New York, NY — Japan Society confirms its lineup for the third annual JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film. Running June 30-July 12, the festival presents 18 feature length films, many never-before seen in the World, U.S. or NY, in addition to several filmmaker Q&As; and special events. As in previous years, JAPAN CUTS collaborates with the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which co-presents 9 films between July 1-5.
JAPAN CUTS is the only large-scale annual film festival in North America celebrating the latest films from Japan, ranging from blockbusters and art-house hits to cutting-edge independents and innovative animations. Highlights in 2009 include the final installment of Takeshi Kitano’s deeply personal trilogy about an artist’s dilemma, Achilles and the Tortoise; the much-anticipated 4-hour hentai (pervert) epic Love Exposure (dir. Sion Sono); the controversial cop-crime-action flick Confessions of a Dog (dir. Gen Takahashi) held from release for four years after its completion; Halfway (dir. Eriko Kitagawa), produced by coming-of-age film master Shunji Iwai; and the sci-fi, time travel romantic comedy Cyborg She (dir. Kwak Jae-Yong).
The festival presents a number of exclusive Q&As; with filmmakers and actors, including Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Eiji Okuda, Sion Sono, Gen Takahashi, the duo UrumaDelvi, and Momoko Mieda, who hosts a special conversation in memory of late director Jun Ichikawa.
Special public events include two post-screening themed celebrations. The Exposure Party follows the Love Exposure (July 3), and the Cyborg Party following Cyborg She (July 11) encourages patrons to come as their favorite human-robot hybrid. In addition, independent filmmakers from the U.S. and Japan, Kenneth Eng and Kazuyoshi Kumakiri take part in the panel discussion co-presented with DCTV, How to Make a Film in Japan & Beyond (July 9).
This year JAPAN CUTS spotlights UrumaDelvi, the artistic duo behind the hugely popular animated music video The Bottom Biting Bug, with a series selection of the duo’s short animations, including world premiere English versions of The Bottom Biting Bug and Sumiko: Who Do You Think you Are? UrumaDelvi also provides the original JAPAN CUTS 2009 festival trailer.
Japanese cinema today is reaching new heights of critical and popular success, in one of the most dynamic and thriving film industries outside of Hollywood. Since 2006 over 400 Japanese films have been released theatrically in Japan every year (as reported by The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan), with domestic films taking in 50% of Japan’s box office revenues. JAPAN CUTS promises U.S. audiences their first taste of the most talked about Japanese films from 2008 and 2009.
General admission tickets are $12/$8 Japan Society members. Special event screenings of Love Exposure (July 3) and Cyborg She (July 11) are $16/$12 including open-bar after party. The July 9 panel discussion How to Make a Film in Japan & Beyond is $15 / $12 IFP, Shooting People, NYWIFT and WMM members / $10 Japan Society & DCTV members. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.
JAPAN CUTS 2009 SCHEDULE
Crime or Punishment?!? (Tsumi toka batsu toka)
Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 pm & Saturday, July 11 at 12 pm
2008, 110 min., 35mm. Directed by Keralino Sandorovich. With Riko Narumi, Kento Nagayama and Sakura Ando. International Premiere.
Wednesday, July 1 at 6:30 pm & Friday, July 3 at 4 pm
2008, 115 min., 35mm. Directed by Hajime Kadoi. With Kaoru Kobayashi, Hidetoshi Nishijima and Nene Otsuka. NY Premiere.
The Magic Hour
Wednesday, July 1 at 9 pm & Sunday, July 5 at 12 pm
2008, 136 min., 35mm. Directed by Koki Mitani. With Koichi Sato, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu and Haruka Ayase. NY Premiere.
Thursday, July 2 at 6:15 pm
All Around Us (Gururi no koto)
Thursday, July 2 at 8:45 pm & Sunday, July 5 at 2:45 pm
2008, 140 min., 35 mm. Directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With Tae Kimura, Lily Franky and Akira Emoto. NY Premiere.
Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi)
Friday, July 3 at 6:15 pm & Tuesday, July 7 at 6:30 pm
Q&A; with director Sion Sono at both screenings, and July 3 followed by the Exposure Party
2008, 237 min., 35mm. Directed by Sion Sono. With Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima and Sakura Ando. NY Premiere.
20th Century Boys: Chapter One (20 seiki shonen dai 1 sho)
Saturday, July 4 at 11:45 am
20th Century Boys: Chapter Two–The Last Hope (20 seiki shonen dai 2 sho – Saigo no kibo)
Saturday, July 4 at 2:30 pm
2008, 142 min. and 139 min., 35mm. Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. With Toshiaki Karasawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa and Airi Taira. NY Premieres.
Sunday, July 5 at 5:30 pm
2009, 126 min., HDcam. Directed by Shusuke Kaneko. With Hikari Mitsushima, Stephanie and Mitsuhiro Oikawa. North American Premiere
Be Sure to Share (Chanto tsutaeru)
Sunday, July 5 at 8:15 pm
Followed by a Q&A; with director Sion Sono and actor Eiji Okuda.
2009, 109 min., 35mm. Directed by Sion Sono. With Eiji Okuda, Akira and Ayumi Ito. World Premiere.
Achilles and the Tortoise (Akiresu to kame)
Monday, July 6 at 6:30 pm & Sunday, July 12 at 1:45 pm
2008, 119 min., 35mm. Directed by Takeshi Kitano. With Beat Takeshi, Kanako Higuchi, Yurei Yanagi and Kumiko Aso. NY Premiere.
Monday, July 6 at 9 pm & Sunday, July 12 at 7 pm
2009, 85 min., 35mm. Directed by Eriko Kitagawa. With Kii Kitano, Masaki Okada and Takao Osawa. International Premiere.
Confessions of a Dog (Pochi no kokuhaku)
Thursday, July 9 at 7 pm & Saturday, July 11 at 2:15 pm
Featuring a Q&A; with director Gen Takahashi
2008, 195 minutes, DVcam. Directed by Gen Takahashi. With Shun Sugata, Hironobu Nomura, Harumi Inoue and Hajime Ide. International Premiere.
Panel Discussion: How to Make a Film in Japan & Beyond
Thursday, July 9, 7:30pm-9:30pm
Panelists: Directors Kenneth Eng, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, producer Keiko Kusakabe and more! Co-presented with DCTV).
Ain’t No Tomorrows (Oretachi ni asu wa naissu)
Friday, July 10 at 6:30 pm
2008, 79 min., Digibeta. Directed by Yuki Tanada. With Tokio Emoto, Yuya Endo, Tomorowo Taguchi and Sakura Ando. North American Premiere.
Non-ko (Nonko 36 sai–kajitetsudai)
Friday, July 10 at 8:15 pm & Sunday, July 12 at 4:15 pm
Q&A; with director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
2008, 105 min., 35mm. Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri. With Maki Sakai, Gen Hoshino, Shingo Tsurumi and Kanji Tsuda. NY Premiere.
UrumaDelvi Collected Shorts
Saturday, July 11 at 6:15 pm
Q&A; and animation-making demonstration with UrumaDelvi
Total running time: approx. 50 min.
Cyborg She (Boku no kanojo wa saibogu)
Saturday, July 11 at 8:00 pm
Featuring a post-screening “Cyborg Party”
2008, 120 min., 35mm. Directed by Kwak Jae-Yong. With Haruka Ayase and Keisuke Koide. NY Premiere.
Buy a Suit (Sutsu wo kau)
Sunday, July 12 at 12 pm
Followed by a conversation with actress Momoko Mieda
2008, 47 min., HDcam. Directed by Jun Ichikawa. With Yukiko Sunahara, Sabakichi and Momoko Mieda. U.S. Premiere.
The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), runs June 19-July 5, 2009. Films are co-presented with Japan Society’s JAPAN CUTS from July 1-5, during the opening weekend of JAPAN CUTS. To learn more, visit www.subwaycinema.com. Contact Grady Hendrix at 917-405-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details about the NYAFF.