With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ACF 793: The Warrior's Way iPhone application now available

Relativity Media and Zeitgeist Games bring to you the new
The Warrior's Way iPhone application!

Korean actor Dong-gun JANG stars in The Warrior's Way, a martial arts western action flick due out this Friday, December 3, 2010. Jang plays an Asian warrior assassin who has to hide out in a small town in the American Badlands. The film also stars Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), pictured above. The fantasy action film was written and directed by newcomer Sngmoo LEE.

And there's already an iPhone app available for you to immerse yourself in:

Experience The Warrior's Way for yourself by wielding the legendary steel of the greatest swordsman alive in this new iPhone app! Choose between four different swords and engage in a mock sword fight with other users. The app's sound effects make you feel like you are in the middle of the action. With photos and trailers from the film, this app promises to make a warrior out of anyone.

To get the The Warrior's Way iPhone application click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

ACF 792: Free screening of YEARNING at Asia Society this Friday, December 3rd

Yearning
Directed by Mikio Naruse
Japan, 1964, 100min, 35mm, B&W.
Where: Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), NYC
When: Friday, December 3, 2010, 6:45 PM
Japanese with English subtitles

Japanese Cinema 1960s, the series of five free screenings jointly presented by Asia Society and Japan Foundation, will continue this Friday evening with this work by Naruse, one of Japan's finest film directors.

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 UhlichSlant 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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ACF 791: Director's forum with Brian Iglesias and special screening of Chosin at The Korea Society

A Discussion with Director Brian Iglesias
and a special screening of his film Chosin

When: Thursday, December 2, 2010 @ 6:30 PM
Where: The Korea Society
950 Third Avenue @ 57th Street, 8th Floor
(Entrance is on 57th Street, the south-west corner of the intersection)

Price: $10 Members and Film Students; $20 Guests

Film fans and students of military history can unite for an intimate discussion with director Brian Iglesias on the making of his award-winning independent documentary Chosin. Brian, a Marine and Iraq veteran, embarked on this production to honor those who sacrificed at the Battle of Chosin Reservior in the Korean War. Those who survived went on to facilitate the first evacuation under UN auspices, and over one million Koreans today descend from those who were assisted.

The director will discuss his cross-country journey to film those veterans still with us and the challenges of growing the production from humble origins to award-winning heights—including a sold-out New York premiere hosted by The Korea Society last June.His story is one that honors the Korean-U.S. friendship in a compelling and heartfelt way. The director’s forum is followed by a special screening of the film.

BUY TICKETS

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ACF 790: Bruce Lee Remembered

Bruce Jun Fan Lee
Born November 27, 1940, San Francisco
Died July 20, 1973, Hong Kong

Bruce Lee was the single person most responsible for reinventing and reinvigorating the Asian martial movie and making the genre popular in the United States and other western countries. He would have marked his 70th birthday today if he had not died such a tragically early death in 1973.

Born in the U.S. to Chinese parents who were touring with a Chinese opera company, he grew up in Hong Kong, but returned to the U.S. in 1959. Most accounts attribute his return to his father's concern for his safety after Bruce got in a fight with the son of a feared Triad [Chinese criminal gang] member. He majored in Philosophy at the University of Washington, where he met his future wife Linda Emery. They later had two children. Son Brandon Lee, was born in 1965 and died in a tragic weapons accident on March 31, 1993 while filming The Crow. Daughter Shannon Lee, born 1969, is an actress and producer. Interestingly her first credited film role was as the "Party Singer" in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, the rather under-rated 1993 bio-pic in which Jason Scott Lee starred as her father.

Lee was the real deal - a true martial arts master. He developed his own martial arts system, known as Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. A non-formalized style, it emphasized "practicality, flexibility, speed and efficiency." [source: Wikipedia]

Lee appeared in films from a young age because of his parents being in Chinese opera. However, it was in the United States, after he began teaching martial arts to such film stars as Steve McQueen and James Coburn, that his career really began. He starred as Kato in the 1966-67 television series The Green Hornet. Reportedly, he felt that his future in Hollywood was limited after he was passed over for the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu TV series, a role that went instead to David Carradine.

Bruce returned to Hong Kong, where film producer Raymond Chow offered him the lead in Tang sha da xiong, or The Big Boss in English. The film was a huge hit, as were his next two films. But it was with the Warner Brothers financed Enter the Dragon that Bruce's international reputation was immortalized. The final fight in the room of mirrors is one of the most iconic of all martial arts film sequences.


Sadly, Bruce died before the film premiered. He was visiting actress Betty Ting Pei, who gave him one of her prescription pills because he had a headache. He had an adverse reaction, could not be revived, and died later that day of cerebral edema.

He is most fondly remembered for:

The Big Boss (a.k.a. Fists of Fury), 1971
Fist of Fury (a.k.a. The Chinese Connection), 1972
Way of the Dragon (a.k.a. Return of the Dragon) 1972
Enter the Dragon, 1973
Game of Death, 1978 (Most of this film was shot after his death using a stand-in for Bruce. Still, the last sequence, as the real Bruce fights his way up a pagoda, facing increasingly difficult opponents on each successive floor, is fantastic. It plays like a series of boss fights in a live action video game.)

Only the first two of these were released in the United States prior to his death.

Enter the Dragon is available on DVD from Warner Brothers.

The other four films can be found in Bruce Lee: The Master Collection from 20th Century Fox, which also includes a bonus disc of documentary footage. They are, however, dubbed versions. It would be great if at some point the original versions, with good subtitles, become available.

In the meanwhile, all of these films are wonderful ways to remember Bruce and keep his spirit alive.

Friday, November 26, 2010

ACF 789: NEW PEOPLE TALK monthly discussion series to begin in December at VIZ Cinema in San Francisco

Tetsuya Kaida, founder and general manager of Toyota Motor Corp.’s
Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department


THE EXCHANGE OF CROSS CULTURAL PHILOSOPHIES AND IDEAS IS EXPLORED IN NEW PEOPLE TALK SERIES LAUNCHING IN DECEMBER

Features Tetsuya Kaida Of Toyota Motors
To Discuss Conceptual Automotive Design Philosophy

NEW PEOPLE has announced the launch of NEW PEOPLE TALK, a brand new monthly discussion series featuring visionary individuals that are introducing new and original hybrid values and fostering the exchange of philosophies and ideas across different cultures. The venue is honored to present the first installment on Wednesday, December 1st at 7:15 PM that will feature Tetsuya Kaida, the founder and general manager of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department. Kaida will examine the ways conceptualized philosophy is changing the landscape of car design. A reception and Q & A session will follow. Tickets are available for $10 at VIZ Cinema boxoffice and http://www.vizcinema.com/.

Does building cars out of seaweed sound crazy? No, not to Tetsuya Kaida! As a leader in his field of design philosophy, Mr. Kaida will discuss how Toyota is adapting to the changing global trends of lifestyle, values, cultures, and human psyche. Mr. Kaida has pushed for designing kinder, gentler cars inspired by Japanese culture and its emphasis on harmony with nature. The result has produced concept cars with transparent floors, huge windows, and doors that slide like Japanese ’shoji’ screens, and a version of the Prius made with a lighter material called “carbon fiber reinforced plastic”.

Mr. Kaida created the Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department in Toyota, and started a full-scale reconsideration of corporate value creation for Toyota. One of his first duties as head of this new department was to announce the new concept cars Toyota 1/X, Toyota RIN and Toyota i-REAL at the most recent Tokyo Motor Show. Kaida and his team continue to dedicate themselves to the creation of new corporate value for Toyota as well as to its communication to the world.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: http://www.newpeopleworld.com/.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ACF 788: Shadows of the Rising Sun, a four film weekend series, coming to Japan Society

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE © 1983 Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Filmmakers from Japan and China Explode the Truth of War
in a 4-Film Series featuring the NY Premiere of "Caterpillar"

Shadows of the Rising Sun: Cinema and Empire

Where: Japan Society
333 East 47th Street (between 1st & 2nd avenues) NYC
When: Friday-Sunday, December 10-12, 2010

"In war, truth is the first victim."
--Aeschylus, Greek tragic poet (525 BC - 456 BC)


War is honor, glory, and the wisdom of the nations swept away by the wind of fear and the fires of bloodshed. Japan Society's next film series tells the multifaceted story of Japan's quest for Empire and its tragic downfall, as seen through the eyes of filmmakers from Japan and China.

From December 10-12, Shadows of the Rising Sun: Cinema and Empire encompasses four epoch-making titles, poised between past and present, exploring the conflagration and its dreadful consequences. Featured films range from Kon Ichikawa’s 1959 arch-classic Fires on the Plain to the New York Premiere of Koji Wakamatsu’s recent and controversial shocker Caterpillar (which earned main actress Shinobu Terajima the 2010 Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival).

With additional titles Devils on the Doorstep and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, the series blast the confines of history and truth, beyond the bright madness of battle and heroism, into the metaphysical realm of death, evil, sacrifice and the sublime.


Tickets are $12/$9 members, students & seniors.


AsianCineFest will be carrying more information and at least some reviews in future posts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ACF 787: Free screening of Korean Independent Films in NY on December 14th

KOREAN INDEPENDENT FILM CONTEST SCREENING
When: Tuesday, December 14 ay 7:00 PM
Doors open at 6:30 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street., NYC)
(Take the 1, A, C, E trains to Canal Street)
Price (as always): FREE!!!!!
RSVP is required, email youngchoi@koreanculture.org

Korean Cultural Service's Korean Movie Night series of FREE screenings in New York City this year will culminate with this event, a free screening followed by a reception, on December, 14th.

The Korean Cultural Service NY is reaching out to Korean directors living in the United States, as well as American directors who are making movies dealing with Korea, and combing through all of them to pick the best Independent Short Movies. On Tuesday, December 14, they will present a 90 minute program of these films, followed by a reception for the audience to celebrate ONE WHOLE YEAR of screening free Korean movies in New York City. It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to this year’s program, and to welcome an all-new line-up in 2011!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ACF 786: Reminder - free screening of Goodbye Mom tonight in NY City

GOODBYE MOM
Written and Directed by JEONG Gi-hoon
South Korea, 2009, 110 minutes
North American Premiere
When: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, NYC
(Take the 1, A, C, E trains to Canal Street)
Price: FREE!!!!!
All seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
Doors open at 6:30 PM

Just a final reminder that Korean Cultural Service's Korean Movie Night film series continues in New York City this evening with another free screening. Goodbye Mom stars Kim Young-Ae and Choi Kang-Hee as a mother and daughter enmeshed in a very complicated relationship. The film was a huge hit in Korea, largely due to incredibly positive word-of-mouth, and it's playing here in New York tonight for FREE! Sounds like too good an offer to pass up, if you ask me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

ACF 785: Taisho Baseball Girls Complete Collection is available now


TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS COMPLETE COLLECTION

Section23 Films has announced the release of the hit series TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS. The complete series is available now.

It’s not whether they win or lose. It’s whether they’ll be allowed to play the game.

TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS COMPLETE COLLECTION
Running Time: 300 min.
Age Rating: TV PG
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Format: DVD
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS:
1925 - six years since the end of the Great War, four years since women were allowed to join political associations and one year since Emperor Hirohito assumed the throne. Only thirteen years after the death of the Meiji Emperor, Japan is a nation re-inventing itself, swept by wave after wave of wars, disasters and political unrest. War looms in China, males over the age of 24 are about to receive the right to vote and a strange new type of school uniform called the "sailor suit" is being introduced.

But at least the national pastime, baseball, remains bound by tradition, the exclusive realm of men and boys. Until now. When a local player arrogantly states that girls should become housewives instead of going to school, teenage firebrands Koume and Akiko respond by forming their own baseball team. It's shocking. It's scandalous. And yet, in a nation in which almost anything seems suddenly possible, it may just be the start of something greater than any nine girls can imagine. It's not just a game, its history in the making in TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS - COMPLETE COLLECTION!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ACF 784: VIZ Pictures announces planned 2011 release of documentary "Eatrip"

VIZ PICTURES LICENSES DIRECTOR YURI NOMURA’S
SCRUMPTOUS CULINARY DOCUMENTARY EATRIP

New Film Explores The Ways That Food Unites Humanity And Explores
The Interpersonal Relationships People Forge Through Eating

VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it has licensed Eatrip, a documentary that takes audiences on a journey throughout Japan to look at how life can be led richly through the daily ritual of eating.

Yuri Nomura, a food coordinator, columnist, and teacher, makes her directorial debut with this film. In Japan, she is widely active with her food creative team Eatrip. VIZ Pictures plans to release the film in 2011. Eatrip was an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival 2009 in the Documentaries of the World category; the Vancouver International Film Festival 2009; Le Festival International du Film d’Environnement 2009 (Paris); and the Barcelona Asian Film Festival 2010.

To eat is more than a necessity – it’s a universal experience all human beings share. In the film,Yuri Nomura embarks on an insightful journey throughout Japan to examine the daily rituals of eating among people from a variety of walks of life. Actor Tadanobu Asano, singer UA, and fashion designer Jurgen Lehl are among those featured. From the Tsukiji fish market to a farm in Okinawa, the film offers poignant interviews with intriguing personalities including the head monk of a famous Buddhist temple; a distributor of Japanese soup stock (Bonito broth); an Okinawan woman leading a self-sustainable lifestyle devoid of modern conveniences; a tea ceremony master, and a musician and writer who recites poems about food.

“Eatrip is a cinematic culinary journey that explores the interpersonal relationships that food nurtures,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “Through interviews with a variety of people, Yuri Nomura shows the ways that food and the ritual of eating unites humanity and creates strong bonds between human beings. We’re very pleased to license this documentary and look forward to audiences gleaning new meaning from something so essential to life that we all do every day.”

For more information on Eatrip or other VIZ Pictures titles, visit http://www.viz-pictures.com/.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ACF 783: "Goodbye Mom" next FREE film from Korean Cultural Service this Tuesday

GOODBYE MOM
Written and Directed by JEONG Gi-hoon
South Korea, 2009, 110 minutes
North American Premiere
When: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, NYC
(Take the 1, A, C, E trains to Canal Street)
Price: FREE!!!!!
All seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
Doors open at 6:30 PM

Korean Cultural Service's Korean Movie Night film series continues in New York City this coming Tuesday evening with another free screening.

A massive word-of-mouth hit in Korea, GOODBYE MOM is a brawling, bawling, no-holds-barred depiction of the most complicated relationship in the world: mother and daughter. Ae-Ja (Choi Kang-Hee) was a high school golden child, an ace writer who had everyone convinced she was going to be the Korean Tolstoy.

Jump forward 10 years, and she’s a 29-year-old with a mountain of debt, no career and only a single writing prize from a local paper to her name. Hounding her to get married and grow up is her mom (Kim Young-Ae), with whom she has the kind of relationship a boxer has with his opponent: they’re going to keep duking it out in the ring until one of them goes down.

Meticulously observed, made without any flash, this is a showcase for these two actresses to strut their stuff, and Kim Young-Ae, coming out of a three-year retirement, owns the screen as a mom who’s going out, but who’s determined not to go quietly. You don’t want to miss the movie that everyone’s been talking about in Korea.

Friday, November 19, 2010

ACF 782: 10th Annual MIAAC Film Festival ends in New York with awards ceremony

10th Annual MIAAC Film Festival Wraps Up with Awards Ceremony
for Best Picture, Actors, and Director

Five days of sold-out feature, shorts, and documentary screenings, “Bhumika: The Roles of Smita Patil,” a retrospective of the late actress’ films, in partnership with the Film Society at Lincoln Center, nightly red-carpet events, film industry panels, and celebrity-packed after parties all came to a close on Sunday, November 14 with a prestigious awards ceremony at the SVA Theater in Manhattan, following the closing night film “Cooking with Stella." The longest-running, most prestigious Indian film festival in the country, the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival, recognized noteworthy directing, writing, and acting in the following categories:

* Best Picture – “The Well (Vihir)”
* Best Actor – Ajay Naidu, “Ashes”
* Best Actress – Seema Biswas, “Cooking with Stella”
* Best Director – Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, “Shor”
* Best Screenplay – Rituparno Ghosh, “Memories in March”
* Best Documentary – “Ganesh, Boy Wonder,” Director Srinivas Krishna
* Best Short Film – “Charulata…A Sequel…of the Life Untold!” Director Sangeeta Padmanabhan
* NYU @ MIAAC: Mobile Bollywood – Directors: Anna South, Casey Knight, and Raymond Wei
* Special Achievement Award for Significant Contribution to the Globalization of Indian Music – presented to Oscar and Grammy-award winning composer A.R. Rahman and accepted by director Mani Ratnam

The jury comprised of some of the most well-known critics, actors, directors, and academics in world cinema including: Claus Mueller, Kathleen Carroll, Jerry Carlson, Madhur Jaffrey, Parag Amladi, Ashish Avikunthak, Vinay Chowdhry, Udayan Gupta, Poorna Jagannathan, Kavery Kaul, Joseph Mathew-Varghese, Zenobia Shroff, Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart, Parvez Sharma, Rahul Bose, Wayne Sharpe, and Nilita Vachani.

Celebrities who attended the 10th annual festival included: Mani Ratnam, Suhasini Maniratnam, Mira Nair, Dilip Mehta, Seema Biswas, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Madhur Jaffrey, Ekta Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Padma Lakshmi, Rahul Bose, Salman Rushdie, Aasif Mandvi, Samrat Chakrabarti, Manu Narayan, Tannishtha Chatterjeee, Seema Biswas, Ajay Naidu, Arun Vaidyanathan, Sarita Choudhry, Sanjoy Nag, Srijit Mukherjee, and many others.

About the Indo-American Arts Council: The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered not-for-profit arts organization passionately dedicated to showcasing, building awareness, and celebrating artists of Indian origin in the performing, visual and literary arts. Annual festivals of art, dance, play writing and film are scheduled through the year, with several special events and book launches. For further information please visit www.iaac.us. The IAAC Film Festival was born in the aftermath of 9/11 in response to Mayor Giuliani’s call to New Yorkers to help rebuild a limping city. The First Annual film Festival opened its doors with Film Diaspora Godfather Ismail Merchant and closed with New York’s favorite Indian filmmaker Mira Nair. Four years ago, Mahindra & Mahindra joined forces with the IAAC Film Festival by becoming the lead sponsor, changing the name of the festival to The MIAAC Film Festival. For further information please visit www.miaacfilmfest.org.

About The Mahindra Group: Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a $7.1 billion Indian multi-national company. It employs more than 100,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors, and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, and trade and logistics. Today, The Mahindra Group is an embodiment of global experience and enjoys a strong corporate brand image.

Mahindra is the only Indian company among the top tractor brands in the world. It is today a full-range player with a presence in almost every segment of the automobile industry, from two-wheelers to CVs, UVs, SUVs, and sedans. Mahindra recently acquired majority stake in REVA Electric Car Co. Ltd. (now called Mahindra REVA), strengthening its position in the Electric Vehicles domain.

The Mahindra Group expanded its IT portfolio when Tech Mahindra acquired the leading global business and information technology services company, Satyam Computer Services. The company is now known as Mahindra Satyam.

Mahindra is also one of the few Indian companies to receive an A+ GRI checked rating for its first Sustainability Report for the year 2007-08 and has also received the A+ GRI rating for the year 2008-09.

About The Film Society at Lincoln Center: The Film Society of Lincoln Center was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new directors, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of film. Advancing this mandate today, the Film Society hosts two distinguished festivals. The New York Film Festival annually premieres films from around the world and has introduced the likes of François Truffaut, R.W. Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, and Wong Kar-Wai to the United States. New Directors/New Films, co-presented by the Museum of Modern Art, focuses on emerging film talents. Since 1972, when the Film Society honored Charles Chaplin, its annual Gala Tribute celebrates an actor or filmmaker who has helped distinguish cinema as an art form. Additionally, the Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming at its Walter Reade Theater and offers insightful film writing to a worldwide audience through Film Comment magazine. For more information, visit: www.filmlinc.com

ACF 781: Two Haikasoru Novels From VIZ

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NOVEMBER HAIKASORU IMPRINT RELEASES

The Hard Science Fiction THE OUROBOROS WAVE And
Fantasy DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD
Are Perfect for Holiday Gifting

VIZ Media has released a pair of riveting novels under its Haikasoru imprint– the philosophical hardscience fiction title THE OUROBOROS WAVE by Jyouji Hayashi, and the paperback edition of the hit heroic fantasy DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD by Noriko Ogiwara.

Haikasoru is a unique imprint with a dedicated focus on publishing some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy for English-speaking audiences.

THE OUROBOROS WAVE © 2002 Jyouji Hayashi
Originally published in Japan by Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.

THE OUROBOROS WAVE by Jyouji Hayashi
Price: $14.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 • Available Now!

Ninety years from now, a satellite detects a nearby black hole scientists dub Kali for the Hindu goddess of destruction. As human society expands to Mars and beyond, the generations-long project to harness the power of the black hole pits the retrograde humans of Earth against the imminently rational men and women of the Artificial Accretion Disk Development association. While conflicts simmer, a mystery within Kali itself tests the limits of intelligence—that of both human and machine.

Jyouji Hiyashi was born in Hokkaido in 1962. Having worked as a clinical laboratory technician, Jyouji Hiyashi debuted as a writer in 1995 with his cowritten Dai Nihon Teikoku Oushu Dengeki Sakusen. His popularity grew with the Shonetsu no Hatou series and the Heitai Gensui Oushu Senki series – both military fiction backed by real historical perspectives. Beginning in 2000, he consecutively released Kioku Osen, Shinryakusha no Heiwa, and Ankoku Taiyo no Mezame, stories that combine scientific speculation and sociological investigations. He continues to write and act as a flag-bearer for a new generation of hard SF.

DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD:
SORAIRO MAGATAMA © 1988, 1996, 2005
by Noriko OGIWARA/Tokuma Shoten
Illustrations © 2005 by Miho Satake

DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD by Noriko Ogiwara
Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 • Available Now!

The forces of the God of Light and the Goddess of Darkness have waged a ruthless war across the land of Toyoashihara for generations. But for fifteen-year-old Saya, the war is far away—until the day she discovers that she is the reincarnation of the Water Maiden and a princess of the Children of the Dark. Raised to love the Light and detest the Dark, Saya must come to terms with her heritage even as she tumbles into the very heart of the conflict that is destroying her country. The Light and Dark both seek to claim her, for she is the only mortal who can awaken the legendary Dragon Sword, the fearsome weapon destined to bring an end to the war. Can Saya make the dreadful choice between the Light and Dark, or is she doomed—like all the Water Maidens who came before her…?

Noriko Ogiwara was inspired to write by the classic Western children's books she read as she was growing up. Dragon Sword and Wind Child is her first book, part of the award winning Magatama Trilogy. The second book of the Magatama Trilogy, Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince will be also available from Haikasoru in May 2011. Her other books include The Good Witch of the West and Fuujin Hisho. Ms. Ogiwara makes her home in Japan.

For more information on Haikasoru, visit the dedicated website at www.Haikasoru.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ACF 780: VIZ Cinema presents Chinese Underground Film Festival in San Francisco

VIZ CINEMA SPOTLIGHTS NEW CHINESE FILM MOVEMENT
IN CHINA UNDERGROUND OPENING IN DECEMBER

7 Films Over 3 Days Offer a View of China as Never Seen Before

VIZ Cinema and NEW PEOPLE, in association with dGenerate Films, are proud to present a fascinating series focusing on a new vanguard of Chinese independent filmmakers, whose innovative uses of digital filmmaking deliver provocative insights into the world’s largest nation. The China Underground film series opens Friday, December 3rd and runs through Sunday, December 5th. Tickets and complete details are available at: www.vizcinema.com.

All of the documentary films to be shown at the festival were made outside the official Chinese film system – unauthorized, uncensored, and totally independent. These groundbreaking films introduce a new generation of filmmakers who represent the future of Chinese cinema, using new technology to present a vision of China as never seen before. A wide variety of controversial topics and issues like homosexuality, the role of women in society, the forced relocation of citizens which preceded the 2008 Beijing Olympics, drug use, and the inner workings of Chinese law enforcement, are examined in unflinching detail in these seven films.

China Underground opens Friday December 3rd with the premiere of Queer China, "Comrade" China at 7:00pm. The screening will include a Q&A session with several guest speakers and an after-party that will immediately follow. The remaining films will be screened throughout the weekend.

“These brave filmmakers often risk arrest, imprisonment, censure, or worse in order to have their work seen and message heard,” says Manami Iiboshi, programming director of VIZ Cinema. “San Francisco is a bastion of socially conscious and progressive ideas and it’s an honor to give a platform uncensored looks at a variety of important issues going on within Chinese society that are usually kept hidden from the West.”

“We’re thrilled to showcase seven of our titles at VIZ Cinema in China Underground, the first film series of its kind,” says Karin Chien, president of dGenerate Films. “Independent documentaries are the only free media existing in mainland China today. There is a new generation of filmmakers, artists, and activists wielding digital cameras and laptop edit systems, creating some of the most daring cinema in the world today. These films will have a special relevance and resonance with the diverse communities of the Bay Area.”

Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China, Friday, 12/3 at 7:00pm
(Directed by Cui Zi’en, China, 2008, 60min, Mandarin with English subtitles)

China’s most prolific queer filmmaker presents a comprehensive historical account of the queer movement in modern China. Unlike any before, this film explores the historical milestones and ongoing advocacy efforts of the Chinese LGBT community. Preceded by a screening of Digital Underground in the People’s Republic (18 mins, Dir: Rachel Tejada), a look at the Chinese independent film scene as documented firsthand by dGenerate Films. Tickets are $15.00.

Super, Girls! Saturday, 12/4 at 1:00pm
(Directed by Jian Yi, China, 2007, Documentary, 73min. Mandarin with English subtitles)

SUPER, GIRLS! follows ten teenagers on their quest to become superstars on China’s biggest tv show. Through candid interviews and footage of nail-biting auditions, SUPER, GIRLS! offers a fascinating look inside what the Chinese media have dubbed “the Lost Generation.”
Tickets are $10.00.

Meishi Street, Saturday, 12/4 at 2:45pm
(Directed by Ou Ning, China, 2006, Documentary, 85min, Mandarin with English subtitles)

MEISHI STREET shows ordinary citizens taking a stand against the planned destruction of their homes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Acclaimed at over two dozen museums and galleries around the world, Meishi Street, by renowned visual artist Ou Ning, works as both art and activism, calling worldwide attention to lives being demolished in the name of progress.
Tickets are $10.00.

Using, Saturday, 12/4 at 4:45pm
(Directed by Zhou Hao, China, 2008, Documentary, 105min, Mandarin with English subtitles)

A twisted relationship develops between an urban Chinese couple struggling with heroin and a filmmaker chronicling their addiction, in this provocative documentary on drug abuse, filmmaking and friendship. Zhou’s unflinching depiction of his friends’ repeated attempts to quit blurs the line between filmmaker and subject, and raises provocative questions about the ways in which each uses the other. Tickets are $10.00.

Ghost Town, Saturday, 12/4 at 7:15pm
(Directed by Zhao Dayong, China, 2008, Documentary, 169min, Mandarin, Nu, & Lisu dialects with English subtitles)

Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. Tucked away in a rugged corner of Southwest China, the village is haunted by traces of China’s cultural past while its residents piece together a day-by-day existence. “Directed with scrupulous attention to detail” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times), Ghost Town, which debuted at the New York Film Festival, “is one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still unexplored) field of Chinese independent documentaries (Dennis Lim, Moving Image Source).Tickets are $10.00.

1428, Sunday, 12/5 at 1:00pm
(Directed by Du Haibin, China, 2009, Documentary, 117min. Mandarin and Sichuan dialects w/ English subtitles)

Du Haibin’s award-winning documentary of the earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province in 2008 explores how victims, citizens and government respond to a national tragedy. Du depicts a world in chaos, both material and moral. “Without judgment but with a deep compassion for their subjects, the filmmakers of 1428 bring us a myriad of individual stories of absurdity, confusion and grief.”(Cherise Fong, CNN). Tickets are $10.00.

Crime and Punishment, Sunday, 12/5 at 3:30pm
(Directed by Zhao Liang, China, 2007, Documentary, 122min, Mandarin with English subtitles)

“Zhao’s artistry is instantly apparent.” (Robert Koehler, Variety)
A prime example of how independent documentaries are on the vanguard of Chinese cinema, Crime and Punishment is an unprecedented look at the everyday workings of law enforcement in the world’s largest authoritarian society. With penetrating camerawork, Zhao Liang (Petition, 2009 Cannes Film Festival) patiently reveals the methods police use to interrogate and coerce suspects to confess crimes – and the consequences when such techniques backfire. Tickets are $10.00.

Before the Flood, Sunday, 12/5 at 5:45pm
(Directed by Li Yifan and Yan Yu, China, 2005, Documentary, 147min. Mandarin and Sichuan dialects with English subtitles)

A landmark documentary following the residents of the historic city of Fengjie as they clash with officials forcing them to evacuate their homes to make way for the world’s largest dam. Shot over two years, Before the Flood is a breathtaking achievement in verité-style documentary filmmaking. This profound film shows the human effects of one of history’s grandest social engineering projects, reflecting on the loss of both home and heritage. Tickets are $10.00.

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.

About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: http://www.NewPeopleWorld.com/.

About dGenerate Films
dGenerate Films brings uncensored, unprecedented and visionary content from deep inside mainland China’s independent, and underground, film scene to North America and beyond. dGenerate Films recognizes that unauthorized films by China’s post-Sixth Generation are the only true independent media in China today. We remain deeply committed to providing audiences with an unmediated look at life, as it’s truly lived, inside the world’s next superpower. To learn more, visit http://dgeneratefilms.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ACF 779: TokyoScope Talk in San Francisco to Explore the World of the Ninja


TOKYOSCOPE TALK AT VIZ CINEMA EXPLORES THE HIDDEN
& DEADLY WORLD OF THE NINJA NEXT WEEK

NEW PEOPLE and VIZ Cinema offer an intriguing exploration of Japan’s famed shadow warriors of legend in the next TokyoScope Talk film event. TokyoScope Talk, Vol. 7 – NINJA ATTACK! will commence this coming Saturday, November 20th at 7:15pm. Tickets are $10.00.

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 lecture will explore the historical and pop culture legacy of the original men (and women!) in black. All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win free copies of the Ninja Attack! book, which will also be for sale in the NEW PEOPLE retail store.

TokyoScope Talk will also discuss elements from the new ninja action film Kamui Gaidian, which opens at VIZ Cinema on Friday, November 19th and runs thru Wednesday, December 1st (Tickets are $10.00). Based on the legendary 1970’s manga comic by Sampei Shirato, Kamui Gaidan boasts one of the biggest budgets in the history of Japanese film. Set in 17th Century Japan, Kamui, an outcast from society who dreams of escaping his miserable existence, trains to become a deadly ninja and embarks on a bloody adventure to find eventual redemption. NEW PEOPLE will host a special opening party for the Kamui Gaidan premiere on Friday, November 19th at 7:15pm.

Gasp in amazement as Macias offers rare clips from other 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!

In the new book, Ninja Attack! True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws (Kodansha International), Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt introduce dozens of real-life ninja straight out of the annals of Japanese history. Ninja Attack! chronicles the true stories of Japan’s most famous – and feared – fighters. The book covers ninja ranging from clan leaders to solo artists, occult masters, warlords, and vicious assassins, presented with full-page illustrations along with detailed descriptions and anecdotes about their lives, weapons, weaknesses… and how each met his doom. The book includes “The Illustrated Ninja,” a guide that explains the weapons, tools, tricks and techniques of these legendary warriors; and includes a ninja tour of Tokyo. Yoda and Alt also discuss clothing styles, tools and the basics of the ninja diet.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first 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.

About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: http://www.newpeopleworld.com/.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ACF 778: VIZ's New Manga Acquisitions

NURARIHYON NO MAGO © 2008 by Hiroshi Shiibashi/SHUEISHA Inc.

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NEW MANGA ACQUISITIONS
FOR SPRING & SUMMER 2011

VIZ Media has announced their forthcoming releases for Spring and Summer 2011. The diverse new lineup offers something for everyone, from the supernatural adventures of NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN and BLUE EXORCIST, to the rough-and-tumble action of TENJO TENGE, to a slice-of-life peek at the tenants of an apartment in Italy in LA QUINTA CAMERA, to the long-awaited artbook of the hit VAMPIRE KNIGHT series.

NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN Volume 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Shonen Jump • MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN • Available February 1, 2011

While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai, supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura. He's three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So, Rikuo is an ordinary teenager three quarters of the time, until his yokai blood awakens. Then Rikuo transforms into the future leader of the Nura clan, leading a hundred demons.

BLUE EXORCIST Volume 1 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Shonen Jump Advanced • MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.00 CAN • Available April 5, 2011

Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth—the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won't be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!

TENJO TENGE Volume 1 • Rated ‘M’ for Mature • VIZ Signature • MSRP: $17.99 US / $21.00 CAN • Available June 21, 2011

By popular demand, VIZ Signature presents an all-new publication of a fan favorite—now 100% faithful to the original and in 2-in-1 editions featuring 16 pages of full-color art!

Knuckle-busting brawls, badass babes, and the toughest student body ever to mix it up under one roof. Welcome to Todo High, where the only rule is: get strong or get schooled. Soichiro Nagi and Bob Makihara have always been the meanest street brawlers around. When they enter Todo High they plan on carving out a reputation as the strongest fighters in their new school—easier said than done in a place that's dedicated to training its students in the art of combat!

LA QUINTA CAMERA • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • VIZ Signature • MSRP: $12.99 US / $14.99 CAN • Available July 19, 2011

A charming suite of linked stories from the acclaimed author of not simple and House of Five Leaves, set in an apartment in Italy. In four of the rooms live four single men with singular personalities. Into this peculiar ménage steps an exchange student, the new tenant of the fifth room. Brought together by chance, friends by choice, they pursue their dreams together as the days drift gently by.

THE ART OF VAMPIRE KNIGHT • Shojo Beat • MSRP: $24.99 US / $28.00 CAN • Available September 6, 2011

Cross over into the world of VAMPIRE KNIGHT with the lush, full-color artwork of Matsuri Hino. This deluxe hardcover edition includes an extensive gallery with author comments, a how-to tutorial, and an exclusive poster.

More information on these and other titles from VIZ Media is available at www.viz.com.

Monday, November 15, 2010

ACF 777: VIZ Anime Gift Ideas

VIZ MEDIA SPOTLIGHTS ACTION PACKED ANIME TITLES
FOR THE 2010 HOLIDAY SEASON

Delight That Special Fan This Year
With A Variety Of DVD Titles
For Popular Properties Including
BLEACH, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN,
VAMPIRE KNIGHT And POKÉMON

VIZ Media gives fans a variety of fun suggestions for action-packed anime titles that will make ideal additions to holiday wish lists and shopping guides.

The DVD releases include the latest animated episodes from popular properties such as BLEACH, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, VAMPRIE KNIGHT, as well as perennial childhood classic POKÉMON. Several of these releases, like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, also come packaged as Special Edition Box Sets and include limited edition collectable figures.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Releases Include:

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN BOX SET 3 Special Edition • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.97 U.S. / $99.99 CAN • Available Now!

After fierce battles with the Akatsuki, Sakura, Granny Chiyo, Kakashi and Naruto have finally retrieved Gaara from Deidara's clutches. But is it too late? Back in the Leaf Village, Kakashi's on bed rest for overusing his Mangekyo Sharingan, and Naruto prepares to recruit some of his friends for Team Kakashi. But the village elders have beat him to it, and their choice of the unfeeling Sai has Naruto spitting mad! Contains episodes 27 thru 39 and a special limited edition Sasori figurine.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN BOX SET 3 Standard Edition • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available Now!

DVD-only collection featuring 13 episodes on 3 discs. Limited edition Sasori figurine not included.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN BOX SET 4 Special Edition • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.97 U.S. / $99.99 CAN • Available Now!

Team Kakashi's spying mission brings them face to face with the Leaf's most deadly enemy, Orochimaru. Naruto's rage brings forth the Nine-Tailed Fox, but at great risk to both himself and those he cares for the most. With Naruto's rampage quelled, the team continues on to Orochimaru's lair to find Sasuke, but the mysterious Sai has disappeared. Could one of their own be planning the ultimate betrayal? Contains 14 episodes (Episodes 40-53) on 3 discs, and a special limited edition collectible Sasuke figure.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN BOX SET 4 Standard Edition • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available Now!

DVD-only collection featuring 14 episodes on 3 discs. Limited edition Sasuke figure not included.

For more information on NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, visit www.NARUTO.com.

BLEACH Releases Include:

BLEACH UNCUT BOX SET, Vol. 6 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available Now!

Back in the World of the Living, Ichigo Kurosaki has been officially recognized as a Substitute Soul Reaper by the Soul Society. But trouble soon comes to Karakura Town in the form of Visoreds, a group of ex-Soul Reapers that have crossed over into the realm of the Hollows. As they try to recruit Ichigo to their side, it is revealed that former Captain Sosuke Aizen is attempting to create an army of Hollows with Soul Reaper powers called Arrancars. It will take Ichigo and his friends, along with a detachment of Soul Reapers, to keep them from destroying the town. Contains episodes 110 thru 121 (Original and Uncut).

BLEACH UNCUT BOX SET, Vol. 7 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $49.95 U.S. / $71.99 CAN • Available December 21st

While Captain Hitsugaya’s advance Soul Reaper troops adjust to life in the World of the Living, Ichigo and his friends undergo extensive training to prepare for the battle with the Arrancars. Ichigo is determined to learn to control his inner Hollow, but the Visoreds he goes to for help are just as determined for him to release it. Then, when Soul Reaper Rangiku saves a young soul from a Mock Arrancar, the extent of Sosuke Aizen’s grand scheme is slowly revealed. Features Episodes 122-133.

For more information on BLEACH, please visit BLEACH.viz.com.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Releases Include:

VAMPIRE KNIGHT, Vols. 1-2 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $19.97 U.S. / $28.99 CAN • Available Now!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT takes audiences 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! Vols. 1-2 sold separately and feature 4 episodes each.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT, Vol. 3 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $19.97 U.S. / $28.99 CAN • Available November 16th

Yuki and Zero have their hands full trying to quell the Day Class's enthusiastic pursuit of the Night Class in anticipation of the upcoming dance. In the midst of it all, the Headmaster asks Yuki to show a new transfer student, Maria Kurenai, around the academy. Maria seems harmless, but what lies beneath her seemingly innocent exterior will turn their world upside down. Features Episodes 9-13.

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

POKÉMON Releases Include:

POKÉMON: ELEMENTS COLLECTION, Part 1 • Rated 'A' for All Ages • MSRP: $29.92 U.S. / $42.99 CAN • Available Now!

Following the POKÉMON All Star series, the POKÉMON ELEMENTS: COLLECTION bundles Volumes 1-5 of the most important episodes commemorating the different types of Pokémon. Included are: Volume 1: Grass, Volume 2: Fire, Volume 3: Water, Volume 4: Electric and Volume 5: Ice.

For more information on other animated titles from VIZ Media please visit www.VIZAnime.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ACF 776: Live-action film "The Legend of Kamui" will be shown in San Francisco

The Red Lantern and VCinema present
The Legend of Kamui
Directed by Yoichi Sai
West Coast Premiere: Friday, Nov 19th · 7:00pm - 10:30pm
Complete Screening Run is Nov 19 thru Dec 1
Where:
VIZ Cinema (Japan Town)
1746 Post Street, San Francisco, CA

Here's some great news for you Asian film fans in the Bay Area. I learned about it from my friend Jon Jung, who's a driving force behind both the VCinema podcast and blog.

The Red Lantern and VCinema wil l be starting the first in their movie series with the 2009 Japanese film THE LEGEND OF KAMUI, aka KAMUI GAIDEN, a live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga by Sampei Shirato. This is the West Coast premiere of the film. And I'm here in New York, quite envious.

Born a ninja. Die a ninja.

In 17th century Japan, disillusioned ninja Kamui finds himself on the run, in search of freedom. However, he discovers he's being hunted by members of his ...former clan who want to assassinate him for the clan secrets that he possesses. When he finally settles down in a small fishing village, Kamui finds himself face to face with an old nemesis whom he must deal with along with the ninja hunting party who are hot on his trail.

THE LEGEND OF KAMUI is a thrilling action movie starring some of the hottest talent in Japanese cinema today: Japan Academy Award winner Kenichi Matsuyama (DETROIT METAL CITY, DEATH NOTE), Koyuki (THE LAST SAMURAI), Anna Tsuchiya (KAMIKAZE GIRLS), and Suzuka Ohgo (MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA). The film is directed by Yoichi Sai whose 2004 film BLOOD AND BONES garnered four Japan Academy Awards.

The film will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles.

Tickets will be $10 and will include a screening of the film as well as an post-movie reception with food and drinks and other goodies.

This event is open to the general public.

The Red Lantern is an Asian cinema meetup group located in the San Francisco Bay Area: http://www.meetup.com/sf-asian-film/.

VCinema is an Asian cinema podcast also located in the San Francisco Bay Area: http://vcinemashow.com/.

ACF 775: VIZ Media manga holiday gift ideas

VIZ MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS THE 2010 HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON
WITH GIFT IDEAS BASED ON POPULAR MANGA PROPERTIES

New Titles For BLEACH, NARUTO, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, POKÉMON,
And THE LEGEND OF ZELDA Make Ideal Gifts For That Special Fan

I know that this'll be of considerable interest to my numerous manga-lovinng readers:

VIZ Media launches the 2010 holiday shopping season with a variety of releases based on some of the company’s most popular manga (graphic novel) properties including BLEACH, NARUTO, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, POKÉMON and THE LEGEND OF ZELDA.


Thoughtful selections for this year’s holiday season include the latest manga installments as well as vividly illustrated art and official fan collector books and a brand new manga box set.

BLEACH Holiday Selections:

BLEACH, Vol. 33 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available December 7th

Ichigo's misson to rescue his friend Orihime from the Hollow world has turned into a struggle for survival against a succession of enemies, each one more powerful than the next. Now another vicious challenger has entered the fray, one that happens to know the startling truth about Ichigo's new friend Nel!

COLOR BLEACH +: OFFICAL BLEACH BOOTLEG • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN • Available Now!

This indispensable guide takes you behind the scenes of the shadowy world of the Soul Reapers! Read all about the illustrious Thirteen Court Guard Companies, study for the grueling entrance examination, get fighting tips from a master, take the personality quiz, and much, much more! This book also includes 66 pages of full-color manga spun off from the original BLEACH series.

More information on BLEACH is available at Bleach.viz.com.

NARUTO Holiday Selections Include:

NARUTO, Vol. 49 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available Now!

In the latest installment, The Gokage Summit Commences, the five leaders of the strongest villages in the ninja world meet to discuss the fate of their universe and how to deal with the ever-looming threat of the rogue organization, the Akatsuki. Plans are made that will affect Naruto deeply. The new Hokage, the leader of Naruto's village, is not afraid to make the final end move against Naruto's old pal, Sasuke!

NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK • MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $27.00 CAN • Available Now!

This soft cover edition is offered by the Shonen Jump imprint and features nearly 100 pages of original illustrations by NARUTO creator Masashi Kishimoto. Included are a variety of character portraits depicting the young ninja in action, as well as his cohorts including Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi. Plus, a color pull-out double-sided poster and a sticker sheet!

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

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Holiday Selections Include:

VAMPIRE KNIGHT, Vol. 11 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available December 7th

The Night Class at Cross Academy has been abolished. Zero still attends the Day Class while carrying out his duties as a vampire hunter. Yuki now lives hidden away at the Kuran residence with Kaname, but will she embrace the life of a pureblood vampire?

VAMPIRE KNIGHT OFFICAL FANBOOK • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN • Available Now!

Delve into the world of your favorite vampires with this official fanbook that’s 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 VAMPIRE KNIGHT creator Matsuri Hino!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT BOX SET • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • MSRP: $99.99 U.S. / $115.00 CAN • Available November 16th

New set compiles the first 10 volumes of the hit VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga series. Also includes an exclusive Cross Academy Day Class 2011 Planner and a gorgeous illustrated case to house the set.

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!

More information on the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga and to read free previews online is available at www.ShojoBeat.com.

POKÉMON Holiday Selections Include:

THE COMPLETE POKÉMON POCKET GUIDE BOX SET • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages • MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN • Available Now!

Over 500 pages of Pokémon! From Abra to Zubat--Catch 'Em All Here! The complete guide to over 490 Pokémon! Fully illustrated and totally comprehensive, this two-volume set features one Pokémon per page, with descriptions and stats, including Abilities, Moves and Evolution. Portable, practical and bursting with information, this pocket guide is all you need to catch 'em all! Plus there's a bonus poster featuring Shaymin on one side and Arceus on the other!

POKÉMON DIAMOND & PEARL ADVENTURE!, Vol. 8 • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages • MSRP: $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN • Available Now!

A Pokémon Showdown! If Hareta and his new rival Koya can't agree on how to rescue Cyrus and a group of mind-controlled Pokémon, they might never get saved! Then, Koya is attacked by a long-lost Pokémon friend... And when Hareta finally gets his chance to battle the Legendary Pokémon Giratina, two unexpected allies arrive to fight by our hero's side! This is the thrilling series finale!

POKÉMON ADVENTURES, Vol. 10 • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages • MSRP: $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN • Available December 7th

A New Adventure Begins! In order to assist Professor Oak's research, a young Trainer, Crystal, hits the streets of Cherrygrove City with a new Pokédex in hand! Her goal is to catch all kinds of Pokémon! And what will happen when the
Legendary Pokémon Suicune awakens?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA Holiday Selections Include:

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE PHANTOM HOURGLASS • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages • MSRP: $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN • Available Now!

Don’t miss the final volume of the hit ZELDA series! Link's friend Tetra is taken prisoner by a ghost ship, and Link falls overboard when he tries to save her. When he wakes up, he finds himself embarked on another fantastic quest! The discovery of the Phantom Hourglass sets Link on a journey to rescue Tetra, find the Sand of Hours and break the curse on the Temple of the Ocean King. Come aboard with Link for an amazing adventure on the high seas!

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ACF 774: "Cast me if you can" screening in San Francisco, December 10-19, 2010

Image copyright: Cast me if you can © Dream On Productions

VIZ CINEMA PRSENTS THE BAY AREA THEATRICAL PREMIERE
OF CHARMING JAPANESE ROMANTIC COMEDY

Cast me if you can

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Love Story Between Two Unlikely Characters
Is Treated With Savvy And Sophistication By Director Atsushi Ogata

Film Opens At VIZ Cinema In December

VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, presents Cast me if you can, a charming romantic comedy written and directed by Atsushi Ogata, for a special Bay Area Limited Theatrical Release from Friday, December 10th to Sunday, December 19th, following its popular recent theatrical run in Japan this past October. (The film, Ogata's first feature, was also shown at Japan Society in New York this past September 25th.) Tickets and screening times for the San Francisco theatrical run are available at: http://www.vizcinema.com/.

Rated #1 film by PIA magazine's audience survey the opening day in Japan, Cast me if you can tells the story of Hiroshi, a perpetual supporting actor, always mistaken for others and living in the shadow of his famous playwright father, who longs to be a leading man. Hiroshi gets his big break when he is cast in a Woody Allen remake, but a series of misadventures and a chance encounter with his muse Aya, herself an aspiring actress, turns his world upside down. Hiroshi falls for Aya head over heels and struggles to play the lead in his own life.

Premiering at the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival in June, Cast me if you can also screened at festivals in California, New York, Indiana, Korea and India, won prizes for Best Title Sequence and Best Original Score in Los Angeles, and has also been adapted into a novel and published in Japan by Takeshobo Co. Ltd.

Image copyright: Cast me if you can © Dream On Productions

Featured as “Japan’s answer to Woody Allen” in Metropolis Magazine, globetrotting comedy director Atsushi Ogata combines wit, humor, romance and family relations, in collaboration with veteran Japanese star actors Toru Masuoka, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masahiko Tsugawa, Keiko Matsuzaka, and Emoto Akira, and an international crew (seasoned co-writer Akane Shiratori, award-winning composer Jessica de Rooij, Dutch design company United 135, New York based post-production company Cineric, Inc. , producers Eric Nyari and Eriko Miyagawa), to present a romantic comedy which transcends national and cultural borders. Cast me if you can is Ogata's feature film debut.

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.

About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com.

ACF 773: XAM'D Collection 2 now on sale in DVD & Blu-Ray editions from Section 23


Section23 Films has announced the 2nd release of the latest hit series from Studio Bones. The final 13 episodes of XAM'D are now available on both DVD and Blu-Ray from Section23 client Sentai Filmworks.

Stone Cold Mecha Action!

XAM'D COLLECTION 2
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

XAM'D COLLECTION 2 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: Get ready for a second collection of awesome mecha action with the anime hit XAM'D! Akiyuki isn't the only one who's become possessed by the mysterious power that is Xam'd. Seems his friend Furuichi is also filled with the dangerous energy. But while Akiyuki tries to harness it, his friend seems hell-bent on letting the Xam'd control his every dangerous move. There are more powerful and dangerous Xam'ds working in every action-packed episode! So don't miss XAM'D, the high-flying, heavy-armored action-adventure takes mecha anime to a whole new level!

Friday, November 12, 2010

ACF 772: Special Event - "Summer Wars" at Asia Society, NY, November 20, 2010

SUMMER WARS
English Language Premiere
Recommended ages 9 to adult
When: Sat, Nov 20 - 1:00pm
Where: Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)

"Spectacular! Visionary! Mind-Bending! Staggering!" - Variety

"Dazzling! Gorgeous! Hosoda is the best storyteller working within the animated
medium in Japan - and possibly the world!" - Twitch

OFFICIAL 2011 OSCAR SUBMISSION - BEST ANIMATED FEATURE!

Kenji is a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job - passing himself off as Natsuki's boyfriend for four days during her grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.

This "intriguingly intelligent" cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, with the amazing world of Oz as the highlight. Like the Internet as conceived by pop artist Haruki Murakami, Oz is a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears, and a bursting rainbow of colors.

This event is expected to sell out. To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

Event tickets include admission to Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool. With influences ranging from anime to The Ramones, neo-pop artist Yoshitomo Nara has acheived rock-star status in Japan. This inventive and user-friendly art exhibit is perfect for young people and museum-phobes alike - and is recommended by Time Out New York Kids.

Here is the Nara review in the New York Times.

ACF 771: Yoshinori Natsume's manga "Kurozakuro" now available from VIZ

KUROZAKURO © 2004 Yoshinori NATSUME/Shogakukan

A BULLIED HIGH SCHOOL KID IS IN FOR A WILD ADVENTURE
IN NEW MANGA SERIES KUROZAKURO

Be Careful Who You Bully Because They Might Be An Ogre!

VIZ Media recently released award-winning artist Yoshinori Natsume’s manga (graphic novel) series KUROZAKURO. The new series, offered under the Shonen Sunday imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

Mikito Sakurai is tired of being a punching bag for all the delinquents on campus. But what can he do? By nature he's a gentle and easygoing high school student. That all changes the night he swallows a mysterious orb and meets Zakuro, a strange kid who promises to grant his most heartfelt desire. "When you wake up," says the pint-sized apparition, "you'll be stronger and better than a human."

“The kids who bully Mikito are in for a rude awakening when he starts displaying new, violent instincts after he swallows the orb,” says Andy Nakatani, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief, Shonen Sunday. “Anyone who has ever been bullied will be able to relate to Mikito and will enjoy the wild and unpredictable adventure in KUROZAKURO. But beware, because becoming the new strongest boy on campus isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you might be turning into an ogre with a taste for human flesh!“

Manga artist Yoshinori Natsume is the creator of TOGARI (also published by VIZ Media, rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) and BATMAN DEATH MASK from DC Comics.

More information on KUROZAKURO and other Shonen Sunday titles is available at ShonenSunday.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ACF 770: The Japanese Wife to be shown at School of Visual Arts on November 13, 2010

The Japanese Wife
Directed by Aparna Sen
With Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Chigasu Takaku,
Mousumi Chatterjee, and Rudranil Ghosh
India, 2009, 105 minutes
NY Premiere
In English, Bengali, and Japanese (with English subtitles)
When: Saturday, November 13, 6:00 PM
Where: SVA Theatre 2 (Beatrice)
333 West 23rd Street, New York City

Director Aparna Sen and lead actor Rahul Bose will be in attendance.

A delicate – and improbable love story about three gentle and shy souls. Snehamoy, a school teacher in the beautiful Sunderbans, writes letters to Miyage, a sweet shy Japanese girl in Yokohama. Over these letters, they fall in love and get married despite having never met. Sandhya, a widow, takes refuge in Snehamoy’s home and is soon always by his side, bringing a piquant twist to this home in the Sunderbans, and the love between Snehamoy and Miyage. Will Sandhya find her solace with Snehamoy? Or will life finally unite Snehamoy and Miyage?

TICKETS
$15 / $12 Japan Society members.
PLEASE ENTER the following code to obtain the discount: MIAACBRK

To order tickets online, click here.

This screening is part of the 10th Annual Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival.