 draws police commanders Ki'ichi Gotoh and Shinobu Nagumo into the hunt for Tsuge, a rogue officer of the Japan Self-Defense Forces connected with an escalating wave of terrorist attacks. But the investigation into the plot is guarded by secrets both personal and political, as the awakening fear of terror in Tokyo is slowly answered by the dream-like fade of democracy into martial law... Ominous, beautiful, suspenseful, and poetic, Patlabor 2 deserves the term visionary in every sense of the word.
Electric Button (Moon & Cherry), Saturday, 11/13 – Thursday, 11/18, San Francisco Premiere!
Recalling the traditional “Pink Film” in form – but radically different in the particulars, Yuki Tanada’s ELECTRIC BUTTON manages to be as sweet as it is unsentimental, while effortlessly dancing across the lines of comedy, drama, romance and eroticism.
21 year-old Kenichi Tadokoro (Tasuku Nagaoka) has finally been accepted into a university after his third try at the entrance exam. One day he is virtually shanghaied into joining an erotic fiction writing club by an odd character who seems much too old to be a proper student (veteran film actor Akira Emoto). The club is populated by an odd assortment of characters, including the sole female member, Hazuki Mayama (Noriko Eguchi), who, under a male nom de porn, is also the club’s only published member. When the group engages in a sexually explicit round of shop talk, Tadokoro regales them with his expertise. Mayama, however, to Tadakoro’s horror, easily identifies him as a virgin – out loud, casually, and in front of everyone.
Kamui Gaidan, Friday, 11/19 – Wednesday, 12/1, San Francisco Premiere!
(Directed by Yoichi Sai, 2009, 120min, Digital, Japanese with English subtitles)
Based on the legendary 1970’s Japanese comic book by Sampei Shirato, Kamui Gaidan boasts one of the largest budgets in the history of Japanese film history. Taking you on a journey by land and by sea, Kamui Gaidan is sure to capture the attention of audiences world-wide with its amazing action and colorful story. Set in 17th Century Japan, Kamui Gaidan tells the story of Kamui, an outcast from society who dreams of someday escaping his miserable existence. Feeling that he is left with no alternative, Kamui trains to become a deadly Ninja, killing just to survive. A life of that revolves around kill after kill starts to get to the warrior. Kamui grows to despise the lethal rules that govern the Ninja, prompting him to leave the only world he knows. Now a fugitive from his former clan, Kamui goes on the run towards an uncertain future. The Ninja’s view on life changes after an incident brings him to a fisherman’s family. It is there he finally starts to open up to other people. Meanwhile, those hunting him are setting their trap.
TokyoScope Talk, Vol. 7 – NINJA ATTACK! Saturday, 11/20 at 12:15pm
The ninja – Japan’s famed shadow warriors of legend – are the subject of the next TokyoScope Talk film event.
Presented by host Patrick Macias (Editor, Otaku USA) and produced in association with Matt Alt, co-author of the new book Ninja Attack! True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws (published by Kodansha International), this presentation will explore the historical and pop culture legacy of the original men (and women!) in black.
Gasp in amazement as rare clips from assorted movies, anime, and TV programs such as Shinobi no Mono, Red Mask, Shogun Assassin, Dagger of Kamui, and Alien vs. Ninja reveal the over-the-top skills, weapons, and deadly techniques of these fearsome martial artists!
All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win free copies of the Ninja Attack! book!
Mishima Retrospective: 11/26 Fri – 12/1 Wed
To honor the 40th anniversary of the death of renowned actor Yukio Mishima on November 25th, 1970, VIZ Cinema proudly presents the Mishima Retrospective which showcases three films inspired by his novel, his life and his work as an actor.
Directed by Kenji Misumi, 1964, 94min, Japanese with English subtitles)
Based on Yukio Mishima's short story published in 1963, the story revolves around the story of the captain of a university kendo club – Kokubu – and his relationships with other members of the club, his family, women, and modern society in general.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
(Directed by Paul Schrader, 1985, 120min, Japanese with English subtitles)
A visually stunning, collage-like portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima (played by Ken Ogata), this film investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between self, art, and society. Taking place on Mishima’s last day, when he famously committed public seppuku, the film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer’s life as well as by gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works.
Afraid to Die
(Directed by Yasuzo Masumura, 1960, 96min, Japanese with English subtitles)
Yukio Mishima stars in this New Wave cult film playing the role of Takeo, a youthful yakuza who turns back to his criminal ways after leaving prison. Takeo finds himself embroiled in the business of assassinations, revenge and violence, and must struggle to keep alive for the love of his family and girlfriend, Yoshie.
VIZ Cinema is the nation’s only movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.