With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

ACF 1214: International Premiere of Thailand’s BOXING BOYS!

World’s first non-verbal Thai kickboxing performance
blends martial arts with street dance

The world’s first non-verbal Thai kickboxing performance, blending martial arts with street dance, physical comedy and romance, recently opened at Singapore’s 1942-seat Esplanade Theatre. The Singapore season marks the show’s first bow after its critically acclaimed world premiere in Thailand earlier this year.

Conceptualized, directed and co-choreographed by Ekachai Uekrongtham, celebrated Thai director of the award-winning film Beautiful Boxer and the hit musical Chang & Eng, Boxing Boys! is an inventive live theatre performance that does not rely on words but uses visual, physical and musical elements of the production to tell a story of how two young men – a robust professional kickboxer and a mischievous street dancer – fight to win over the younger sister of a Muay Thai Master.

The 17-strong cast of Boxing Boys! comprises real-life Thai kickboxing champions, award-winning street dancers, sports champs and martial arts experts culled from extensive nation-wide auditions. These include Pongsiri Bunluewong, winner of three Equestrian Gold Medals from the SEA Games and Asian Games; Samran Malaithaisong, Thai kickboxing champion who’s recently been named “Star Kickboxer” by Muay Siam Magazine; Asanee Suwan, kickboxing champ and Thai ‘Oscar’ winner for Best Actor from Beautiful Boxer; Pakasit Luxsiri, 6-time winner of National Thai Sword Fighting Competitions; Assanai Yungyuen, a Taekwondo instructor who holds a Black Belt and has won numerous National Taekwondo Contests; and Thiniwat Tonglue, winner of the recent Singha Battle of the Year Thailand and the 11th Phrasumain Anniversary Krumping Battle.

The choreography for Boxing Boys!, co-created by one of Thailand’s leading choreographers Kanyarat Napasab and Uekrongtham, confronts as well as blends Thai martial arts and traditional Thai dance with street dance like B-Boying, Krumping, Popping and Locking as well as contemporary dance and body percussion. The extensive fight choreography in the show is crafted by Master Sane Tubthimtong, one of the world’s most revered Muay Thai Masters. Emphasizing on real and raw body attacks and contacts, the fight sequences are explosive yet artful - featuring ancient Muay Thai moves rarely seen these days. In addition to kickboxing sequences, the show also incorporates a war scene showcasing sword-fighting sequences between Thai and Burmese warriors – leading up to the very moment when Muay Thai was born.

Boxing Boys' vast musical landscape features original compositions penned by Papassilp Kitawongwat, Thai ‘Oscar’ winner for Best Original Score from Yamada; and Pacharapong Chantapoon, one of most sought after composers and arrangers for musical theatre. The inspired gamut of musical styles in the show range from traditional Thai music to Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Electro, Percussion-based, New Age, Classical, Opera and World Music. Sound design is specially created for the show by Nakorn Kositpaisarn, winner of Asian Film Award for Best Sound Design for Warlords starring Jet Li.

Boxing Boys! was critically acclaimed when it had its world premiere in Bangkok earlier this year. Bangkok Post says “Juxtaposition is the charm of the show” and describes Boxing Boys! as “a non-stop joy ride of fun”. It also says the show’s use of music “creates multiple layers of profound meanings”. Season Magazine says Boxing Boys! “harmonizes combat art with dance moves impeccably” and praises the show for its “breathtaking fight sequences which are a thrill to watch.” The Hindu says the live performance is “studded with music, dance and pulsating action” while Prestige Magazine describes it as “a rich cultural potpourri… a show that sizzles with six-pack bodies and high voltage energy.” Kom Chad Luek Newspaper says “this non-verbal performance communicates through the elegance and universality of body language.” It also applauds the show for “revealing the aesthetics and exquisite beauty of Thai kickboxing.”

Boxing Boys! is a Scenario Thailand production executive produced by Takonkiet Viravan whose Broadway credits as Producer include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe and Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes. The International Premiere of Boxing Boys! in Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre is presented by MediaCorp VizPro International. Negotiations are now underway for the show to tour internationally commencing in 2012.

ACF 1213: World premiere of "Here Now" by WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company at MAD

 "Here Now"
WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company
When: Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5
7:00 PM both evenings
Where: The Theater at MAD
Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Jerome and Simona CHazen Building
2 Columbus Circle, NYC
$25 general / $15 MAD members and students

Exploring the turbulence of human emotions, Brooklyn based WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company will present the world premiere of "Here Now." In collaboration with composer Marco Cappelli and filmmaker Anna Kiraly, Young Soon Kim choreographed the work by weaving together panoramic video images of wild rivers and Manhattan streets, original music performed on guitars and fluid dramatic movement. In this way, she and her collaborators showcase the ability of multidisciplinary dance to convey the complexities of human experience.

Click here to purchase tickets, or call 1.800.838.3006
For more information, visit MAD’s Web site.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

ACF 1212: First deluxe 3-in-1 volume of "X" coming November 8th


Manga Powerhouse CLAMP Delivers
A Prophetic Vision Of The End Of The World
That Ponders Man’s Biology, Ethics And Ideals

VIZ Media, has announced the upcoming release of a deluxe collector’s edition for X, the apocalyptic action epic from the internationally renowned manga (graphic novel) creative team of CLAMP. X 3-in-1 Edition, Volume 1, debuts on November 8th, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

Each of VIZ Media’s X releases bundles three complete manga volumes and features 24 pages of gorgeous, full-color illustrations never before published outside Japan! The pages are also printed in their original right-to-left reading order and presented in the highest quality.

As X (previously released in the United States as X/1999) opens, Kamui Shiro is a young man followed by mystery. He was taken from Tokyo by his mother while still a child and had to leave behind his dearest friends, including the gentle Kotori and her brother Fuma, following a terrible incident that claimed their mother's life. Returning to Tokyo following his mother's death, Kamui is a changed young man – moody and distant to his old friends, yet determined to protect them from the dark forces that swirl around him. It turns out that he is the nexus of a great cataclysm to come, and the inheritor to a strange destiny that could decide the fate of the entire world.

X is the newest series to join our library deluxe collector’s edition manga titles, and its gripping story will resonate with a wide array of readers,” says Andy Nakatani, Editorial Director. “The manga creators of CLAMP forged new ground by blending the intricate artwork characteristic of the shojo, or girls, manga genre with the graphic action more often found in ‘seinen,’ or manga aimed at older male readers. This edition is a great way for fans to revisit the series in a new way, and is also an entry point for new readers to discover the riveting and sometimes controversial manga works created by CLAMP!”

CLAMP is an artistic team composed of four women – Satsuki Igarashi, Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Nanase Ohkawa – whose works are loved my millions of fans worldwide. They debuted with the manga series, RG Veda, in 1989 and went on to create such internationally bestselling series as X/1999, Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer, Chobits, xxxHolic and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, all of which have been adapted into popular TV anime series. In addition to manga, CLAMP also produces illustrations, book designs, screenplays, and essays.

More information on X and other VIZ Media manga titles is available at www.viz.com/manga.

ACF 1211: 2nd Annual KAFFNY URBAN at Big Screen Plaza on November 13th, 2011

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2011, 3:00-8:00 PM

For its 2nd annual installment, Korean American Film Festival New York (KAFFNY) is proud to partner again with Big Screen Plaza to present kaffny URBAN, an exciting program of new film, video, media art, animation and live music featuring local and international artists and filmmakers. Located near NYC’s Koreatown on 30th Street and 6th Avenue, the widely popular Big Screen Plaza is an outdoor area boasting a 30-foot LED screen behind the Eventi Hotel. kaffny URBAN takes place on November 13th, 2011 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Program highlights include a groundbreaking video work by Nam June Paik celebrating Fluxus as part of Performa Biennale 2011’s Fluxus Weekend in collaboration with White Box; video by Korean multimedia artist Lumpens; short films by IFP emerging filmmaker Thomas Hyungkyun Kim and by popular Korean actress Ku Hye Sun; recent film and video by emerging as well critically acclaimed filmmakers and artists Gina Kim, U-Ram Choe and Helen Park as well as previews of short and feature length films to be featured at the 6th Annual KAFFNY 2012 Film Festival. Live music will include performances by Misnomer(s), Stone Forest Ensemble, Mobius Collective and Vong Pak. DJ Spooky shall host the event and perform with highly acclaimed violinist Eugenia Choi. Visit www.kaffny.com/urban for the complete program schedule and updates.

Attendees will have a variety of dining and drinking options including FoodParc, a luxury gourmet food court opening up to the plaza, and overlooking the plaza Bar Basque offers an eclectic menu and direct views of the outdoor screen. Momofuku Milk Bar will provide a special treat as well as a signed copy of the new Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.

kaffny URBAN serves as a platform for emerging talent and established artists to gain exposure to new diverse communities in New York City and cross promote current projects.

Free admission. Open to public and for all ages.

Donations at door are tax deductible.

For more information about the event, visit http://kaffny.com/urban/.

kaffny URBAN is presented in association with Big Screen Plaza, Performa 2011, White Box and Electronic Arts Intermix.

About KAFFNY (Korean American Film Festival New York)
KAFFNY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and artist-run volunteer organization creating an innovative independent platform for other fellow artists in New York City and abroad. KAFFNY was originally founded in 2006 as an international independent film festival in New York City, starting from Korean American stories. The organization has since evolved to incorporate other art mediums and viewpoints, to further integrate the Korean American perspective and bridge

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ACF 1210: VIZ Media announces THE LEGEND OF ZELDA Manga Box Set

  Just in Time to Celebrate Video Game’s 25th Anniversary,
Collection Features Complete Set of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA 
Manga Volumes In A Keepsake Box

VIZ Media will delight gamers and manga (graphic novel) fans nationwide with the release of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA Manga Box Set, just in time to celebrate the series’ 25th Anniversary. The set, available in stores now, is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, includes all 10 volumes of the fantasy action adventure series as well as a full color poster, and carries an MSRP of $69.99 U.S. / $80.99 CAN. 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, and is the best selling role-playing, puzzle-solving, action title for Nintendo video game platforms. More information on the history of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA and its anniversary is available at: www.zelda.com/25th.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga series takes place in the mystical land of Hyrule, where three spiritual stones hold the key to the Triforce. Whoever holds them will control the world. A boy named Link sets out on a quest to deliver the Emerald, the spiritual stone of the forest, to Zelda, Princess of the land of Hyrule. The journey will be long and perilous, and Link will need all his skill and courage to defeat evil. The battle for Hyrule and the Sacred Realm has begun!

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA Manga Box Set bundles Link’s entire magical quest into a single collection that is a must-read for any true fan of the classic video game,” says Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director, Children’s Publishing. “The series wonderfully transforms the game’s fast-paced action into a linear storyline, and has been a consistent bestseller since VIZ Media published the first volume in 2008. This new box set is an eye-catching way to revisit the entire series and commemorate the 25th Anniversary of this groundbreaking game title." 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga series was created by Akira Himekawa, which is the pen name of two women known simply as A. Honda and S. Nagano. The pair have created nine manga adventures featuring Link and the popular video game world of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, including Ocarina of Time, Oracle of Seasons and FOUR SWORDS. Their most recent work, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, was serialized in Japan in the kid’s magazine Shogaku Rokunensei, published by Shogakukan.

For more information on the THE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga series, visit: www.viz.com/the-legend-of-zelda.

ACF 1209: IN FOCUS: FORTISSIMO FILMS to feature 10 Asian films

Last Life in the Universe (Thailand)
In Focus: Fortissimo Films is an upcoming series that will screen at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from November 10-21, 2011. Ten of the eleven films are from Asian countries, including All About Lily Chou Chou (Japan), Devils on the Doorstep (China), and Tears of the Black Tiger (Thailand). The one non-Asian film is Yes Nurse! No Nurse! from The Netherlands.

An early, visionary force in the global independent film movement, Fortissimo Films now has offices in several entertainment capitals and maintains an expansive reach within the international independent film community, nurturing relationships with talented directors and producers throughout the world. Fortissimo has played an especially important role in the international expansion of Asian cinema, helping to introduce a multitude of talented and innovative artists. The company’s willingness to champion films that confront tough political and artistic issues is evident in the titles in this exhibition, which stretch across many territories to represent two decades of production, sales, and distribution.

In addition to supporting scores of notable films from Hong Kong and China—from Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together (Hong Kong) to Tian Zhuangzhuang’s Springtime in a Small Town (China) and Zhang Yuan’s Beijing Bastards (China/Hong Kong)—the company has helped to develop titles from Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and, in particular, Thailand, with filmmakers such as Wisit Sasanatieng and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (both of whom are represented in this series).

Full information about the films to be shown, the screening schedule, and ordering tickets can be found here.

In Focus: Fortissimo Films was organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film at MoMA.

Friday, October 28, 2011

ACF 1208: "MASHIROIRO SYMPHONY ~ The Color of Lovers" licensed by Sentai Filmworks

Sentai Filmworks announces the acquisition of MASHIROIRO SYMPHONY ~ The Color of Lovers, the anime adaptation of the hit game franchise from visual novel developer Pallete, which has already spawned three manga spinoffs and a series of drama and music CDs. Produced by Manglobe, the 12 episode series will be scripted by Team RIKKA and directed by Eiji Suganuma (Sasameki Koto, Ninja Cadets.)  Adaption of the intricate original designs by Tsubasu Izumi (Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka, ef: a tale of memories) will be handled by Toshie Kawamura (The World God Only Knows, Yes! Precure 5, Precure All-Stars,) who will also serve as the animation director. 

MASHIROIRO SYMPHONY ~ The Color of Lovers will be available digitally soon.  The home video release will follow next year on subtitled DVD.

Synopsis: When boys suddenly get into places where they’ve never been allowed before, some girls tend to get upset.  So when the decision is made to merge the elite Yuihime Girls' Private Academy and the coeducational Kagamidai Private Academy, everyone wants to take extra care in avoiding trouble while bringing the two Privates together.  Therefore, rather than just sticking the Kagamida boys into the Yuihime girls all at once, a plan is concocted in which a group of test males will be inserted into the Girls’ Private Academy first.

Thus it is that poor young Shingo finds himself being thrown as a sacrificial lamb to the lionesses of Yuihime, who aren’t exactly waiting for him with open arms.  Will Shingo manage to survive the estrogen soaked death pit that is Yuihime?  Can the girls learn to be more receptive to the boys?  And just how long until something involving panties will cause emotions to flare, sparks to fly and the battle of the sexes to explode?  It’s a desperate battle to turn discord into making sweet music together in MASHIROIRO SYMPHONY ~ The Color of Lovers!

ACF 1207: New yaoi manga line "SuBLime" launched by VIZ Media, Japan's Animate and Libre Publishing


North American Manga Publishing Powerhouse
Launches A Bold New Initiative
To Deliver Acclaimed Boys’ Love Titles Digitally
And In Print To An Eager Fan Base

VIZ Media has announced the launch of its highly anticipated new yaoi manga (graphic novel) line – SuBLime – which represents an innovative new partnership between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate) and Libre Publishing Co., Ltd. (Libre Publishing). 

This bold, global publishing initiative will present English-speaking fans everywhere with a broad selection of high quality titles. SuBLime will offer titles digitally worldwide on its dedicated web site at SuBLimeManga.com, with many available in Download-to-Own format, and selections in print also available in English-language editions worldwide. From the supernatural men of Naono Bohra’s tales of fantasy to the sexy actors portrayed in some of Youka Nitta’s best works, SuBLime will offer something for even the most discerning yaoi manga fan.

“The yaoi manga genre enjoys a sizeable and very passionate following, and the launch of SuBLime will give fans around the world an entirely new outlet that will deliver an exciting range of titles,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President of Publishing, VIZ Media. “We invite fans to join us as we prepare to bring some of the best new boys’ love manga titles to North America and beyond!” 

“I’m very excited to open the way to providing boys’ love manga to fans all over the world,” says Shingo Kunieda, Director of Animate's Overseas Division. “There are many wonderful yaoi manga titles released every month in Japan, and we know that fans want to read them as soon as possible. We are always moving forward to find new ways of doing business, and by partnering with VIZ Media, we can make yaoi fans happy and release boys’ love titles as quickly as possible!”

Toshiko Ohta, President of Libre Publishing, concurs, saying, “Libre’s dream is to bring our content to yaoi fans around the world. In partnership with VIZ Media, this is now a reality. We look forward to readers’ support for SuBLime!”

SuBLime’s first round of digital manga titles are scheduled to launch this December, and will feature LOVE PISTOLS Vol. 1, by Tarako Kotobuki, and the North American debut of DANNASAMA TO MITSUGETSUCHU Vol. 1, by Haruka Minami. January 2012 sees the debut of OUSAMA NO BED, by Sakae Kusama, and in February, SWEET POOL Vol. 1, by Nitro+CHiRAL. Additional new titles slated for 2012 include SHIZUKU HANABIRA RINGO NO KAORI Vols. 1 and 2 by Toko Kawai, DEVIL’S HONEY by Isaku Natsume, KEKKON ZENYA by Kou Fujisaki, ADULT TEACHER WA OSUKI? by Kiu Aion, and YOKUBOU NO SHIZUKU by You Higashino.

SuBLime’s first print titles are scheduled to be THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN, by Naono Bohra, and HACHIMITSU DARLING, by Norikazu Akira, which will both be released in Spring 2012, followed by PUNCH UP Vol. 1, by Shiuko Kano, and AITSU NO DAIHONMEI Vol. 1, by Suzuki Tanaka, to be released in the Summer of 2012.

For up-to-date news and release information, please visit the SuBLime website at www.SuBLimeManga.com, or follow SuBLime on Twitter at @SuBLimeManga and Facebook at facebook.com/SuBLimeManga.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ACF 1206: HATSUNE MIKU one-night-only special event set for 9 U.S. cities on November 10th, 2011

 World’s First Virtual Pop Idol Has Become
An International Music Sensation And
Will Be Featured In A Special Concert Film For Fans

Live Viewing Japan, a distribution company focused on bringing Japanese entertainment media to an international audience, has announced that it will stage a very special one-night-only Hatsune Miku event simultaneously in nine major U.S. cities on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 7:00pm (local time).

Hatsune Miku Live Party 2011 39's LIVE in SAPPORO (originally organized by 5bp Inc. in August, 2011) will screen a live concert performance of Hatsune Miku in movie theaters in select markets. More information about this exclusive one-night-only event is available here.

The cities that will host the Hatsune Miku event include:
Baltimore, MD                                  
Boston (Manchester), MA            
Chicago, IL                                       
Houston, TX                                     
Los Angeles, CA
Orange, CA                                                              
New York, NY – Two locations                                                                 
San Francisco/Bay Area, CA         
Seattle, WA                                      

“We’re very excited to present this unique Hatsune Miku experience for her U.S. fans,” says Live Viewing Japan Exective Director Hiroki Kotani. “Miku has captivated a global audience with a mix of catchy pop music and captivating technology-inspired visuals. Her popularity has opened an entirely new range of possibilities to blend a cute pop idol persona with technology and computer-created graphics. We invite fans to visit the Live Viewing Japan web link for more information and for specific movie theater event locations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Hatsune Miku perform!”

Pop idol Hatsune Miku, whose name means, “first sound of the future,” is a Vocaloid (meaning machine-made vocals) digital female avatar and the most popular of the Vocaloid Character Series software originally created by Crypton Future Media, Inc. using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 engine to create organic-sounding synthesized vocal tracks.

In Japan, Hatsune Miku is a major national phenomenon and has appeared in numerous popular video games and music videos. She’s also played several enthusiastic “concerts,” where she performs on stage projected as a 3D hologram and backed by a live band. Miku recently played her first live concert in the U.S. called, “MIKUNOPOLIS in LOS ANGELES,” at the Nokia Theatre for the 2011 Anime Expo, held this past July in Los Angeles, CA. The show sold out in only 4 hours, further underscoring the growing popularity she enjoys in North America. Hatsune Miku was also recently featured in a T.V. commercial for the Toyota Corolla.

Live Viewing Japan has seized on the growing global popularity of Hatsune Miku and has plans to screen her live concert film in several countries including France, Thailand and Brazil.

About Live Viewing Japan:
Live Viewing Japan is a Japanese-based media distribution company focused on bringing a variety of entertainment properties to a global theatre-going audience. More information on the company and its projects is available at: www.liveviewing.jp.

ACF 1205: BROKEN BLADE coming to Xfinity Top Picks in January 2012

Anime Network and Comcast are starting 2012 off with a bang, coming together to bring our fans a tale of war, magic, and ancient mecha: Broken Blade! An outcast from birth, Rygart Arrow is thrown into a situation he never wanted and forced to fight former friends as enemies. His new found ability to pilot an ancient golem, however, turns this life long outsider into the world's best hope of stopping a war that threatens to destroy them all! Broken Blade's six part film series will be available to rent on Xfinity Top Picks January 2012.
What: Broken Blade debuts on Xfinity Top Picks on Comcast
The Broken Blade six part film series will be available to rent in the Top Picks section only on Comcast. An exclusive Top Picks extra will also be included at release, available only to Comcast customers.
When: January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2012
WHERE: Xfinity OnDemand's Top Picks on Comcast
HOW: Just hit the ONDEMAND button on your remote and select the Top Picks menu to find all 12 episodes and free bonus content.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ACF 1204: Museum of Arts and Design presents EXTE: HAIR EXTENSIONS at 7:00 PM this Friday night

  Exte: Hair Extensions / Ekusute
Directed by Sion Sono

With Chiaki Kuriyama, Miku Sato, Megumi Sato
Japan, 2007, 108 minutes, Digital Projection
When: Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Where: The Museum of Arts and Design ("MAD")

2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Admission: $10 general / $7 members and students 

The Museum of Arts and Design's film program Sion Sono: The New Poet continues this Friday, October 27th with Exte: Hair Extensions.

Synopsis: In this horrific, comedic, and mesmerizing film, director Sion Sono explores the dark undercurrents in the superficial world of beauty. Starring Chiaki Kuriyama (who made her international debut in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 1 as Lucy Liu's bodyguard/yakuza schoolgirl, Gogo Yubari), Exte: Hair Extensions starts with the mysterious delivery of human hair along with a dead girl with a shaved head to a beauty salon. Her corpse miraculously starts growing hair, which is then sold as hair extensions to young women—who are then found murdered. A truly unique horror tale as only Sono could tell it.

Tickets here or call 1.800.838.3006.

Recently yours truly became a co-host on the VCinema Podcast. I suggested Exte as the film to be reviewed on my first show. It's Episode 035 and you can access it here. Our discussion of the film begins at around the 47:08 minute mark.

I've seen Exte three times to date and have really enjoyed it each time. I give it a minimum ACF Rating of 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended.

For those of you who can't make it to Friday's screening, despair not. Exte under the title Hair Extensions, is available in a fine double disc DVD set from Media Blasters. It can be purchased at Amazon.com and elsewhere.

And in a final related news item, director Sion Sono (who will be 50 on December 18th) and 30 year old actress Megumi Kagurazaka are reportedly going to marry before the end of this year. Megumi has been in three of Sono's films, the first being 2010's Cold Fish. Read more about the planned nuptials at Tokyograph.com by clicking here.

ACF 1203: THE WORLD ONLY GOD KNOWS licensed by Sentai Filmworks

Sentai Filmworks has acquired the eagerly anticipated anime series THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS, which was first revealed to massive applause at the 2011 Anime Weekend Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on September 30, 2011.  Based on the super-hit manga by Tamiki Wakaki, the 24 episode series is helmed by Trigun and Flame of Recca vet Shigehito Takayanagi, who is directing from scripts supervised by Read Or Die creator Hideyuki Kurata (Excel Saga, Kamichu) and character designs adapted from Wakaki’s originals by Akio Watanabe (SoulTaker, Nurse Witch Komugi-chan.)  Original music is provided by Transformers Armada composer Hayato Matsuo (Hellsing Ultimate, Streetfighter Alpha.)

THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS is currently available digitally.  DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the first 12 episodes are scheduled for January 2012, with Season 2 to follow later in the year.

Synopsis: Keima Katsuragi can score with any girl he wants… provided that she’s not real.  A legendary master of Japanese “dating Sims,” often referred to by other players as the God Of Conquests, Keima is a classic nerd in real life and isn’t even all that interested in girls with more than two dimensions in the first place!  Unfortunately for Keima, his personal preferences cease to be of any importance when he accepts a challenge to what he THINKS is an internet game, only to discover that he’s actually made a deal with a demon!

And not just any demon, this is Elsie, a not particularly competent young female demon who’s been charged with recapturing runaway spirits that prefer to hide in girls hearts, where they can only be driven out by the girls falling in love.  Now Elsie’s got Keima by a collar and he’s got to get the girls or die trying!  Romance and dating are the highway to Hell in THE WORLD ONLY GOD KNOWS!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011). (dGenerate Films)
  Beijing Besieged by Waste
Directed by WANG Jiuliang
China, 2011, 72 minutes, Digibeta, English Subtitles
When: Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Where: Asian Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Asia Society NY's Visions of a New China documentary film series concludes this coming Saturday afternoon with this recently and timely look at the impact of waste on Beijing's environments.

Synopsis: With a population of about 20 million, the growing city of Beijing produces 30,000 tons of waste each day. Photographer/filmmaker Wang Jiuliang traveled around the city and visited 460 legal and illegal landfills from 2008 to 2010 to document the collection of garbage and excrement, the environmental calamity and the life cycles around these landfills, which include scavengers building a precarious livelihood, green spaces forming on top of waste, and livestock being fed trash. An informative and alarming portrait of urban ecology, the film has earned keen Chinese media coverage and the attention of government officials.

Interview with director WANG Jiuliang:

WANG Jiuliang was born in Anqiu, Shandong Province in 1976. He is a graduate of the Cinema-Television School at Communication University of China. Wang is also a photographer. Beijing Besieged by Waste accompanies a larger photography project.

Tickets here.

The Visions of a New China film series was curated by La Frances Hui and is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Foundations. Additional support is provided by the Center on U.S.-China Relations and New York State Council on the Arts.

ACF 1201: NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS added to Naruto movie marathon

Limited Time Marathon Celebrates Upcoming
DVD and Blu-ray Release of Latest Movie,
And Includes All Five NARUTO Movies

To celebrate the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS (in stores October 25th), and the birth month of the Naruto character, VIZ Media has just announced the addition of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS (dubbed) to the special NARUTO movie marathon on VIZAnime.com, the company’s own website for free anime, as well as on the streaming content provider HULU (www.Hulu.com).

A total of 5 feature films featuring the spunky ninja are now available to stream from both sites thru October 23rd. The marathon includes NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, NARUTO THE MOVIE 2: LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL, NARUTO THE MOVIE 3: GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM (all movies rated TV-14), available with either subtitled or English dubbed dialogue tracks. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN:THE MOVIE is also available dubbed on both streaming sites.

In NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS (rated TV-14), a group of mysterious flying ninja have arrived from overseas to launch a sudden attack against the Hidden Leaf Village, leaving behind a wake of destruction. The group is revealed to be the “Sky Ninja” from the Land of Sky, a nation thought to have been destroyed by the Hidden Leaf Village long ago. To save their village, Naruto and his friends set out to stop this new threat. During the course of the mission, Naruto crosses paths with Sasuke, his friend who has parted ways from the Leaf Village.

The NARUTO movie marathon may be accessed from thee dedicated site at: www.VIZAnime.com/naruto-movie-marathon/. More information on NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS is available at www.Naruto.com and www.VIZ.com/naruto-shippuden-movie-video.

Monday, October 24, 2011

ACF 1200: Section23 Films announces its December 2011 release slate

ROZEN MAIDEN Available on December 6th
Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its December slate of releases.

The ROZEN MAIDEN package available on December 6th will include the original 12 episode series and the 12 episode sequel series TRÄUMEND. Releasing separately will be the two made-for-video episodes known as ROZEN MAIDEN: OUVERTÜRE, which have never been released in North America. The popular series will be released on DVD by Section23 client, Sentai Filmworks.

December 2011 product details in order of release:

Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         650 min.
Street Date:      12/6/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98

SYNOPSIS:  Remember those nightmares you had as a child, where your toys came to life?  That's the reality that Jun Sakurada suddenly finds himself living in when Shinku arrives in a box.  She's the first of several magical Rozen Maidens to invade the secluded life he has made for himself since refusing to attend school anymore and living the life of a hermit.  Worse, he finds himself magically bound to Shinku, his life force powering hers, and she's not too crazy about the way he's been living his life.  Unfortunately, fixing everything that's wrong with Jun is going to have to take a back seat to making sure that Shinku survives the Alice Game, a competition that pits Rozen Maiden against Rozen Maiden for the prize of becoming a real girl, while the losers' life essence is drained and they become lifeless toys again.   Now, in order to win this deadly game, Jun and Shinku will have to find a way to work together.  But to do that they'll have to start trusting each other first!  Get ready for a whole new kind of 'guys and dolls' as 'action figure' takes on a new meaning in ROZEN MAIDEN - THE COMPLETE COLLECTION!   

Title:                 ROZEN MAIDEN OUVERTURE
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         50 min.
Street Date:      12/6/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $29.98

SYNOPSIS:  Shinku may be the foremost of Rozen's creations, but was she the first?  Prepare to hear the OTHER side of the story for the first time in an all new set of Rozen Maiden chronicles!  Journey back to 19th century London and the birth of the Rozen Maidens to witness the cruel and tragic origin of Rozen's first doll, and how, even when left  abandoned and unfinished , she still fought her own way to the Rosa Mystica and the Alice Game!   But leave what you think you know behind, for this is Souseiseki's story, and what she has to say may surprise you!  Prepare for an all new tale of Rozen Genesis in ROZEN MAIDEN: OUVERTÜRE!

Published by:    ADV Films
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      12/13/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $34.98

SYNOPSIS:  Destination is a state of mind. Travelers not only find themselves in a variety of locations and geographic phenomena, but they also bear witness to the whims of culture and the skewed effects of subtle circumstance. Kino is such a traveler. Sitting astride Hermes, an internal combustion companion, Kino searches for life’s answers, life’s questions, and the myriad of interpretations connected to them. A wielder of cutlery, firepower and a piercing tongue, Kino is ready to embark on a journey unlike any other. Drift along for the ride.

Published by:    ADV Films
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      12/20/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $34.98

SYNOPSIS:  Critics have described Elfen Lied as "weird," (Anime Planet), "surprisingly sadistic," (Gamers Edge), and "addictive"(Animesou).  No wonder, when you consider what makes this series hum!  Lucy, a beautiful young mutant, is bred by the military to be the ultimate weapon. Now, with government killers on her trail, the disposition of a five year old and a hair trigger for ultra violence, Lucy and her young friends must unravel the dark secret of her legacy before it's too late.

Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      12/20/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98

SYNOPSIS:  Life hasn't been fair to Koyomi Morishita.  Even though she's in high school, she's so short that everyone assumes she's still in grade school.  The boys and girls in her school tease her mercilessly, and she's not exactly graceful either.  On the other hand, she's still better off than Yumiko, who has a magician trying to kill her.  Or at least Koyomi WAS until their paths crossed!  Fortunately, salvation arrives in the form of master mage and graduate student Misa Anehara, who agrees to take Koyomi under her wing in learning the new style of magic, which breaks enchantment down into sequences of code.  That'll be quite a task, given that so far Koyomi's talent seems to consist of making washbasins randomly fall out of the sky.  But if it was easy, it wouldn't be magic, would it?   Get ready for a whole new kind of 'spell'ing lesson as Koyomi takes a desperately needed crash course in charm school in MODERN MAGIC MADE SIMPLE - The Complete Collection!

Title:                 HIMAWARI, TOO! SEASON 2 COLLECTION
Published by:    Maiden Japan
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      12/27/2011
Format:             DVD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98

SYNOPSIS:  Get ready for another wild and very untraditional trip down the Way of the Ninja as student kunoichi (female ninja) Himawari and her fellow ninjettes return for another set of insane lessons.  (Are they painful and embarrassing?  Have you ever seen a ninja 'lesson' that wasn't?) Of course, Himawari's a little older now, a little more experienced, so she'll be doing some 'teaching' of her own this time around.  But she STILL doesn't know what the connection between her teacher Hayato and the ninja who saved her life is!  Are they the same person or are things even more convoluted?  Himawari won't have much time to think on it, unfortunately, in between fighting alien menaces, bubblegum maniacs and some very, very bad broccoli!  Did we really say broccoli?  With plots as insane as this, will Himawari ever achieve her goal?  Unfortunately for her, the jury is still out in the complete collection of HIMAWARI TOO!!