With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ACF 754: Two VIZ Kids releases due Tuesday, November 2, 2010

PANDA MAN TO THE RESCUE!
and
TARO AND THE MAGIC PENCIL

Combine Stories of Fun and Mischief
with Brain Tickling Puzzles and Games

VIZ Media will give younger readers something to look forward to with the release of PANDA MAN TO THE RESCUE! and TARO AND THE MAGIC PENCIL in two days, on Tuesday, November 2nd.

PANDA MAN TO THE RESCUE!, TARO AND THE MAGIC PENCIL, and the subsequent books in each series, were created to tap into every child's sense of play. The new titles, recommended for readers ages 6 years or older and part of the VIZ Kids imprint, tell the stories of a flatulent panda and a brave little pup. Each book offers a unique reading experience, mixing comic book elements with traditional prose. In addition, readers solve mazes, puzzles and riddles to move the stories along.

"We are really excited to offer these two new series," said Traci Todd, Senior Editor, Children’s Publishing. "PANDA MAN TO THE RESCUE! and TARO AND THE MAGIC PENCIL are good, silly fun mixed with a lot of heart."

THE ADVENTURES OF PANDA MAN: PANDA MAN TO THE RESCUE • MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.99 CAN • Available November 2ndBoing Oing! It's Panda Man, a roly-poly hero with a bottomless belly and the power of pee-yew! Evil villains are no match for our hero's funky feet and flatulence, but he still needs your help! Together you can solve the mazes and puzzles that stand between Panda Man and ultimate justice...or his next meal. Whichever comes first!

THE ADVENTURES OF TARO: TARO AND THE MAGIC PENCIL • MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.99 CAN • Available November 2nd

Before his comic book drawings came to life, Taro was an ordinary boy. Now his characters are in danger, and it's up to him to save them! With the flick of a magic pencil, Taro transforms into Terrie (a terrier) and enters his comic book world. The adventures ahead are more amazing than anything he ever imagined!

VIZ Kids titles offer engaging manga and manga-related content intended specifically for a younger audience. All VIZ Kids products share the same core values of strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and lots of good humor that will delight a whole new generation of readers.

For more information on these or other VIZ Kids titles, visit http://www.vizkids.com/.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ACF 753: Section23 announces DVD releases for December, 2010


SECTION23 FILMS ANNOUNCES
DECEMBER SLATE

NYAN KOI! COMPLETE COLLECTION Available on December 14th

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its DECEMBER slate of releases, including the wildly popular series NYAN KOI! The complete collection which will be released from Section23 client Sentai Filmworks.

Here are the details for each product details, in order of release:

KIMIKISS: PURE ROUGE COLLECTION 2
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 12/7/2010
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Making a movie is supposed to be difficult, but as production begins on the movie club's film, the complicated web that ties the members together quickly threatens to become far more complex than the movie itself. After all, any problem that occurs in a movie has to resolve itself in just a few hours, whereas things that happen in the real world have ramifications that last forever. As the relationships between Kouichi, Mao, Kazuki and the rest continue to evolve and unravel, however, it soon becomes obvious that the movies and real romance have at least one thing in common: not every ending is going to be a happy one. Get ready for role reversals, cast changes, unexpected exits and 12 episodes filled with heartrending teen drama galore as the drama builds to a cinematic climax in the second stunning collection of KIMIKISS PURE ROUGE!

NYAN KOI! COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 12/14/2010
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: When cat-allergic Junpei Kosaka damages a statue of a cat deity, the cats don't just get his tongue, they put theirs in his mouth! Now cursed with the ability to understand felines, Junpei must perform one hundred great favors for cat-kind or face the fate of being turned into a cat himself! (Hey, would you want to spend the rest of your life licking your own backside?) Life quickly becomes a purrfect hell as every cat in the neighborhood starts sending Junpei their list of "requests." And if the kitties weren't already whipping him into a catatonic stupor, the women in his life are making things even worse. His sister, mom and the girl he has secret feelings for are all cat-crazy; the local Yakuza's daughter is playing cat and mouse; the local cat-owning monk's daughters are acting catty; and Junpei's childhood best friend is ready to use him as a scratching post! Get ready for the ultimate catfight on the road to purrdition in this cataclysmic complete collection of Nyan Koi

EYESHIELD 21 COLLECTION 3
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 12/21/2010
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: As if the Demon Bat's training couldn't get any more bizarre, Hiruma drags the entire team to Houston, Texas for a bootcamp from Hell. But that's the least of the team's problems, as things go unpredictably (or actually, at this point, rather predictably) awry. Not only does Cerberus get "borrowed" by a little girl, but the team must face a grueling death-march, the NASA Aliens are back with a sly and cunning plan to outmaneuver the Demon Bats, and somewhere in the middle is an epic battle over a thousand dollars and a whole lot of barbeque. And then everyone realizes that Las Vegas is "reasonably close" to Houston and the trouble really begins! American style football takes Japan by storm and Japan returns the favor by sending the Demon Bats back to the ranch in EYESHIELD 21 - COLLECTION 3!

GINTAMA COLLECTION 3
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 12/28/2010
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Space cockroaches? Shepherding senile fireworks masters? Building snowmen? In a world where aliens run feudal Japan, no job is too strange or bizarre for Gintoki's Odd Jobs agency. Which is a good thing, because things only get stranger and more bizarre as their reputation grows. But when they're called in to assist a certain "reindeer-owning" individual with improving his image and the whole situation devolves into a "very special holiday episode" the level of weirdness may set a new record. Of course, if action and drama are more your thing, let's not forget that oh-so inconvenient case of accidental amnesia, dodging crazed sword collectors, the frantic battle to get a hold of the last copy of a rather popular manga and the unexpected rescue of a… whoops, getting a bit too close to spoilers there! Suffice it to say that if you're looking for the perfect hybrid of wild adventure and plain old wacky fun, Japan's number one animated comedy delivers again in the third breathtaking collection of GINTAMA!

Friday, October 29, 2010

ACF 752: Free screening of Aachi & Ssipak in New York on Tuesday, November 9th

Aachi & Ssipak
Directed by JO Beom-jin
South Korea, 2007, 80 minutes
New York Premiere

When: Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street,
on the corner of Canal Street, one block from
the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street stops

Price: Free!!!!!

I was incredibly thrilled to learn recently that the next movie that Korean Cultural Service will be showing is Aachi & Ssipak. Issue Number 57 of Asian Cult Cinema, which came out in the first quarter of 2008 and marked the magazine's 15th anniversary, had as its theme "The Most Extreme, The Most Outrageous Asian Films of All Time!" Aachi & Ssipak was my personal number one pick, just ahead of Ichi the Killer (which was first in the ACC Readers' Poll).

Here's what I wrote about Aachi & Ssipak:

In the animated future of Korean director Jo Beom-jin's first film, energy needs are met by processing human excrement. Shitting is rewarded with highly addictive Juicy Bars, the need for which produces more shitting! A would-be porn producer who bears a striking resemblance to Jimi Hendrix inserts super anus ring in a would-be starlet named Beauty Butt, resulting in her producing prodigious poops. Blue-skinned mutants who can't shit (but are addicted to Juicy Bars) want her, as do other gang leaders, and the two Uneasy Rider biker buddies who give the film it's name. Allusions to myriad films and outrageous action sequences are among other reasons why this is far and away the most outrageous Asian film I've seen.

Come November 9th, it'll become the most outrageous Asian film ever seen by a lucky audience. Attendance has been very good at the numerous free screenings Korean Cultural Service has presented in the past several months, and I expect that at least a fair number of people will leave disappointed because there won't be seats available for them.

Don't be among the unlucky ones. Plan to get there well ahead of time to guarantee yourself a seat. And be prepared for an experience unlike any you've ever had before, this film is that outrageous!

To check out the trailer on YouTube, click here.

And if you're interested in that 15th anniversary issue of Asian Cult Cinema magazine, click on the "Asian Cult Cinema" link in the "My Favorite Places" section of the rail on the right side of this post. Other back issues, DVDs, and books are also available from the ACC e-store, even though the magazine sadly is no longer being published. I'm providing this for information only. I have no financial connection with any sales at the ACC e-store or any other vendor.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ACF 751: Obayashi's "House" mini-review

House © 1977 Toho Co., Ltd.

House
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi
With Kimiko Ikegami, Kumiko Ohba, Yoko Minami, Ai Matsubara,
Miki Jinbo, Masayo Miyako, Mieko Satoh, Eriko Tanaka
Japan, 1977, 87 min., digital projection, color
In Japanese with English subtitles.
Print courtesy of Janus Films

As I've written earlier this week, House will be showing at Japan Society tomorrow, Friday, October 29, 2010 at 7:30 PM. This past Tuesday I bought the Criterion single disc DVD release, which I'd been looking forward to for some time anyway, and got to watch it yesterday. I don't have the time or energy for a full review now, but did want to say something about my impression of the film before tomorrow's screening.

House is terrific!!!! It just may be the greatest horror movie ever made! Seven teen-age girls go to visit the spinster aunt of one of them. One by one they get offed. Sounds familiar, right?

Well, in Obayashi's film (his first feature-length movie) things happen in some of the most unexpected ways and with absolutely stunning visuals. Sometimes it's just so great to watch "old school" special effects, and the ones here are terrific. Throw in a bit of t&a, not much, but some, and you've got yourself one incredible cinematic experience.

This is a classic that's in a class all it's own and must be seen. Go to the screening if at all possible, but see this film. The booklet that comes with the DVD includes an outstanding essay by Chuck Stephens. I haven't had the time to go through the special features on the disc, but I fully expect them to be up to Criterion's high standards. And I'm sure the film will prove well worth repeated viewings.

So go to the screening, then buy the damned DVD, or at least Netflix it. But see House!

Japan Society's screening of House is part of Obake! An Evening of Ghosts, Spirits, & Fun. Tickets to the film grant you admission to all the evening's events.

TICKETS:
FREE for Japan Society members / $15 non-members.

Members: Please call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258 to reserve your complimentary tickets to this performance.

Non-members: Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.

House is Not Rated. Please be advised that there are images of violence and some nudity in the film. Alcoholic beverages will be available only to those over 21 years of age. ID required.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.

ACF 750: Canaan Complete Collection now avaialble on DVD and Blu-Ray editions


CANAAN COMPLETE COLLECTION
DVD AND BLU-RAY EDITIONS
NOW ON SALE

Section23 Films has announced the release of the hit series CANAAN. The Complete Collection is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.

Welcome to the Unholy Land…..

CANAAN COMPLETE COLLECTION
Running Time: 325 min.
Age Rating: TV 14 (V)
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Format: DVD
SRP: $59.98

CANAAN COMPLETE COLLECTION BLU-RAY EDITION
Running Time: 325 min.
Age Rating: TV 14 (V)
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Format: BD
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: Colors have scent. Sounds possess images. In this future world, where biochemical weapons have changed the game, an unlucky few have their senses blended. They are gifted with abilities beyond what normal humans feel. They possess synesthesia.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ACF 749: Free screening of Korean horror movie GHOST on Halloween in New York!

GHOST aka BE WITH ME
Directed by JoGwangSoo Kim, MyungJun Yeo,
EunKyung Jo, and DongMyung Hong
South Korea, 2010, 100 minutes
US Premiere)

There will be a free screening of GHOST on Halloween itself, courtesy of the Korean Cultural Service.

When: Sunday, October 31st, 2010 @ 4:00 PM. Doors open at 3:30 PM.

Where: Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, one block from the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street subway stops.

Price: Free!!!!!
All seating is first-come, first served.

Synopsis:
Every summer it's horror movie time in Korea, but this year, BE WITH ME captured attention not by scaring the pants off its audience, but by offering a fresh take on the omnibus ghost film by some of Korea's hottest young directors who take the traditional horror movie in a funnier, more experimental and more moving direction.

These three stories about ghosts star a cast of some of the best young actors in Korea including KIM Kot-Bi (BREATHLESS) and KIM Ye-Ri (PAJU) and they center around the loneliness of the ghost. From the tale of two best friends (and the boy who got one of them pregnant) competing for a single slot at a top college, to the story of a boy branded as a loser because he sees dead people, this is one of the freshest takes on the genre to come along in years.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ACF 748: "Live From Tokyo" will be shown at Asia Society this Friday, October 29th

Live From Tokyo (Image courtesy Lewis Rapkin)

Asia Society and New York-Tokyo present the World Premiere of

Live From Tokyo
Directed by Lewis Rapkin
79 min. HDCAM.
Showtime: Friday, October 29, 2010, 6:45 P.M.
Q&A with Filmmaker.
At Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC

Tokyo's reputation as a media-saturated hub for global information and cutting-edge innovation makes it the perfect sample 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 performances by DMBQ, Tenniscoats, Shugo Tokumaru, Nisennenmondai, PARA (ex-Boredoms), Kirihito, d.v.d., and many more.

Film director Lewis Rapkin is a NYC-based filmmaker and musician. He has worked on documentaries for PBS, HBO and is currently editing a TV series for the Discovery Channel. As a musician, he has worked on soundtracks for industrials and short films and has composed the original music for Live From Tokyo. Rapkin has played keyboards, guitar, bass and drums with bands in both New York and Tokyo. Live From Tokyo stems from Rapkin’s interest in the Tokyo music scene and his early documentation of it while studying in Japan in 2005. In 2008, he returned to Japan with a crew to start the production of Live From Tokyo. Rapkin has recently come back from Berlin, where he was scouting and researching the making of a Live From Berlin.

For more information on the series, visit http://asiasociety.org/events-calendar/live-tokyo.

Tickets: $7 members; $9 students/seniors; $11 nonmembers. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call (212) 517-ASIA or visit www.AsiaSociety.org.

Co-presented with New York-Tokyo. This project was supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

About the Asia Society:

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonprofit nonpartisan educational institution. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art, and in Asia today. Asia Society is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City. www.AsiaSociety.org

About New York-Tokyo:

Founded in 2001, NYT is a NYC-based lifestyle marketing, communications, and event media company that creates a place online and offline for the creative exchange inspired by the NY and Tokyo youth cultural scenes. www.newyork-tokyo.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

ACF 747: South Asian International Film Festival starts tomorrow in New York

THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS
Directed by Anurag Kashyap
India, 2010, 101 minutes
Opening Night Film
U.S. Premiere
Show Time: 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The 6th Annual South Asian International Film Festival will take place from October 27 - November 2, 2010 in New York City. It will showcase over twenty feature films and shorts.

The South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) is the largest film premiere destination for South Asian/Indian filmmakers in the United States. SAIFF was founded in New York City due to the lack of support for many emerging filmmakers and the overall under-representation of Indian cinema in a capital that is recognized by the world as the birthplace of independent film making! The Festival is committed to exhibiting films from South Asia (i.e India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal) and within the Indian Diaspora. With a focus on dynamic, visionary cinema, SAIFF annually creates unprecedented exposure for filmmakers and unparalleled experiences for its attendees.

I Am 24
Directed by Saurabh Shukla
India, 2010, 113 minutes
World Premiere
Showtime: Oct 30 Saturday, 10:00 PM

Films will be shown at two venues:

The Paris Theatre
4 West 58th Street, (between 5th and 6th Avenue)
New York NY 10019
(212) 688-3800
www.theparistheatre.com

Nearby Subway Stops: F at 57th Street and N,R,W at 5th Avenue

and at the

SVA Theater
333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue)
New York, NY 10011 (212) 592-2980
www.schoolofvisualarts.edu

Nearby Subway Stops: C, E at 23rd Street

For complete information about the festival, including films, events and ordering tickets, click here.

ACF 746: Naruto Illustration Book from VIZ coming tomorrow, Tuesday, October 26th

NARUTO - NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK © 2009 by Masashi Kishimoto

NINJA ACTION LEAPS OFF THE PAGE IN
THE NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK FROM VIZ MEDIA

Full Color Character Portraits By Creator Masashi Kishimoto
Are Depicted In Addition To A Fold Out Poster And Collectible Stickers

VIZ Media has announced the release of the vividly colored NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK tomorrow, Tuesday, October 26th, 2010. The new soft cover edition is offered by the Shonen Jump imprint, features nearly 100 pages of original illustrations by creator Masashi Kishimoto, and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $27.00 CAN.

Naruto is a young shinobi (or ninja) with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his ongoing mission to be the world’s greatest ninja! The NARUTO ILUSTRATION BOOK features a variety of character portraits depicting the young ninja in action, as well as his cohorts including Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi. A color pull-out double-sided poster and a sticker sheet are also included.

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens with more than 100 million copies in circulation to-date. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and animated counterpart (NARUTO rated ‘T’ for Teens, and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) are among VIZ Media’s most successful properties and have captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

The latest NARUTO SHIPPUDEN anime episodes from Japan (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) are currently available for free viewing at VIZAnime.com and Hulu.com. Dubbed episodes are available for download to own through iTunes, PlayStation Network, Amazon, Xbox and more.

For more information on NARUTO visit the official NARUTO website at www.naruto.viz.com.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACF 745: Special screening of HOUSE at Japan Society on Friday, October 29th

House © 1977 Toho Co., Ltd.

House
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi
With Kimiko Ikegami, Kumiko Ohba, Yoko Minami, Ai Matsubara,
Miki Jinbo, Masayo Miyako, Mieko Satoh, Eriko Tanaka
Japan, 1977, 87 min., digital projection, color
In Japanese with English subtitles.
Print courtesy of Janus Films

Showtime: Friday, October 29, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Get in the Halloween spirit at this upcoming screening at Japan Society:

Alice in Wonderland meets Beetlejuice and Dario Argento: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House is a hallucinatory take on the classic haunted house story. A schoolgirl invites six female classmates to join her on a visit to her aunt's creaky country mansion. Soon, they come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat.

A bona fide cult classic in the making, House is one of the most exciting genre discoveries in years.

Part of Obake! An Evening of Ghosts, Spirits, & Fun.
Tickets to the film grant you admission to all the evening's events.

TICKETS:
FREE for Japan Society members / $15 non-members.

Members: Please call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258 to reserve your complimentary tickets to this performance.

Non-members: Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.

House is Not Rated. Please be advised that there are images of violence in the film. Alcoholic beverages will be available only to those over 21 years of age. ID required.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.

P.S. - For you non-New Yorkers and those who can't make it to Japan Society, The Criterion Collection is scheduled to release House on DVD and Blu-Ray editions on October 26th, 2010. But Dr. G prescribes that you see it live at Japan Society if you can.

ACF 744: Free film series on Japanese Cinema in the 1960s coming to New York

Age of Assassins (Toho Co., Ltd.)

Asia Society and Japan Foundation present Film Series:
Japanese Cinema 1960s
November 5-December 10, 2010
Screenings at Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC

Yet another terrific Japanese film series is coming to New York. And the screenings are FREE!!!!!

The decade of the 60s produced a wide array and high quantity of films that made it the golden age of Japanese cinema. Politically radical New Wave films, formally vigorous art films, and mainstream genre films were produced side-by-side contributing to the vibrancy of the industry. This series showcases a sampling of films, most of them rarely screened and without US distribution, representative of this period. The diverging voices reflect acute attitudes toward a changing Japan, a sense of exploration, with hints of tradition.

FREE ADMISSION.

Tickets can be registered online and are available for pick-up on days of events. For more information, visit http://asiasociety.org/japanesecinema1960s or call (212) 517-ASIA.

This series is co-presented with Japan Foundation. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE (all films in Japanese with English subtitles)

Pleasures of the Flesh
Directed by Nagisa Oshima
1965. 91min. 35mm. Color
Friday, November 5, 2010, 6:45PM

In a career spanning four decades, Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth, In the Realm of the Senses) has made some of the most memorable as well as formally and politically provocative films highlighting outcasts, criminals and rebellious youth in Japanese film history. In Pleasures, a lovesick young man entrusted with a case of money belonging to an imprisoned bureaucrat embarks on a year of sexual fantasies and indulgence. Janus Films.

“Japan’s greatest living filmmaker.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice

“A brilliant stylistic exercise on a sensual subject.” — Max Tessier, Film Scholar

Three Outlaw Samurai
Directed by Hideo Gosha
1964. 95min. 35mm. B&W
Friday, November 12, 2010, 6:45PM

Based on a popular television series of the same name also directed by Gosha, Three Outlaw Samurai features three ronin who found themselves accidentally entangled in the conflict between a group of peasants and their local magistrate. While initially reluctant to get involved, the three quickly make up their mind as to for which side they will fight. A dash of humor, attitude and style accompanies this action-packed picture. Janus Films.

“The result is cinematic magic, the perfect blend of blood and tears, a film worth watching over and over again.” -Mike Street, The Asian Reporter

“[Gosha is] a genius at staging action.”-- Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

Yearning
Directed by Mikio Naruse
1964. 100min. 35mm. B&W
Friday, December 3, 2010, 6:45PM

Reiko (Hideko Takamine), a war-widow, keeps her late husband’s family store afloat against supermarket competition and the meddling of her in-laws. Fed up with the pressure, she embarks on a journey home, accompanied by a younger brother-in-law (Yuzo Kayama). The journey, with hints of forbidden romance, ends with a shocking finale. Known as “a great director of women” (Film Comment), Naruse contemplates a society challenged by capitalism and changing social mores in this stunningly shot feature. Toho Co., Ltd.

“a masterpiece of portraiture” –Keith Uhlich—Slant Magazine

“[In the films of Naruse,] a flow of shots that looks calm and ordinary at first glance reveals itself to be like a deep river with a quiet surface disguising a fast-raging current.”– Akira Kurosawa

Age of Assassins
Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
1967. 99min. 35mm. B&W
Sunday, December 5, 2010, 3:00PM

A creepy “mad scientist” who directs an insane asylum trains mental patients to become assassins. One of the targets, a vision-impaired nerd-turned-suave secret agent played by Tatsuya Nakadai, called “Japan’s most distinguished living actor,” (The New York Times) is able to dodge all attempts on his life. This wacky, farcical chase comedy takes you on a wild ride through a surrealist landscape and a narrative filled with twists and turns. (Film also known as Epoch of Murder Madness) Toho Co., Ltd.

"Dashing and angelically handsome, Tatsuya Nakadai is a screen idol to rival Toshiro Mifune." –David Fear, Time Out New York

“[a] sharp-edged lampoon that….compares favorably with such other brilliant, tongue-in-cheek, mod sixties masterpieces as Elio Petri’s The Tenth Victim and Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill.” – Chris Desjardins, Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film

The Fort of Death
Directed by Eiichi Kudo
1969. 97 min. 35mm. Color
Friday, December 10, 2010, 6:45PM

Peasants in a village hire a bounty hunter to rebel against a shogun who exploits them for money in order to remodel an Edo castle. The bounty hunter summons his fellow fighters to join the fight. What ensues is an epic battle involving samurai, ninjas, powerful guns and cannons. Growing up in a family that ran a horse breeding business, director Kudo has proved particularly adept at choreographing action sequences, making this Japanese version of a B-Western especially enthralling. Toei Co., Ltd.

“[Kudo is] an extraordinary stylist…To call him a skilled action director is to understate the power of his set-pieces.” –Henry Sheehan

About the Asia Society:

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonprofit nonpartisan educational institution. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art, and in Asia today. Asia Society is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City. www.AsiaSociety.org

About the Japan Foundation:

The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by special legislation in the Japanese Diet and became an Independent Administrative Institution in 2003. The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. Through its headquarters in Tokyo and 23 overseas offices in 21 countries, the Japan Foundation conducts a wide range of programs concerning arts and cultural exchange, Japanese‐language education, Japanese studies and intellectual exchange. www.jpf.go.jp

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ACF 743: OBAKE! An Evening of Ghosts, Spirits, & Fun at Japan Society

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
The Ghost of Asakura Tōgo Attacks Orikoshi Masatomo
Color woodblock
American Friends of the British Museum
(The Arthur R. Miller Collection), 19612


OBAKE!
AN EVENING OF GHOSTS, SPIRITS, & FUN
Japan Society

Friday, October 29th, 2010, 7:00 PM
With a special film screening of House / Hausu at 7:30 PM

Kick off your Halloween weekend—Japanese style— at Japan Society, New York. Put on your Japan-inspired attire and enjoy a special evening at Japan Society. Watch a ghostly film, take night gallery tours, indulge in Japanese treats and libations, and meet fellow lovers of Japan.

Special gift courtesy of Kidrobot for the best costume!

Schedule:
7:00-10:00 PM - Food, drinks and music by DJ Aki
7:30-9:00 PM - Screening of House (Hausu) by acclaimed director Nobuhiko Obayashi
8:00-8:30 PM - Gallery tour with docent extraordinaire David Moors
9:00-9:30 PM - Second gallery tour
9:30 PM - Best costume prize announcement

About House:
Alice in Wonderland meets Beetlejuice and Dario Argento: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House is a hallucinatory take on the classic haunted house story.

Tickets: FREE for Japan Society members / $15 non-members.

Members, please call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258 to reserve your complimentary tickets.

Non-members: Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.

House is Not Rated. Please be advised that there are images of violence in the film. Alcoholic beverages will be available only to those over 21 years of age. ID required.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.

Friday, October 22, 2010

ACF 742: TEARS TO TIARA COMPLETE COLLECTION now available from Section23 Films


TEARS TO TIARA COMPLETE COLLECTION
DVD AND BLU-RAY EDITIONS
NOW ON SALE

Section23 Films has announced the release of the hit series TEARS TO TIARA. The complete collection is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.

TEARS TO TIARA COMPLETE COLLECTION
Running Time: 650 min.
Age Rating: TV PG (V)
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Format: DVD
SRP: $69.98

TEARS TO TIARA COMPLETE COLLECTION BLU-RAY EDITION
Running Time: 650 min.
Age Rating: TV PG (V)
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Format: Blu-Ray Disc
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: In a strange dark age, across the land that will someday become Europe, the Divine Empire has been on the march, ruthlessly devouring its weaker neighbors for generations. But when a savage priest attempts to resurrect the long-buried Demon King Arawn by sacrificing Riannon, the young high priestess of the Gael Clan, the Empire sows the seeds of its own destruction!

Deciding to side with the beautiful girl instead, the revived Demon Lord joins forces with her potentially legendary brother Arthur, and begins to assemble a mighty force that may just bring the Divine Empire its knees! Humans, elves and even dragon take arms in a spectacular animated interpretation of the Celtic, Gaelic, British and Roman myths of Albion, as an all star English vocal cast adds the crowning glory to TEARS TO TIARA the complete epic collection!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ACF 741: GODZILLA comic coming from IDW Publishing early in 2011!!!

Godzilla® Finds New Stomping Grounds at IDW

The King of the Monsters™ returns to comics…
and this time, he’s not alone

The biggest star in motion pictures prepares to wreak havoc once again! IDW Publishing is thrilled to announce a partnership with Toho Co., Ltd. to create all-new GODZILLA comics. Starting in 2011, Godzilla will smash his way back onto the scene with a cast of characters from his films never before seen in comics.

“This new series will be monsters and mayhem, but most importantly, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Yukio Kotaki of Toho. “Godzilla has been gone from comics for too long and we feel that IDW is the perfect company to welcome him back in 2011.”

In addition to the King of the Monsters himself, the new comics from IDW Publishing and Toho Co., Ltd. will feature many of Godzilla’s friends and foes, including MOTHRA™, KING GHIDORAH™, RODAN™ and more that have never before been featured in an American comic book series alongside Godzilla. With an impressive cast of monsters both old and new, IDW’s series will treat fans to both familiar themes and original takes on the pop culture legends that have stomped, smashed, and fought their way across movie screens for over five decades.

“Not only is Godzilla known worldwide, he’s loved worldwide, too. Having a film career with more than 25 movies and going on a 56-year span pretty much solidifies you as a legend, and IDW is really looking forward to contributing to that legacy,” said Chris Ryall, Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in Chief for IDW Publishing. “We wanted Godzilla to return to comics, but this time we wanted him to have some company. I think fans will be pleased with the monster guest appearances, which will really offer something for every fan of these films. There are the classic characters, but there are also a few surprises, too.”

Debuting in February 2011, fans can expect to see a number of unique storylines from some of the industry’s top creators.

Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ACF 740: NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2010 Image Set #5

Here's what probably will be my final set of some Alexandria Cruz's images from the recent NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010. Alexandria's on the right in the last picture. To her left is cosplay singer Sneko Chan.

Thanks to Alexandria's many pictures, I got a bit of the feeling of what it would've been like to have been there, but alas, circumstances prevented my presence this year. Hopefully next year I'll make it and have a slew of my own pictures to post, as I have in previous years.

Whenever possible I've used her captions. And again, my apologies if any errors have been made in identification.

RAMONA-ON-SKATES

Sweet-decora-lolitas!

Carla Razuri & Koga Echevarria

Cosplay singer Sneko Chan & Alexandria Cruz

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ACF 739: NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2010 Image Set #4

Here's another set of some Alexandria Cruz's images from the recent NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010. Whenever possible I've used her captions. My apologies for any errors in identification.

Very hot young cosplaying damsel (my caption)

Vincent Kira Villamil & Paloma Lansberry

TAI-LEE!

X-MEN-GANG

Monday, October 18, 2010

ACF 738: Anime Network & Sony giving away BOOM BOOM SATELLITES U.S. Tour Tickets

Anime Network & Sony Music Entertainment Announce
BOOM BOOM SATELLITES US Tour Ticket Give Away.

Anime Network and Sony Music Entertainment are holding a Twitter give away of one pair of tickets to one of the BOOM BOOM SATELLITES's upcoming US concerts.

WHAT: Win 1-pair of tickets to an upcoming BOOM BOOM SATELLITES concert.

WHEN: Entries will be accepted from Monday, October 18, 12:01 AM EST, through Friday, October 22, 2010, 11:59 PM EST.
Winners will be announced on Saturday October 23, 12:00 PM EST.

WHERE: Entries will be submitted via a participant's Twitter account. Winners announced from both Anime Network's & Boom Boom Satellite's Twitter accounts.

HOW:
1) To enter, participants must be a follower of both BOOM BOOM SATELLITES (@BBS_kawashima) and Anime Network (@TheAnimeNetwork) on Twitter.

2) Participants must then copy and post one of the following messages from their Twitter account, depending upon which concert they wish to attend:

* I want to see BOOM BOOM SATELLITES in Los Angeles at Troubadour on 10/25! @BBS_kawashima @theanimenetwork
* I want to see BOOM BOOM SATELLITES in San Francisco at The Independent on 10/27! @BBS_kawashima @theanimenetwork
* I want to see BOOM BOOM SATELLITES in Portland at Peter's Room on 10/31! @BBS_kawashima @theanimenetwork

3) On Saturday October 23, one Username will be randomly drawn from each concert's pool to win a pair of tickets to that show.

4) Winners will be publicly announced via Twitter, then will receive a Direct Message (DM) with instructions to claim their tickets at the appropriate venue's box office.

RULES:
Participants are urged to only enter if they will be able to attend a particular show/date.

* This give away is only for 1-pair (2) tickets for entry to a single concert event. Travel expenses, accommodations and expenses are not covered or complimentary.
* Participants must be 18 years or older to enter or have a parent or legal guardian represent and claim tickets for any minors.
* Tickets are not transferable or for resale.
* Tickets must be picked up from the venue's box office Will Call no later than 1 hour before the show starts.
* In the event that tickets are not claimed by the winner by 1 hour before the start of the show, tickets may be released by the box office for general sale.
* By entering this give away contest, participants agree to all terms and conditions of the contest and hereby release Anime Network, Sony Music Entertainment, the concert venue, concert promoter and affiliated companies from any liability. Participants are licensing Anime Network, Sony Music Entertainment, and any affiliated companies to use and openly publish their Twitter Username in the course of announcing winners. Anime Network, Sony Music Entertainment, and any affiliated companies may contact participants by any reasonable method in the course of completing the contest give away transaction and following up for participant satisfaction.

Full contest rules and details are available HERE.

ACF 737: NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2010 Image Set #3

Here's the third set of some Alexandria Cruz's images from the recent NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010. Whenever possible I've used her captions. My regrets for any inadvertent errors in identification.

Bad ass chick

HATS

Fair maiden (my caption)

Another pair with dynamite costumes (my caption)

ACF 736: Free concert featuring violinist Brian Bak at The Korea Society

Juilliard @ The Korea Society
An Evening of Bach, Ysaye and Paganini
Thursday, October 21
6:00PM Refreshments
6:30PM Performance

The Korea Society
950 Third Avenue@57th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY
Building entrance is on 57th Street
at the South-West corner of the intersection

Free Admission, but registration required. Register here.

About the Performer:

Born in 1986 in Seoul, Korea, Brian Bak began studying violin at 7 after immigrating to the United States. Brian has performed as a soloist with the Tampa Bay Symphony, Central Florida Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Boca Raton Symphony, Florida Young Artists Orchestra, and Sewanee Festival Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Brian has under the direction of notables Earl Carlyss, Tobey Appel, Jerome Lowenthal, Seymour Lipkin and Rohan De Silva. Brian is an active volunteer and member of Lincoln Center's Community Outreach Program.

ACF 735: Vampire Night Fanbook

Vampire Knight Koushiki Fanbook X © Matsuri Hino 2008/HAKUSENSHA,Inc.

BECOME AN EXCLUSIVE VAMPIRE KNIGHT EXPERT WITH
THE NEW VAMPIRE KNIGHT OFFICIAL FANBOOK

Informative Profiles Book Features Color Pages, Character
Designs, Interview With Creator Matsuri Hino And More!

VIZ Media has announced the release of the VAMPIRE KNIGHT OFFICIAL FANBOOK tomorrow, Tuesday. October 19th. Fans of the hit manga series created by Matsuri Hino won’t want to miss this in depth new guide, rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens with an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN.

Delve into the world of your favorite vampires with this official Fanbook, filled with insider information about the smash hit series. Includes a Cross Academy student ID card, glossy color pages, character design sketches, storyboards and an exclusive interview with Matsuri Hino!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT takes readers to Cross Academy, which is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) was created by Matsuri Hino, who burst onto the manga scene with her debut title, When This Dream Is Over, in LaLa DX magazine. With the success of subsequent series such as CAPTIVE HEARTS and MERU PURI (both published in the U.S. by VIZ Media), Hino has established herself as a major force in the world of shojo manga. VAMPIRE KNIGHT is currently serialized in LaLa magazine. VIZ Media also offers the VAMPIRE KNIGHT anime series on DVD and episodes are available online through its innovative video streaming web destination at VIZAnime.com.

For more information on the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga and to read free previews
online visit www.shojobeat.com.

For more information on other titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ACF 734: More images from New York Comic Con & Anime Festival 2010

Here are some more pictures of great examples of cosplay from NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010. All photos are courtesy of Alexandria Cruz. Apologies for any identification errors i might have made.

Blade Runner

WINGZ

Two female cosplayers (my caption)

ACF 733: 2nd season of Vampire Knight Guilty on VIZAnime.com and Hulu


VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY,
THE SECOND SEASON OF THE HIT VAMPIRE KNIGHT,
AVAILABLE NOW ON VIZANIME.COM

VIZ Media has announced the debut of VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY, the second season of the hit VAMPIRE KNIGHT animated series (both rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) available now from VIZAnime.com, the company’s premier website for anime, as well as the streaming content provider HULU (http://www.hulu.com/).

Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorms, they cross paths with the mysterious Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

In VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY, Yuki is torn between the two people she cares for most when Zero is accused of Shizuka Hio’s murder and Kaname refuses to attest to his innocence. Drawn deeper into the world of vampires, Yuki struggles to recall the events of ten years earlier but fails time and again. Kaname evades Yuki’s questions about the past, but when her visions of blood grow more frequent and intense, the past may come to light whether she wants it to or not!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT and VAMPIRE KNIGHT GUILTY are based on the best-selling manga series created by Matsuri Hino (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and published by VIZ Media), who burst onto the scene in Japan with her debut title, Kono Yume ga Sametara (When This Dream Is Over) in LaLa DX magazine. With the success of subsequent series such as CAPTIVE HEARTS and MERU PURI (both also published domestically by VIZ Media), Hino has firmly established herself as a major force in the world of shojo manga. VAMPIRE KNIGHT is currently serialized in LaLa magazine in Japan.

For more information on the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga and to read free previews online visit http://www.shojobeat.com/. For more information on this and other animated titles from VIZ Media visit http://www.vizanime.com/.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

ACF 732: Some cosplay images from NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010

I was majorly bummed that I wasn't able to make it to the combined NY Comic Con and Anime Festival 2010 last weekend. Fortunately, one of my great Facebook friends Alexandria Cruz was there and has allowed me to repost some of her photos. She can be seen at the right of the bottom of today's three photos. I'll be posting some more images in the days to come.

Female Green Lantern

Death Note

Paloma Lansberry & Alexandria Cruz

ACF 731: MARCH STORY manga due from VIZ October 19th

MARCH STORY © 2008 Hyung Min KIM, Kyung Il YANG/Shogakukan

BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART ARE HAUNTED
IN NEW MANGA SERIES MARCH STORY FROM VIZ MEDIA

Evil Lurks Beneath The Surface of Great Masterworks
And Only One Demon Hunter Can Vanquish The Fiendish Spirits
In A Dark New Tale From The VIZ Signature Imprint

VIZ Media has announced that it will release the supernatural manga (graphic novel) series MARCH STORY next Tuesday, October 19th. The latest addition to the VIZ Signature imprint, by Hyung Min Kim with artwork by Kyung Il Yang, is rated ‘M’ for Mature readers and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

Kim and Yang were both born in Korea and make a terrific team. I devoured my reviewer's copy of the first volume, which contains four stories, in what seemed like no time at all. Each tale is engrossing and the artwork is "to-die-for." It's so intricate and detailed that it often reminded me of some of the "stoner" underground comics that came out in the U.S. in the late 60s and early 70s. MARCH STORY certainly warrants its 'M' rating: its bloody, glory, and has a bit of nudity as well. But it's all to the good.

I give it an ACF Rating of 3.5 out of 4 stars - highly recommended. Treat yourself to a fantastic, collection of Gothic tales of terror. Plus it's coming out well in time for Halloween!


Here's some background descriptive info from the good folks at VIZ:

Among the quiet villages and towns of 18th century Europe, demons known as the Ill hide within the most beautiful works of art and are sparked to life by the torment of their creators. Attracted by their jewel-like allure, unwary viewers can find themselves possessed by the Ill and will be driven to horrific acts of violence. Only the hunters of the Ciste Vihad can dispel the Ill. March is one such hunter, tracking the Ill from town to town to find the antiques that contain the demons before they can possess anyone. If the worst has come to pass, March’s full powers are unleashed to battle the fiendish Ill.

“Great works of art are not what they appear in this intriguing new series,” says Mike Montesa, Senior Editor for VIZ Signature. “Each haunted masterpiece has a dark tale to tell, as do their creators and untimely victims. And March’s own past is filled with similar tragedy. With its elaborate artwork and quick-paced action, MARCH STORY arrives just in time for Halloween and we look forward to adventure fans never viewing pieces of art quite the same way again.”

Writer Hyung Min Kim was born in Jinju, Korea. In 2002 he entered the manga world, and in 2007 he debuted as a storywriter with MARCH STORY, originally published in Japan in Sunday GX. Artist Kyung Il Yang was born March 26, 1970. His debut work, Soma Shinhwa Jeongi, appeared in Weekly Shonen Champ in Korea. Notable works include Zombie Hunter (original story by Kazumasa Hirai) and Shin Angyo Onshi (Blade of the Phantom Master, original story by In Wan Youn). Yang also works on Defense Devil, currently serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday.

More information on this and other titles from VIZ Media can be found at http://www.viz.com/.

Friday, October 15, 2010

ACF 730: Kobayashi's Kwaidan kicks off new film series at Japan Society tonight

Kwaidan
(Kwaidan [Kaidan] © 1965 Toho Co., Ltd.)
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Japan Society

Zen and Violence Unite in Japan Society's New Film Series
Zen & Its Opposite: Essential (& Turbulent) Japanese Art House

Timed with The Sound of One Hand: Painting and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin (October 1, 2010–January 9, 2011), Japan Society's major exhibition of 17th century Zen paintings, the Zen & Its Opposite film series launches tonight, Friday, October 15, with Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan at 7:30 pm. Another 4 films will be shown monthly through February 13, 2011.

Kwaidan (a.k.a. Ghost Stories) is one of several magnificent movies that Kobayashi (1916 - 1996) directed. Some other significant titles are Samurai Rebellion (1967), Harakiri (1962) and The Human Condition, an epic trilogy of which the first two parts were released in 1959 and the third in 1961. (These, like Kwaidan and the other films in the Zen & Its Opposite series, are available on DVD from Criterion, for you non-New Yorkers.)

Kwaidan is comprised of four stories based on the writings of Lafcadio Hearn. Of Greek and Irish ancestry, he came to the U.S. in 1869, but later moved to Japan, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1895 and changed his name to Yakumo Koizumi.

The four tales were filmed primarily on huge studio sets, which gave Kobayashi and his crew total control over lighting, which is exquisitely used to great effect. Many of the sets themselves are physically stunning in and of themselves.

Kwaidan won the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival. It's a masterpiece and will be shown in its 161 minute Japanese version. (When released in the U.S., it was cut to 125 minutes. There also were versions just over 180 minutes long, but the additional 20 or so minutes of footage are no longer available.)

ACF Rating: 4 out of 4 stars. An absolute must-see.

So give yourself an early Halloween present and see Kwaidan tomorrow night at Japan Society. If you're not in the NY metro area, or just can't get there, buy the Criterion DVD or rent it from Netflix. But see this movie!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ACf 729: "In A Cup Of Tea" episode of KWAIDAN at Japan Society tomorrow

"In A Cup Of Tea"
The 4th episode in Kwaidan / Kaidan
(Kwaidan [Kaidan] © 1965 Toho Co., Ltd.)
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Japan Society

This, the final episode in Masaki Kobayashi"s Kwaidan (1965), is a story in which a writer/narrator (Osamu Takizawa) recounts the tale of Kannai (Kanemon Nakamura), a samurai who notices something strange when he goes to drink a cup of tea. Namely the reflection of another person, not his own, on the surface of the liquid!

Kannai gets totally freaked out when the apparition appears in full three-dimensional form that evening. And things get even more bizarre when three other spirit warriors materialize and Kannai's sword strokes prove totally ineffective against them as well.

For more info about this film series at Japan Society, click here.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ACF 728: "Hoichi, The Earless" episode of KWAIDAN at Japan Society this Friday, October 15th

Both images are of Katsuo Nakamura
in Kwaidan (Kaidan) © 1965 Toho Co., Ltd.


"Hoichi, The Earlless"
The 3rd episode in Kwaidan / Kaidan
(Kwaidan [Kaidan] © 1965 Toho Co., Ltd.)
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Japan Society

Hoichi, The Earless is the third of four episodes in the film KWAIDAN, which will kick off Japan Society's next film series, ZEN & ITS OPPOSITE: ESSENTIAL (& Turbulent) Japanese Art House. This is the easily longest episode in the film. think of it as the "main course" after the "soup" and "salad" of the first two and before the "desert" of the final segment.

Hoichi (Katsuo Nakamura) is a talented blind musician. He is called upon to perform songs of a long ago sea battle between the Heijke and Genji clans, The trouble is that the invite comes from insistent ghosts and his perfromances take a terrible physical toll on him. To combat this evil influence, the head priest (played by Takashi Shimura) has Hoichi's entire body painted with holy verses. Unfortunately, two small areas are inadvertantly left vulnerable.

For more info about this film series at Japan Society, click here.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ACF 727: The J-Pop Influence - lecture at Japan Society tonight, Tuesday, October 12th

The J-Pop Influence:
A Western Obsession

Tuesday, October 12, 6:30 PM

I just got notified about this event at Japan Society, so wanted to pass it on immediately.

Simone Legno, creator, Tokidoki; and Matthew Waldman, Chief Creative Officer & President, Nooka, Inc. will discuss how modern Japan has influenced the design of their clothing, accessories, watches and toys.

Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between 1st and 2nd avenues, New York, NY 10017

ACF 726: Through Eastern Windows exhibition opens this Thursday at The Korea Society

Through Eastern Windows:
Prints by Elizabeth Keith
and Traditional Korean Hats

Elizabeth Keith, an intrepid traveler and visionary artist, first ventured to Asia almost a century ago, where she filled travel journals with lively, realistic sketches of Korea and other destinations. At the encouragement of a Japanese publisher, she translated her sketches and watercolors into etchings and woodblock prints. As author of Eastern Windows (1928) and Old Korea (1946), Keith sought to capture a “vanishing Korea,” and her work remains especially relevant today as a view into the Korea of her age.

Accompanying the woodblock prints, etchings, and watercolors on display is an array of traditional hats from the period. From horsehair to bamboo, the materials employed by the contemporaneous Korean artisans add context and texture to Keith’s work. The hats served to connote the wearer’s status, a theme also examined in Keith’s work.

The headpieces are on loan from the Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum, Korean Art and Antiques, and the collection of Lea Sneider.

The Elizabeth Keith woodblock prints, etchings and watercolor are on loan from the collection of Young-Dahl Song. The attendant photos and postcards are from the collection of Norman Thorpe.

This exhibition will run October 14th - December 2nd, 2010.

Opening Reception Thursday, October 14th, 2010:

5:00 PM Members Preview
6:00 PM Gallery Opening and Refreshments
- Gallery Talk with Young-Dahl Song

Click to RSVP.

There also will be a Korean Traditional Hat Making Workshop from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM every Monday from November 8th to 29th, 2010. (Instead of using the preceeding link, you may contact gallery director Jinyoung Kim or call 212.759.7525, ext. 316.)

Workshop Costs:
- Members $100
- Non-Members $125
- Material Fee $50

The Korea Society is located at 950 Third Avenue@57th Street, 8th Floor, NYC.

The building entrance is on 57th Street, the South-West corner of the intersection.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ACF 725: "The Woman Of The Snow" episode of KWAIDAN at Japan Society this Friday, October 15th

Minochi (Tatsuya Nakadai) and the Woman of the Snow (Keiko Kishi)

The Woman Of The Snow"
The 3rd episode in Kwaidan / Kaidan
(Kwaidan 怪談 (Kaidan) © 1965 Toho Co., Ltd.)
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Japan Society

The Woman of the Snow is the second of four episodes in the film KWAIDAN, which will kick off Japan Society's next film series, ZEN & ITS OPPOSITE: ESSENTIAL (& Turbulent) Japanese Art House.

A pair of woodcutters are forced to seek shelter in a shack when a fierce snowstorm engulfs them on their way home. The elder one's life is taken from him by a supernatural female, but the younger one, Minochi (played by Tatsuya Nakadai, who in my opinion runs a close second to Mifune as the all-time greatest Japanese actor), is spared. However, the phantom woman charges him with the injunction never to speak to anyone of what happened.


Minochi (Nakadai) and Yuki (also Keiko Kishi)

After having returned to his village, he one day encounters the lovely Yuki (Keiki Kishi, who also plays the specter). The two fall in love, marry, have children, and live a wonderful life together. Strangely though, even after the passage of several years and having given birth to three children, Yuki's appearance has not altered in the least.

One night, in a relaxed mood, Minochi forgets himself and recounts the horror he witnessed when he woke up in the shack and found this strange woman taking the life-force from the elderly woodcutter. Consequences ensue, but not exactly what the viewer might expect. Another great tale in the cinematic anthology that is Kwaidan.

For more info about this film series at Japan Society, click here.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues), New York, NY.