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Film/Festivals – NY Asian Film Festival Review — SOUL MATE

An EXCELLENT Recommendation foe tonight’s #FSLC/#SubwayCinema screening!

 

 

Derek Tsang’s SOUL MATE is a wonderful film. The performances by the lead actresses playing July and Ansen are marvelous and capture you right from the start. The screenplay is smart and loaded with excitement and twists to the very end. Above all, it is a film about the power of love and friendship that endures and endures. Don’t miss it!

July 7, 2017 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, FILM, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/FESTIVALS — New York Asian Film Festival Returns 6/30 -7/16/17 *NYC

FSLC and Subway Cinema announce New York Asian Film Festival, June 30 – July 16

 

 

Jane © House in Seoul All Rights Reserved Courtesy of M-Line Distribution

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announced the complete lineup for the 16th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which will take place from June 30 to July 13 at the Film Society and July 14 to 16 at the SVA Theatre. North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema will showcase 56 feature films, including 3 International Premieres, 21 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, and 15 films making their New York City debuts. The festival will feature in-person appearances by more than 20 international filmmakers and celebrity guests from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Birdshot_1

This year, all three of NYAFF’s Gala screenings are brilliant reinventions of the thriller genre. The Opening Gala will be the International Premiere of Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius, the first Southeast Asian film to open the festival, with the director and stars in attendance. In this exhilarating high-school thriller, straight-A students Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) and Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul) stage a heist that will undermine the U.S. university entrance system after they lose their own scholarships. The Centerpiece Gala of the festival will be the North American Premiere of Mikhail Red’s Birdshot, a continuation of the festival programmers’ efforts to champion films from Southeast Asia, and the Philippines in particular. The Closing Gala is the U.S. Premiere of Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess, fresh from its Midnight screening in Cannes. The adrenaline-soaked action film stars Kim Ok-vin as a ruthless female assassin trained in China who starts a new life with South Korea’s Intelligence Agency.

Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno © OPOT Pictures; Courtesy of M-Line Distribution

New to NYAFF in 2017 is the Main Competition section, featuring seven diverse works by first or second-time directors that are all having their North American premieres at the festival. Competing are Bad Genius (Thailand), Birdshot (Philippines), A Double Life (Japan), The Gangster’s Daughter (Taiwan), Kfc (Vietnam), Jane (South Korea), and With Prisoners (Hong Kong). The competition jury will be announced at a later date, with winners revealed on the festival’s final night at Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 13.

Mad World

“We were seeking a range of original films from first-time directors, films that represent the diversity of filmmaking from Asia, stories that say something both very local and specific to their countries of origin and something very universal: we hope we achieved at least some of this with our inaugural competition selection, which includes films from seven countries/cities in the region in a broad variety of genres,” NYAFF executive director Samuel Jamier said. “It’s important for us to champion new filmmaking from Asia, and the diversity of film made there at a time when other festivals in North America seem to be reducing the size of their Asian lineups.”

Vanishing Time © Showbox

More now than ever, Hong Kong cinema is at the core of the festival’s programming: faithful to its Chinatown origins, this year’s edition celebrates the best filmmaking from the Special Administrative Region with a central Hong Kong Panorama section, commemorating the 20th anniversary of its establishment, with major support from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. Over the past two decades, Hong Kong cinema has continuously influenced and inspired many filmmakers in Asia and in the world. This year’s lineup proves the originality and excellence of its production is intact: from a powerful condemnation of life inside the territory’s juvenile detention centers (With Prisoners), to a tale of corruption and redemption set in the underbelly of 1960s Hong Kong (Dealer/Healer), the films bear testimony to the city’s rich cinema history.

Dealer Healer © Sil-Metropole Organisation

The core of the panorama will be a special (and first of its kind) focus on the exciting new generation of directors, titled Young Blood Hong Kong. As part of the 20th anniversary, the festival is looking to the future of Hong Kong cinema, rather than its past: these recent Hong Kong directors are working in various genres, tackling a range of social issues, and paying homage to the film traditions they grew up with, from tenement dramas to vampire comedies. Meanwhile, NYAFF continues to bring established, major filmmakers from the region: Lawrence Lau, who, along with Ann Hui, is one of Hong Kong’s best neorealist directors, will be introducing his star-studded crime action drama Dealer/Healer; the Panorama will spotlight the new generation from the region with guest filmmaker Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan with Mad World, Derek Hui with This Is Not What I Expected, and Alan Lo with Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Other films by first-time Hong Kong directors in this year’s lineup are Derek Tsang’s Soul Mate, Yan Pak-wing and Chiu Sin-hang’s Vampire Cleanup Department, and Andrew Wong’s With Prisoners.

Extraordinary Mission 4

The 2017 lineup also includes five LGBTQ-themed films: two dramas with transsexual protagonists, Naoko Ogigami’s Close-Knit from Japan, and Cho Hyun-hoon’s drama Jane from South Korea; two coming-of-age high-school youth dramas, Ahn Jung-min’s Fantasy of the Girls from South Korea, and Leste Chen’s 2006 Eternal Summer from Taiwan, which merits a second look a decade on; and Lee Sang-il’s wild and violent mystery thriller Rage, featuring Go Ayano (NYAFF 2016 Rising Star Asia awardee) as a homeless stranger invited into the home of a semi-closeted salaryman (Satoshi Tsumabuki) as his live-in-lover.

The Villainess - Courtesy of Well Go USA

Another highlight of this year’s festival are three films that celebrate Japan’s unique “Roman Porno” genre, each having their North American premieres: Aroused by Gymnopedies, Dawn of the Felines, and Wet Woman in the Wind. Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest film studio, is celebrating 45 years since they birthed the softcore Roman Porno genre (roman derives from the French word for novel). Invented to save a dying industry, they gave carte blanche to directors with minimal rules: keep it under 80 minutes with a sex scene every ten. This allowed for wild stream of consciousness works of both the highest and lowest caliber. Now, Nikkatsu has enlisted top contemporary talent for the Roman Porno Reboot Project, with these three filmmakers taking the provocative, envelope-pushing format to a whole new level.

Bad Genius © GDH 559

In addition to the festival’s screenings, the NYAFF awards a number of honorees each year, including this year’s recipients:

  • The 2017 NYAFF Lifetime Achievement Award goes to veteran Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fai, who will attend a three-film tribute, including Johnnie To’s Election, Longman Leung & Sunny Luk’s Cold War 2 and Tsui’s Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D. In a career spanning 35 years, Leung has worked with the iconic directors Li Han-hsiang, Wong Kar-wai, Stanley Kwan, and Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starred opposite the screen legends Jackie Chan, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Jet Li, and Fan Bingbing. Leung was arguably the first Hong Kong star to become an international heartthrob, in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Lover.
  • Our Star Asia Award recipient is Korean movie star Gang Dong-won, whose charisma and emotional investment in his performances gives his films a unique edge. His most iconic films include Lee Myung-se’s Duelist, Park Jin-pyo’s Voice of a Murderer, and Jang Hoon’s Secret Reunion. Last year, NYAFF presented two of his films, The Priests and A Violent Prosecutor, and in 2017, the festival will be joined by Gang to present a special screening of the magical fable Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned.

A Quiet Dream ©

  • The Screen International Rising Star Asia Award will be given to Thailand’s Chutimon “Aokbab” Chuengcharoensukying. The 21-year-old model, who is still a student at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, found fame last year in Thank You for Sharing, an eight-minute, viral short about cyber-bullying. The NYAFF is opening with her feature debut, Bad Genius, in which she stars as a high-school student who masterminds an ambitious heist of the American university entrance exam system. It’s a demanding role, in which her quick-witted character must navigate a complex moral universe where parents and teachers don’t always know best.

Tickets go on sale June 15, with Film Society and Subway Cinema members receiving an early access period beginning June 13. Tickets are $14; $11 for students and seniors (62+); and $9 for Film Society members. See more and save with a 3+ film discount package and All Access Pass. Learn more at filmlinc.org.

Credits:
Curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, deputy director Stephen Cremin, and programmers Claire Marty and David Wilentz.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and takes place from June 30 to July 13 at Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St), and July 14 to 16 at SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd St).

Keep up to date with information at www.filmlinc.org and www.subwaycinema.com.  Subway Cinema can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nyaff and Twitter at www.twitter.com/subwaycinema.

FULL LINEUP (57):
Titles in bold are included in the Main Competition

CHINA (6):
Co-presented with Confucius Institute Headquarters and China Institute
 Battle of Memories (Leste Chen, 2017)
 Blood of Youth (Yang Shupeng, 2016)
 Duckweed (Han Han, 2017)
 Extraordinary Mission (Alan Mak & Anthony Pun, 2017)
 Someone to Talk to (Liu Yulin, 2016)
 Soul on a String (Zhang Yang, 2016)

HONG KONG PANORAMA (10):
Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York
 Cold War 2 (Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, 2016)
 Dealer/Healer (Lawrence Lau, 2017)
 Election (Johnnie To, 2005)
 Mad World (Wong Chun, 2016)
 Soul Mate (Derek Tsang, 2016)
 The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Tsui Hark, 2014)
 This Is Not What I Expected (Derek Hui, 2017)
 Vampire Cleanup Department (Yan Pak-wing, Chiu Sin-hang, 2017)
 With Prisoners (Andrew Wong, 2017)
 Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (Alan Lo, 2017)

JAPAN (15):
 Aroused by Gymnopedies (Isao Yukisada, 2016)
 Close-Knit (Naoko Ogigami, 2017)
 Dawn of the Felines (Kazuya Shiraishi, 2016)
 Destruction Babies (Tetsuya Mariko, 2016)
 A Double Life (Yoshiyuki Kishi, 2016)
 Happiness (Sabu, 2016)
 Japanese Girls Never Die (Daigo Matsui, 2016)
 The Long Excuse (Miwa Nishikawa, 2016)
 Love and Other Cults (Eiji Uchida, 2017)
 The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio (Takashi Miike, 2016)
 Rage (Lee Sang-il, 2016)
 Suffering of Ninko (Norihiro Niwatsukino, 2016)
 Survival Family (Shinobu Yaguchi, 2017)
 Traces of Sin (Kei Ishikawa, 2016)
 Wet Woman in the Wind (Akihiro Shiota, 2016)

SOUTH KOREA (11):
Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York
 Fabricated City (Park Kwang-hyun, 2017)
 Fantasy of the Girls (Ahn Jung-min, 2016)
 Jane (Cho Hyun-hoon, 2016)
 Ordinary Person (Kim Bong-han, 2017)
 A Quiet Dream (Zhang Lu, 2016)
 A Single Rider (Lee Joo-young, 2017)
 Split (Choi Kook-hee, 2016)
 The Tooth and the Nail (Jung Sik, Kim Whee, 2017)
 The Truth Beneath (Lee Kyoung-mi, 2016)
 Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Uhm Tae-hwa, 2016)
 The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil, 2017)

SOUTHEAST ASIA (6)
 Bad Genius (Nattawut Poonpiriya, Thailand, 2017)
 Birdshot (Mikhail Red, Philippines, 2016)
 Kfc (Le Binh Giang, Vietnam, 2017)
 Mrs. K (Ho Yuhang, Malaysia, 2016)
 Saving Sally (Avid Liongoren, Philippines, 2016)
 Town in a Lake (Jet Leyco, Philippines, 2015)

TAIWAN (6):
Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York
 Eternal Summer (Leste Chen, 2006)
 The Gangster’s Daughter (Chen Mei-juin, 2017)
 Godspeed (Chung Mong-hong, 2016)
 Mon Mon Mon Monsters (Giddens, 2017)
 The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, 2016)
 The Village of No Return (Chen Yu-hsun, 2017)

DOCUMENTARIES (2)
 Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno (Jung Yoon-suk, 2017)
 Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman (Jero Yun, 2016)

NYAFF TEASER:
https://youtu.be/Hw-mCSel3N4

OFFICIAL POSTER:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B–YOkNIV_ZhTjdqNjRVMm9IU00/view?ts=5931c144

 

NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL (NYAFF)
Now in its 16th year, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which The Village Voice has called “the best film festival in New York,” and The New York Times has called “one of the city’s most valuable events.” Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Since 2010, it has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from The New York Times, Shutterstock, Variety, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

ABOUT SUBWAY CINEMA
Subway Cinema is America’s leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular film culture in all forms, building bridges between Asia and the West. With year-round festivals and programs, the organization aims to bring wide audience and critical attention to contemporary and classic Asian cinema in the U.S. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship event, the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway cinema’s other events and initiatives include Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF).

For more information, visit www.subwaycinema.com, www.facebook.com/NYAFF, and follow @subwaycinema on Twitter (#nyaff16).

Subway Cinema receives generous, year-round support from the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation and sponsorships from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Korean Cultural Center New York, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, China Institute, Manhattan Portage, Tsingtao Beer, Japan Foundation New York, Maven Wine, Bruce R. Watts, and thanks their media partners: Screen International, Asian Crush, China Film Insider, Chopsticks NY

June 22, 2017 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film/Festivals – JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film July 13-23, 2017, at Japan Society *nyc

North America’s Largest Festival of New Japanese Cinema Announces First Confirmed

Highlights for 11th Annual Installment + ‘CUT ABOVE’ Awardee

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film


July 13-23, 2017, at Japan Society

Poster art (l-r) for Over the Fence, ANTI-PORNO and Neko Atsume House, part of the 2017 JAPAN CUTS festival.

Presenting titles never before seen in New York and many screening for the first time in North America or even outside Japan, JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film presents the best new movies made in and around Japan and the filmmakers and performers who made them.

 

 

Set for July 13 to 23, the 2017 JAPAN CUTS festival will feature an exclusive premiere roster of nearly 30 films, ranging from big budget blockbusters to powerful shoestring indies, and includes spotlights on documentary cinema, experimental films, shorts and recent restorations of classic Japanese favorites. With the full schedule to be announced in early June, highlights confirmed to date include:

Over the Fence – East Coast Premiere: Critically-acclaimed drama by popular indie director Nobuhiro Yamashita (Linda Linda Linda), starring featured festival guest Joe Odagiri.

ANTI-PORNO – East Coast Premiere: Festival favorite Sion Sono’s subversive take on the Roman Porno genre, commissioned by famed Nikkatsu movie studio.

Neko Atsume House – North American Premiere: Family-friendly comedic drama adapted from Japan’s internationally beloved cat collecting app.

Daguerrotype – New York Premiere: Celebrated director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first French-language film, a Gothic horror fantasy with an all-European cast.

Resistance at Tule Lake: East Coast Premiere: Resonant documentary about incarcerated Japanese-Americans standing up for justice during WWII.

Also this year, the festival will award the 2017 CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film to Joe Odagiri—a matinee idol, fashion icon and bone fide power brand in Japan, whose immense talent and diverse roles have been blazing Japanese screens for nearly two decades.

“Joe Odagiri is just one of many special guests who will attend this year among celebrated established filmmakers and some equally remarkable breakout talents,” says Aiko Masubuchi, Senior Film Programmer at Japan Society. “Following current trends in the industry, this year we’ll also focus on work that breaks the boundaries of social mores, national borders, and formal constraints through radical cultural phenomena, international co-productions, and avant-garde pieces expanding our definition of what Japanese cinema means today.”

In the run-up to this year’s festival, the JAPAN CUTS programming team served as jury of the 2017 Osaka Asian Film Festival’s Indie Forum section, awarding the 2nd annual JAPAN CUTS Award to Love and Goodbye and Hawaii directed by Shingo Matsumura on March 11, 2017. Additionally, the first JAPAN CUTS Audience Award winner Flying Colors from the festival’s 2016 10-year anniversary edition receives an encore screening on Friday, June 2, 7:00 pm as a “JAPAN CUTS Classic” in Japan Society Monthly Classics programming.

Emphasizing the diversity and vitality of one of the most exciting world cinemas, JAPAN CUTS gives cinephiles their first (and sometimes only) chance to discover the next waves of filmmaking from Japan. Founded in 2007, the festival presents the biggest Japanese blockbusters, raucous genre flicks, peerless independents, arthouse gems, radical documentaries and avant-garde forms, along with unique collaborative programs, workshops and panels put together with the cooperation of other international organizations. Special guest actors and filmmakers join the festivities for Q&As, award ceremonies, and the wild themed parties and receptions audiences have come to expect, with live music, food and libations.

Through its Film Program, Japan Society has introduced Japanese cinema to New York’s international audiences since the 1970s, presenting works by the era’s then new giants Shohei Imamura, Seijun Suzuki, and Hiroshi Teshigahara and others upon their first release, and groundbreaking retrospectives on now-canonical figures such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Special guests such as Akira Kurosawa, Machiko Kyo, Toshiro Mifune, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, and Hideko Takamine had already been part of Japan Society’s events before JAPAN CUTS launched.

Since JAPAN CUTS’ inception, the festival has attracted nearly 50,000 filmgoers and presented over 275 feature films, many never-before seen in the U.S. The first annual JAPAN CUTS was one of the most successful single events in the Society’s 2007-08 centennial celebration. The festival has premiered several films that have gone on to garner international acclaim, including: 0.5mm, 100 Yen Love, About Her Brother, Buy a Suit, Confessions, Death Note, Fish Story, Kamome Diner, Love Exposure, Milocrorze: A Love Story, The Mourning Forest, Ninja Kids!!!, Sawako Decides, Sukiyaki Western Django, Sway, Sketches of Kaitan City, The Tale of Iya, and United Red Army.

The Japan Society Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions, including retrospectives, thematic repertory film series, and U.S. premiere screenings. Its aim is to entertain, educate, and support activities in the Society’s arts and culture programs. More at www.japansociety.org/programs/film.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film/OPPORTUNITY — REEL SISTERS OF THE DIASPORA 2017 Submissions OPEN

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African Voices Communications, Inc.

presents

REEL SISTERS BANNER large

May 2017

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EARLY BIRDS SUBMIT YOUR FILM to REEL SISTERS!

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series is seeking films and web series directed, written or produced by women of color. Shorts, features, animation, works-in-progress, narratives, documentaries and experimental works are eligible. Filmmakers will have their original works viewed at the 20th Annual Reel Sisters Film Festival from October 21-22, 2017 at AMC’s Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn!

Submission information is available at visit Reel Sisters. Submit films on Film Freeway.

For information call : (347) 534-3304 or (212) 865-2982.

Entries must be submitted electronically on Film Freeway. Entry fee is $20 (Early Bird Deadline: May 5, 2017) or $25 (Deadline: MAY 31, 2017).

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May 30, 2017 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fim Review – GET OUT

Get Out

 

Jordan Peele wants both cultures ( majority culture and that of people of color) to feel like they are on the same page. We see ourselves in those moments and we trust the premise enough to be patient as the story rides out.

 

But the key here is portraying the overreaching white culture as the villain. (Spoiler alert) they so much want to adopt and assume black culture and ability that it is in white families and their neighbors’ interest to inhabit black bodies in the twilight of their lives to remain immortal. Herein lies the dilemma.

True – Whites want to erase minds and adopt advantages, but there is no room for people of color.

Fiction – Whites are doing this as mad scientists and not as assimilators of the culture itself.

As author and social essayist Greg Tate so aptly once put it, {whites} want “everything but the burden” of being black.

They are already assimilating the culture successfully and from afar. Only in “La La Land” is the white pianist saving real jazz, while the characters of color sell it out.

Only in “Get Out” is the TSA agent, played by a actual comedian”, naturally suspicious of white sincerity.

The natural order is upended by black characters only subservient because they are inhabited by white family members. In real life, class is the distinction, not merely racial identity. In the film, being a different skin is only an accident when it is not by choice. They want black people, they just don’t want the real African-rooted culture black people represent. Once blacks are dead, they are free to rule.

 

Technical aspects of the film follow the Blumhouse formula – tight contained script with few characters in a contained environment. A plot that can be described in terms simple enough to provide marketing by word of mouth. No actual stars to overwhelm or outweigh the mechanics of plot.

 

Jordan Peele ( of alleged comedy duo Key & Peele) provides a serviceable script that he ably directs with appropriate date night scares, twists and reversals. But Key & Peele are the only people of color who hate black people more than white people do. Their act is comprised of explaining or buffooning African American culture and examining white observations of the buffoonery. Minstrely without the burnt cork.

Unlike, say Dave Chappelle, they provide the white perspective of black culture, not as much satirizing it as examining the white take of the supposed deficiencies or contradictions. This is “Dave Chappelle Light” – none of the actual content, just the appearance of it.

 

It’s scary, but only because its demonization of the majority culture is a false one, not a metaphor of the actual problem. This is a world where everyone applauds and admires “Moonlight”, but actually buys the tickets only for “LaLa Land.” Just like real life but portrayed ironically, as if we expected otherwise.

 

The actual subtext of Get Out is the demonization of the white liberal as the sellout, not the demonization of the actual conservative corporate majority culture that destroys black bodies as it completely erases any culture that is not the mainstream.

 

White culture can be the villain, but not because it loves and admires non-whites too much.

 

Peele wants everyone on the same page, but that page must always be a white one. The “them” in “them or us” will always be foreign/alien/African at its root.

 

February 28, 2017 Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM – FSLC and UniFrance announce complete lineup for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, March 1-12

FSLC and UniFrance announce complete lineup for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, March 1-12

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance announce the complete lineup for the 22nd edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the celebrated annual series showcasing the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking, March 1-12.

The lineup features 23 diverse films, comprised of highlights from international festivals and works by both established favorites and talented newcomers, including François Ozon’s Lubitsch adaptation Frantz, set after World War I; Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama, a provocative exploration of a Paris terrorist attack carried out by young activists; Bruno Dumont’s oddball slapstick detective story Slack Bay, starring Juliette Binoche; Rebecca Zlotowski’s visually arresting Planetarium, with Natalie Portman as a touring psychic who catches the eye of a movie producer in 1930s Paris; Jean-Stéphane Bron’s The Paris Opera, a documentary that peeks behind the scenes of the famed institution; and, for the first time, a Film Comment magazine presentation within Rendez-Vous with French Cinema: Julia Ducournau’s cannibal thriller Raw, which titillated audiences at Toronto and Cannes.

This year’s programming, including the selected films, panels, and events, includes a special focus on the myriad of ways that French culture influences the arts in America, and vice-versa. As previously announced, the Opening Night selection is the North American premiere of Étienne Comar’s Django, starring Reda Kateb as the legendary jazz musician and Cécile de France, and the Closing Night selection is the U.S. premiere of Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey, with Lambert Wilson as explorer Jacques Cousteau and co-starring Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney.

Selections in this year’s edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema garnered an impressive 47 combined nominations for this year’s César Awards, which were announced last week. Best Film nominees include Frantz (eleven nominations), Slack Bay (nine nominations), Nicole Garcia’s Marion Cotillard showcase From the Land of the Moon (eight nominations), and Justine Triet’s offbeat rom-com In Bed with Victoria (five nominations). In addition, Emmanuelle Bercot’s gripping real-life drama 150 Milligrams, with Sidse Babett Knudsen as a doctor who challenged the French pharmaceutical industry, received nominations for adapted screenplay and Best Actress; up-and-coming filmmaker Stephanie de Giusto was nominated for Best First Film for The Dancer, which stars Soko as modern dance icon Loïe Fuller and Lily-Rose Depp as Isadora Duncan (both nominated); and additional nominations went to Sébastien Marnier’s Faultless, Katell Quillévéré’s Heal the Living, Sólveig Anspach’s The Together Project, and Salle’s The Odyssey.

Filmmakers and talent who will be in attendance at this year’s festival include, in alphabetical order: Emmanuelle Bercot, Bertrand Bonello, Étienne Comar, Caroline Deruas, Stéphanie Di Giusto, Julia Ducournau, Marc Fitoussi, Marina Foïs, Cécile de France, Nicole Garcia, Christophe Honoré, Reda Kateb, Sébastien Marnier, François Ozon, Antonin Peretjatko, Katell Quillévéré, Jérôme Salle, Justin Taurand, Justine Triet, Martin Wheeler, and Rebecca Zlotowski.

The 2017 edition of Rendez-Vous also features a number of special events, headlined by an intimate discussion with Agnès Varda on March 10 and a free public screening of an episode of the hit French TV series Call My Agent! on March 11. Free talks will include a panel on the many ways that film can function as political intervention; a conversation with French and American film producers about international co-producing; and the festival’s annual panel featuring French Touch musicians and film composers. A special exhibition imported from the esteemed photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles will be on view in the Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery throughout the festival, displaying newly discovered color photos from behind the scenes of Fellini’s black-and-white masterpiece 8 1/2, shot by the late Paul Ronald and accompanied by recollections from the film’s co-star Anouk Aimée.

Co-presented with UniFrance, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema demonstrates annually that the landscape of French cinema is as fertile, inspiring, and distinct as ever. Press screenings will take place February 15-22 and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Artistic direction: Florence Almozini and Dennis Lim

The 22nd edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema benefits from the support of CNC, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, PROCIREP, Renault Nissan, Lacoste, TV5 Monde, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Sacem, FIAF, Blum & Poe, and The ENGIE Foundation.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, February 16, with early access for Film Society members beginning Tuesday, February 14. Tickets are $16; $12 for seniors (62+); and $10 for students and members; Opening Night tickets are $25; $20 for members, seniors, and students. Learn more at filmlinc.org.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All films are screened digitally at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.) unless otherwise noted

MAIN SLATE

Opening Night:
Django
Étienne Comar, France, 2017, 115m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
The world of legendary Romani jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt is brought to vivid life in this riveting saga of survival, resistance, and artistic courage. Reinhardt (Reda Kateb) is the toast of 1943 Paris, thrilling audiences with his distinctive brand of “hot jazz” and charming his admirers (including an intrepid friend and muse played by Cécile de France). But even as the rise of Nazism and anti-Romani sentiment force Reinhardt—whose music is considered degenerate under the Third Reich—to make a daring escape from the city, he refuses to be silenced, his music becoming his form of protest. The feature debut from acclaimed screenwriter Étienne Comar (Of Gods and Men) immerses viewers in a tumultuous chapter in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical geniuses.
Wednesday, March 1, 6:00pm and 8:30pm (Étienne Comar, Reda Kateb, and Cécile de France in person)

Closing Night:
The Odyssey / L’odyssée
Jérôme Salle, France, 2016, 122m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Lambert Wilson is magnetic in this grandly lyrical dramatization of legendary explorer-turned-filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. Spanning half a century and criss-crossing oceans, the film charts Cousteau’s professional triumphs and personal failures as he achieves renown for the underwater documentaries he produced on his oceanographic expeditions, amid the constant struggle to secure financial backing for increasingly ambitious scientific (and cinematic) objectives. Set against the backdrop of cross-generational family drama—centered on his long-suffering wife Simone (Audrey Tautou) and his talented, deeply conflicted son Philippe (Pierre Niney)—The Odyssey is an epic ode to scientific exploration and documentary filmmaking, and a celebration of the human drive to seek out new realms of discovery.
Saturday, March 11, 6:00pm (Q&A with Jérôme Salle)
Sunday, March 12, 8:00pm

150 Milligrams / La fille de Brest
Emmanuelle Bercot, France, 2016, 128m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
A fearless everywoman stands up to a drug company in this gripping David vs. Goliath story, based on a real-life medical scandal. Irène Frachon (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a pulmonologist at a hospital in Brest who begins digging into the connection between a widely prescribed diabetes drug and a spate of fatal valve disorders, with help from a research scientist (Benoît Magimel). Soon enough, Irène sets off a media firestorm, making powerful enemies in the pharmaceutical industry who will stop at nothing to suppress her story. Knudsen and writer-director Emmanuelle Bercot have created a memorably eccentric heroine, at once a tireless crusader and compelling human.
Saturday, March 4, 3:15pm (Q&A with Emmanuelle Bercot)
Monday, March 6, 4:15pm

The Dancer / La danseuse
Stéphanie Di Giusto, France/Belgium/Czech Republic, 2016, 108m
English and French with English subtitles
This visually sumptuous drama set amidst the opulence of La Belle Époque Paris charts the real-life saga of modern dance icon Loïe Fuller (Soko). Raised on the plains of the American Midwest, Fuller became the unlikely toast of turn-of-the-century France with her legendary performances, in which swirling swaths of silk fabric and dazzlingly colored lights created a kaleidoscopic spectacle of color and movement. Boasting lavish period detail, breathtaking dance sequences, and fiercely committed performances by Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, and Lily-Rose Depp as Fuller’s rival Isadora Duncan, The Dancer is an arresting chronicle of an artist’s struggle to realize her vision.
Thursday, March 2, 1:45pm
Monday, March 6, 9:30pm (Q&A with Stéphanie Di Giusto)

Daydreams / L’indomptée
Caroline Deruas, France, 2016, 98m
French and Italian with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Past and present, fantasy and reality collide in the boldly original feature debut from Caroline Deruas. A group of young French artists converge at Rome’s sun-dappled Villa Medicis for a one-year residency. Among them are Camille (Clotilde Hesme), a writer whose marriage to a famous novelist (Tchéky Karyo) is disintegrating, and Axèle (Jenna Thiam), an erratic photographer haunted by spectral visions of the villa’s past. Deruas conjures a subtly surreal atmosphere through striking stylistic flourishes—iris shots, color effects, dream sequences—in this beguiling tale of creative struggle, romantic rivalry, and ghosts.
Wednesday, March 8, 4:30pm
Friday, March 10, 6:45pm (Q&A with Caroline Deruas)

Faultless / Irréprochable
Sébastien Marnier, France, 2016, 103m
French with English subtitles
Out of money and options, 40-year-old Constance (Marina Foïs) abandons her life in Paris and returns to her suburban hometown in hopes of picking up where she left off. After she finds no real romance from her occasional lover (Benjamin Biolay), something finally snaps when she discovers that her old job as a real-estate agent has been given to a younger woman (Joséphine Japy). It soon becomes clear: Constance is dangerous, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Both a wild-ride thriller and a chilling character study, Faultless is driven by a riveting central performance: almost always onscreen, Foïs brings unexpected depth and poignant humanity to her portrayal of a coldly calculating sociopath.
Sunday, March 5, 6:15pm (Q&A with Sébastien Marnier and Marina Foïs)
Monday, March 6, 2:00pm

Frantz
François Ozon, France/Germany, 2016, 113m
French and German with English subtitles
The new film from acclaimed director François Ozon is a sublime, heartrending saga of guilt, forgiveness, and forbidden love in post–World War I Europe. Based on Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 antiwar drama Broken Lullaby, it charts the complex bond that forms between two strangers: Anna (Paula Beer), a young German woman grieving the loss of her fiancé, Frantz, in the war, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a former French soldier. What plays out between them is a haunting investigation of postwar trauma and healing rendered in gorgeous black-and-white that occasionally gives way—gloriously—to psychologically charged bursts of color. A Music Box Films release.
Thursday, March 2, 9:15pm (Q&A with François Ozon)
Saturday, March 11, 1:00pm

From the Land of the Moon / Mal de pierres
Nicole Garcia, France/Belgium/Canada, 2016, 116m
French and Spanish with English subtitles
Marion Cotillard delivers a performance of searing emotional intensity in this psychologically charged, 1950s-set saga of amour fou. She stars as Gabrielle, a troubled young woman—sick in both body and mind—who is stuck in a loveless marriage. When she travels to Switzerland for a rest cure, she meets the handsome, terminally ill lieutenant André (Louis Garrel), beginning a decades-long romantic obsession that will shape the course of her life. Beautifully photographed in the sunny south of France and the snow-capped Swiss mountains, From the Land of the Moon is an exquisite showcase for one of the finest actresses working today. A Sundance Selects release.
Friday, March 3, 6:30pm (Q&A with Nicole Garcia)
Sunday, March 12, 1:00pm

Heal the Living / Réparer les vivants
Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium, 2016, 103m
French with English subtitles
A medical drama of unusual depth and sensitivity, Heal the Living charts the disparate lives touched by a tragedy. Following a car accident, 17-year-old Simon (Gabin Verdet) is left brain-dead, setting into motion a chain of events that affects everyone from his family to the hospital staff to a mother of two (Anne Dorval) in need of a heart transplant. Director Katell Quillévéré weaves together the multistrand narrative with consummate grace, abetted by a remarkable ensemble cast (including Emmanuelle Seigner and Tahar Rahim), elegant camerawork, and a striking score by Alexandre Desplat. The result is an enormously affecting study of human interconnectedness that finds a silver lining of hope in a wrenching situation. A Cohen Media Group release.
Thursday, March 2, 6:30pm (Q&A with Katell Quillévéré)
Friday, March 3, 1:45pm

In Bed With Victoria / Victoria
Justine Triet, France, 2016, 97m
English and French with English subtitles
Victoria (Virginie Efira) is a hotshot lawyer with a disastrous personal life. Between juggling a demanding job, raising two kids, and fending off an ex-husband who’s slandering her on the Internet, she can barely be bothered with the hit-or-miss (mostly miss) online hookups she sets up. Around the time Victoria agrees to help her old friend Vincent (Melvil Poupaud) with a decidedly bizarre legal matter, she runs into a charming former client Sam (Vincent Lacoste). Now that a shot at real romance comes along, will the perpetually harried Victoria even recognize it? This refreshingly offbeat (how else to describe a film that features a trial in which the star witness is a Dalmatian?) farce is propelled by Efira’s irresistible performance as a heroine who’s raw, real, and complicated in ways that transcend the rom-com formula.
Saturday, March 4, 9:30pm (Q&A with Justine Triet)
Sunday, March 12, 3:30pm

In the Forest of Siberia / Dans les forêts de Sibérie
Safy Nebbou, France, 2016, 105m
English, French, and Russian with English subtitles
Based on the award-winning memoir by adventurer Sylvain Tesson, this tale of survival follows Teddy (Raphaël Personnaz), a young Frenchman who leaves everything behind to live in isolation in the icy Siberian taiga. But initial exhilaration soon gives way to the harsh reality of staying alive in a frozen wilderness miles from civilization with roaming bears, life-threatening blizzards, and no electricity. The film captures majestic footage of the unspoiled Siberian landscape, its bleak beauty underscored by jazz trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf’s plaintive soundtrack.
Sunday, March 5, 1:00pm
Thursday, March 9, 4:00pm

Journey to Greenland / Le Voyage au Groënland
Sébastien Betbeder, France, 2016, 98m
English, Inuktitut, and French with English subtitles
Scruffy, thirtysomething best friends both named Thomas (Thomas Blanchard and Thomas Scimeca) leave behind their struggling acting careers in Paris for an extended sojourn in a remote, snowbound stretch of Greenland. One is there to reconnect with his off-the-grid father, the other for adventure. What ensues is a perceptive, warm-spirited study of cross-cultural misunderstanding and connection, as the two men learn to survive in a place without alcohol, indoor plumbing, or a reliable Internet connection. Director Sébastien Betbeder balances wry, unforced comedy with casual insight into human relationships: between friends, family members, and the strangers who touch your life. A Netflix release.
Tuesday, March 7, 4:30pm
Wednesday, March 8, 6:45pm

Mum’s Wrong / Maman a tort
Marc Fitoussi, France/Belgium, 2016, 110m
French with English subtitles
When idealistic 14-year-old Anouk (Jeanne Jestin) embarks on a weeklong internship at her mom’s insurance company, she gets a crash course in the less-than-rosy reality of the corporate world, discovering some unsavory truths about her own mother along the way. An emotionally complex look at parents, children, and the moral compromises we make, Mum’s Wrong adroitly blends workplace satire with a compassionate social-issue message, while its leads Jestin and Émilie Dequenne (Rosetta, Our Children) create a nuanced, wholly believable portrait of a mother-daughter relationship undergoing a crisis.
Sunday, March 5, 3:30pm (Q&A with Marc Fitoussi)
Friday, March 10, 2:00pm

Nocturama
Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130m
French with English subtitles
The audacious new film from Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent) unfolds in two mesmerizing segments. The first is a precision-crafted thriller, following a multi-ethnic group of millennial radicals as they carry out a mass-scale terrorist attack on Paris. The second—in which the perpetrators hide out in the consumerist mecca of a luxury department store—is the director’s coup, raising provocative questions about everything that came before. Bonello stages his apocalyptic vision with stylishly roving camerawork, blasts of hip-hop, and a lip-synced performance to Shirley Bassey’s “My Way.” This is edgy, risk-taking filmmaking that is sure to ignite debate. A Netflix release.
Saturday, March 4, 6:15pm (Q&A with Bertrand Bonello)
Sunday, March 5, 9:00pm (Introduction by Bertrand Bonello)

The Paris Opera / L’Opèra de Paris
Jean-Stéphane Bron, France, 2017, 110m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
This all-access documentary goes behind the scenes of the Paris Opera, following the array of personnel—management, performers, costumers, cleaning crew—who work to bring breathtaking spectacle to audiences night after night. Over the course of a season, director Jean-Stéphane Bron nimbly juggles a dizzying number of storylines, from labor disputes to procuring a live bull for Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron to a PR crisis involving the head of the company’s ballet. Sweeping in scope yet full of intimate human moments, The Paris Opera offers a candid look at everything that goes into operating one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions.
Thursday, March 2, 4:00pm
Saturday, March 11, 3:30pm

Planetarium
Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Belgium, 2016, 105m
English and French with English subtitles
Natalie Portman lends her star power to this dreamy, visually ravishing tale of magic and movies set in a glamorous vision of 1930s Paris. She and her sister (Lily-Rose Depp) form a psychic duo, touring the stages of Europe performing séances. When they catch the eye of a movie producer (Emmanuel Salinger), he resolves to make them stars and to capture an act of spiritualism on film. Forgoing traditional narrative structure in favor of swooning atmosphere, director Rebecca Zlotowksi revels in the Art Deco architecture, sumptuous period couture, and doomed decadence of prewar Paris. A Swen Group release.
Friday, March 3, 9:30pm (Q&A with Rebecca Zlotowski)
Tuesday, March 7, 2:00pm

Film Comment Presents:
Raw / Grave
Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium, 2016, 99m
French with English subtitles
When incoming freshman—and lifelong vegetarian—Justine (Garance Marillier) joins her older sister (Ella Rumpf) at a strangely decrepit veterinary college, she seems poised to be the school’s new star pupil. But a hazing ritual in which she’s forced to eat raw meat awakens something primal in Justine: a newfound—and highly disturbing—taste for flesh. The feature debut from Julia Ducournau marks the arrival of a bold new directorial voice, blending blood-spattered body horror, pitch-black comedy, and one of the most dysfunctional sisterly relationships ever depicted on screen into a potent, emotionally resonant coming-of-age nightmare. A Focus Features release.
Tuesday, March 7, 6:45pm (Q&A with Julia Ducournau)
Wednesday, March 8, 9:15pm (Introduction by Julia Ducournau)

Right Here Right Now/ Tout de suite maintenant
Pascal Bonitzer, France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2016, 98m
French with English subtitles
Workplace drama doesn’t get any messier than in this intriguingly knotty tale of corporate backbiting and buried secrets. Nora (Agathe Bonitzer) is a bright young professional whose new job at a financial firm turns out to be a trial by fire when she learns that her bosses (Lambert Wilson and Pascal Greggory) share a tumultuous history with her prickly mathematician father (Jean-Pierre Bacri). Meanwhile, an interoffice romance with a competitive colleague (Vincent Lacoste) leads to even more complications, leaving Nora to navigate a minefield of delicate relationships as she climbs the corporate ladder. Isabelle Huppert costars and delivers a typically multilayered performance as one of many sharply etched characters populating this complex moral tale.
Friday, March 10, 9:30pm
Sunday, March 12, 5:45pm

Slack Bay / Ma Loute
Bruno Dumont, France/Germany, 2016, 122m
English and French with English subtitles
In a postcard-perfect seaside village in 1910, an eccentric (to put it mildly) leisure-class family whiles away the summer. But something troubling is afoot: what’s behind the string of tourists gone mysteriously missing? Former enfant terrible Bruno Dumont continues his surprising foray into farce—which began with 2014’s acclaimed Li’l Quinquin—with this surreal, oddball mix of slapstick and detective story. The director and his cast (which includes Fabrice Luchini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, and a very game Juliette Binoche) stretch each joke to its breaking point, resulting in a winking, weirdly captivating comedy that’s in on its own absurdity. A Kino Lorber release.
Thursday, March 9, 6:30pm
Saturday, March 11, 9:00pm

Sophie’s Misfortunes / Les malheurs de Sophie
Christophe Honoré, France, 2016, 106m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Based on the French children’s classic by the Countess of Ségur, the latest from Christophe Honoré is an enchanting fable for adults and kids alike, set in a light-filled 19th-century chateau. The film captures the imaginative freedom of childhood through the eyes of the irrepressible Sophie (Caroline Grant), a mischievous young girl whose life changes drastically after she’s left in the care of a severe stepmother (Muriel Robin)—a far cry from the life she had with her loving mother (Golshifteh Farahani). With the help of her two friends and their mother (Anaïs Demoustier), Sophie works to escape her stepmother’s wicked grasp. Throughout, Honoré combines gorgeous period detail with playful modern touches: a bouncy electronic score by Alex Beaupain, expressive handheld camerawork, and a menagerie of animated animals.
Saturday, March 4, 12:30pm (Q&A with Christophe Honoré)
Wednesday, March 8, 2:00pm (Intro with Christophe Honoré)

The Stopover / Voir du pays
Delphine & Muriel Coulin, France/Greece, 2016, 102m
French and Greek with English subtitles
On their way home from Afghanistan, a band of French soldiers stop in Cyprus for decompression: three-days at a sun-splashed resort, where they will undergo intense psychological debriefing. There, amidst the crystal-blue waters and hordes of vacationing tourists, Marine (Soko) and Aurore (Ariane Labed)—two of only three women in their male-dominated unit—confront rage, trauma, and army sexism as they struggle to readjust to “normal” life. This riveting drama—winner of the Best Screenplay award in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes—is an all-too-rare exploration of war’s psychological wounds on female soldiers. A First Run Features release.
Thursday, March 9, 9:00pm
Friday, March 10, 4:15pm

Struggle for Life / La Loi de la jungle
Antonin Peretjatko, France, 2016, 99m
French with English subtitles
In this wild, joke-a-minute slapstick satire, a middle-aged intern (Vincent Macaigne) is sent from France to French Guiana to oversee the creation of a South American ski resort led by Galgaric (Mathieu Amalric). There, he meets a beautiful intern at the National Forestry Office named Tarzan (Vimala Pons) and what ensues is a surreal journey through the Amazon jungle, with absurdist bureaucratic disasters, an aphrodisiac mishap, and a cannibal encounter. Playing something like a Jerry Lewis gag-fest meets Survivor, Struggle for Life combines anarchic black comedy with a scathing critique of colonialism.
Monday, March 6, 7:00pm (Q&A with Antonin Peretjatko)
Tuesday, March 7, 9:15pm (Introduction by Antonin Peretjatko)

The Together Project / L’effet aquatique
Sólveig Anspach, France/Iceland, 2016, 83m
English, French, and Icelandic with English subtitles
The final film from the late French-Icelandic director Sólveig Anspach is an irresistibly offbeat aquatic comedy. When gawky construction worker Samir (Samir Guesmi) encounters prickly swim instructor Agathe (Florence Loiret Caille), he’s immediately smitten. But his unconventional plan to win her over—pretending he can’t swim in order to take lessons from her—proves more than a little problematic. Sweet without being cloying, quirky without being grating, this romantic charmer succeeds thanks to the interplay between the two leads and Anspach’s breezy sincerity.
Friday, March 3, 4:00pm (Q&A with composer Martin Wheeler)
Thursday, March 9, 2:00pm

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live Talk with Agnès Varda
French New Wave pioneer Agnès Varda has been a major voice in world cinema for more than sixty years, ever since her 1955 debut feature La Pointe Courte. Her distinguished and varied career includes photography, nonfiction and fiction shorts and features, and, more recently, multimedia installations at museums and galleries around the world. Join Varda in this special live event as she reflects on her voluminous body of work, influences, and approach to filmmaking.
Presented in conjunction with the French Institute Alliance Française’s upcoming series Agnès Varda: Life as Art and Varda’s first exhibition in NYC at Blum & Poe gallery.
Friday, March 10, 6:00pm
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street

Panel: International Co-Productions
Producers from the U.S. and France will sit down to discuss the strategies and challenges of international co-productions—from the creative to the technical, and everything in between. Scheduled panelists include Killer Films’ Head of Production & Development David Hinojosa (Wiener-Dog, Frank & Lola), Parts & Labor co-founder Jay Van Hoy (Beginners, Frank & Lola, The Witch), and Les films du bélier’s Justin Taurand (Heal the Living, 2016 IFCIC Award for Best Young Producer). Moderated by Eugene Hernandez. Presented in partnership with IFP and French in Motion.
Thursday, March 2, 5:30pm
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street

Panel: Film as Political Intervention
In response to the disillusionment and frustration currently felt worldwide, directors from this year’s edition will discuss how films can address political turmoil or social unrest and operate as whistle-blowers.
Friday, March 3, 5:00pm
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street

Panel: Julian Starke’s French Waves with French Touch DJs Pedro Winter, Para One and Jacques
French touch (aka French house) musicians Pedro Winter, Para One, and Jacques will discuss their perspectives on and experiences with French electronic music following a free screening of Julian Starke’s French Waves, an immersive documentary that pinpoints key moments of French Touch since the 1990s.
Saturday, March 4, 5:00pm
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street

Free Screening: Call My Agent! / Dix pour cent
Episode 1 (“Cécile”), France, 2015, 60m
French with English subtitles
At a top-tier talent firm in Paris, a group of agents juggle their personal and hyper-competitive work lives after experiencing an unexpected crisis. Watch the first episode of the hit French miniseries, created by Dominique Besnehard and Fanny Herrero and featuring Cécile de France (who also appears in this year’s Opening Night film, Django), at this special free screening during Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. A Netflix original series.
Saturday, March 11, 4:30pm
*Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street

EXHIBITION

Fellini, 8 ½ in Color
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL RONALD
Curated by Sam Stourdzé
8 ½ was Federico Fellini’s last black-and-white film after more than a decade of directing. Although the film’s images were never intended to be seen in color, Piero Servo—a frequent camera operator for Fellini—recently found the late photographer Paul Ronald’s long-forgotten box of color negatives. These rediscoveries are the focus of this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema exhibition, curated by Sam Stourdzé, the director of the esteemed Les Rencontres d’Arles, and accompanied by recollections from one of the film’s stars, Anouk Aimée.
Special thanks to Anouk Aimée, Piero Servo, Antonio Moraldi, and Stéphane Marti.
On view in the Furman Gallery in the Walter Reade Theater, March 1-12

UNIFRANCE
For more than 65 years, UniFrance has been using its experience of the international marketplace for the good of French cinema. UniFrance is based in Paris, and also has representatives in New York, Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo. Its membership brings together around 1,000 French producers, filmmaking talents, agents, and sales companies, who are working together to promote French film among foreign audiences, industry executives, and media.

UniFrance receives generous, year-round support from CNC, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Institut français, PROCIREP, Renault, Lacoste, Air France and Titra Film. For more information, visit http://en.unifrance.org/.

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from The New York Times, Shutterstock, Variety, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

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We Recommend : Support A Woman Filmmaker on Indiegogo

Creative Block: A New Bilingual Film
A short film about creativity: having it, losing it, and going the distance to get it back again.

Nicola Rose
New York, United States
$2,300 USD raised by 101 backers
27% of $8,500

flexible goal

a month left
OVERVIEW
Creative Block is a short film about creativity and what happens when we lose it. It’s about the distance we’ll go to get it back again, and the people we invest our trust in along the way – maybe to be disappointed, maybe to come out stronger at the other end.

I’m Nicola Rose, producer of Creative Block, and I need your help to finish my film. We’ve shot one day of principal photography in Paris, France, and now we have the rest to do in NYC. I hope you’ll consider helping me fund it.

Slideshow of our first filming day in Paris, Nov. 4, 2016

Creative Block: the story (in English and French) / Bloc et Blocage: L’histoire (en anglais et français)

A short film weaving surrealism into everyday life, Creative Block (French title Bloc et Blocage) introduces us to Claire, a young artist and puppet-maker in New York. One day, she suffers a huge rupture in her creative thought, leading to depression. She soon becomes convinced the only cure is the art of another: Thibaut, a figure skater in Paris. Spellbound by the artistry of this athlete she only knows from TV, Claire impulsively goes to Paris herself. There, she discovers the unexpected: Thibaut, too, is suffering from creative block. At that point, it’s up to Claire to find the road back to her own creativity: a road strewn with disappointments, revelations … and balloons.

Court-métrage bilingue mêlant surréalisme et sentiments du quotidien, Creative Block (en français Bloc et Blocage) raconte un moment important dans la vie de Claire, jeune artiste et créatrice de marionnettes vivant à Manhattan. La jeune femme réalise qu’elle souffre d’une grande rupture dans sa vie créatrice et que le seul remède est l’art d’un autre. Celui de Thibaut, un patineur artistique vivant à Paris. Bouleversée par la personnalité artistique de ce dernier qu’elle ne connait qu’à travers la télévision, Claire, n’écoutant que ses pulsions, se rend à Paris. Elle y découvre l’inattendu : Thibaut, souffre de son propre blocage artistique ! C’est dorénavant à Claire de trouver la route qui la ramènera à sa propre créativité : une route bordée de déceptions, de révélations… et de ballons.

About the Filmmaker

Nicola Rose is a producer, director and actress in New York City. She is the creator of the short form comedy webseries Callie & Izzy, about a girl with a puppet growing out of her hand (you can see a couple of her favorite episodes below). She is also the creator of a musical, Aisle Six, which premiered Off-Broadway at NYC’s Lynn Redgrave Theater in 2013. In addition, she works as a professional puppeteer in NYC, performing frequently for the New York  Public Library, American Scandinavian Foundation, children’s museums, schools and more. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris.

What we’ve done so far… and what we need now:

In November 2016, thanks to talented director Véronique Doumbé and a formidable production team in Paris, France, we shot the “French part” of our film! Needless to say, that was the most complicated part logistically (since I am based in New York). But from a technical standpoint, it was the simplest. That means the rest, the “New York part” of the film, is what will cost. We will need your help to cover the following:

  • Compensation of cast and crew
  • Equipment rental
  • Location rental
  • Construction and purchase of props
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Meals for crew and cast
  • Post-production (editing, color, additional after-effects, music, subtitling)

How you can help, and what you get:

EVERY DOLLAR HELPS! I’m serious: Every. Single. Dollar. I’ve learned this from running (and donating to) prior campaigns. If you want to donate, but can only donate one dollar or euro, DO IT! It will pay for several minutes at a location; several batteries for equipment; postcards for publicity; part of a prop; a small portion of work from a crew member… you get the idea. EVERYTHING you donate will ease the burden on our producer (aka me) ;), and you’ll be helping us to make a better film that YOU, with any luck, will love.

I’ve paid personally for what we’ve done so far, and I’d gladly do the same for the rest – but I can’t. 🙂 And that’s why I need you.

Please see the sidebar for the perks your donations will get you. I had fun thinking them up, and I hope you’ll enjoy receiving them as well!

What’s next?

Once financially able, we will begin shooting our New York scenes, which make up the majority of the film. We aim to finish production by mid-2017 and post-production later in the year, so that with any luck, the film will be finished and en route to festivals before 2018. Meanwhile, I am maintaining a “making-of” Tumblr about the film, which you can follow at http://creativeblockfilm.tumblr.com.

 

Thank you! / Questions?

First of all, thank you for reading this far! If you’ve done so, that means you’re at least considering us. Second of all, thanks for listening — for being curious, and for considering this little film about creativity, depression and balloons. We hope you donate, but even if you don’t, we’re honored you thought of us.

If you have any questions at all, please email me at nicolarosemail@gmail.com.

 

PERKS
$40

 

USD

 

+ Shipping
Sock Puppet!
All of the above plus a custom-made sock puppet!
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Special Thanks in Credits
  • Custom-Made Sock Puppet!
6 claimed
Ships Worldwide
$1

 

USD
Thank You
Every single donation gets a heartfelt thank you from me on all our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr). Unless you don’t want it, of course.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
6 claimed
$10

 

USD
We’ll Profile Your Project
A thank you, plus we’ll profile your business or a project of your choice on social media.
Items included:

  • Profile your business/project
17 claimed
$20

 

USD
Finger puppet
A finger puppet made just for you!
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Custom-Made Finger Puppet!
3 claimed
Ships to: United States
$25

 

USD
Special Thanks in Credits
All of the above, plus you’ll be listed in our credits under “Special Thanks To”.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Special Thanks in Credits
9 claimed
$50

 

USD
Special Thanks/Exclusive Card
All of the above, plus an exclusively designed Creative Block thank-you notecard.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Exclusively designed notecard
  • Special Thanks + Goodies
  • and 2 more items
1 claimed
$100

 

USD
Special Thanks/Extra Goodies
All of the above, plus an exclusive Creative Block balloon and a DVD of the film.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Creative Block balloon
  • DVD of the film
  • and 2 more items
2 claimed
$200

 

USD
Co-Producer
All of the above, plus a personalized video thank-you from Nicola, an official film poster, and credit as a Co-Producer.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Credit as Co-Producer
  • Exclusively designed notecard
  • and 5 more items
0 claimed
$500

 

USD
Producer
All of the above, plus credit as Producer and an official “making of Creative Block” scrapbook.
Items included:

  • Thank-you on social media
  • Profile your business/project
  • Exclusively designed notecard
  • Credit as Producer
  • and 6 more items
0 claimed
$1000

 

USD
Executive Producer
All of the above, plus a copy of the script and credit as Executive Producer.
Items included:

  • Profile your business/project
  • Exclusively designed notecard
  • Creative Block balloon
  • DVD of the film
  • and 6 more items
0 claimed
Let us know if you think this campaign contains prohibited content.

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December 17, 2016 Posted by | BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech/Business/Arts –DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD SUMMIT by Tanya Young

A great article by Contributing Editor Tanya Young

REFLECTING WOMEN: DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD VIRTUAL REALITY SUMMIT FALL 2016

By Contributing Editor, Business, West Coast Tanya Young @Tanya1720

For the fifth year in a row, Victor Harwood gathered leading makers, gamers, fans and press to delve into all things digital in Hollywood.  The particular twist for this conference was its focus on virtual reality (VR) as a transformational tool for electronic media. The conference also explored binge watching as well as media finance and production for artists and creators of television, film and the internet.

Actually, Mr. Harwood and his speakers interpreted VR more broadly into augmented reality, immersive reality and what I call “enhanced” reality. Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial, computer-generated recreation of a real life environment or situation that makes the user feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand, primarily through vision, hearing and motion. In VR, your head movements are tracked in a three-dimensional world, making it ideally suited to interactive games, branded short subjects and even movies. It replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmented reality (AR) is a live view of a real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

As one of twenty SAG-AFTRA members comped to the fall event, delving into the shoptalk of gaming creators, yeomen designers and engineers as well as profiteers was a bit jarring in light of actors’ current, overdue strike against the video game industry.

If dozens of Digital Hollywood panelists are to be believed, we are just a few years away from a storytelling revolution on par with the dawn of the film projector, VCR and the Blu-ray player. CEO Jim Stewartson of Awesome Rocketship plans to bring photo booth-style VR kiosks to malls, arcades and other public venues at a cost of $10 to $15 per experience. Media and entertainment engineer Ed Lantz presented a new venture Vortex Immersion Media that brings virtual reality experiences into the nightclub environment of Las Vegas.

But for all the VR and immersive reality cheerleaders, there are a handful of naysaying gadflies. Dave Cobb, VP Creative Development for Thinkwell Group, sees neither the cost and hygiene of hardware nor the appeal of content as compelling enough for the mass market. Yet. Currently, Cobb describes higher-end private resorts as better venues for VR and related programming at a more realistic price point.

According to polygon.com, forty-seven percent of gamers are between 18 and 49 years old.  Fifty-nine percent of those who play games on a regular basis are men; forty-one percent are women.  Women remain in the minority audience traditional single or multiplayer games. Top titles include Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Street Fighter and World of Warcraft.

Advocates of mainstream video gaming say the violence in popular games is about fantasy. Shoot ’em ups can be a really unique way to relax. The point is that, unlike real life stressors, video game shoot ’em ups are not real.

During one of the handful of panels focusing on women, Catherine Day of Jaunt VR posited hope that the virtual reality revolution in gaming will make empathy, rather than shoot ’em ups, the prime movers.

Contradicting this empathy direction, the panel on consumer points-of-contact described agency as the key to consumer enjoyment of ER in kiosks, domes, IMAX and other special venues that extend beyond the headset.

Cost and hardware, though available, remain prohibitive to the average $200-$400 console gamer with a PlayStation.  The more expensive options are Oculus Rift ($600), Samsung Gear VR ($99) and the HTC Vive ($800). The Oculus Rift was repeatedly clowned during the four days panels – both for its price and onerous equipment package. But these consoles really are ready for holiday purchase. Reviews and word-of-mouth on theses consumer VR packages is extremely limited at the moment.  So I’m not clear which VR gears delivers the biggest bang for your buck.

Let me praise the newer venue for the Digital Hollywood conference. Though the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey will always have its wind-blown charms, what a terrific conference venue Skirball is — from the elegant rooms and grand, austere structures in close proximity to the security staff and close, free easily accessible Wi-fi and plentiful free parking.

The highlight of each conference day was the wine, beer & snacks reception by the reflecting pool in the Taper Courtyard.

Truly, Victor Harwood is a supremely thoughtful expert in developing and producing conference events for professionals, executives and enthusiasts. Thank you to Digital Hollywood for working with SAG-AFTRA again this year to make Digital Hollywood accessible and inspiring for industry executives and creative artists alike.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, TECHNOLOGY, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/ FESTIVALS — FANTASIA FEST – 20th Edition — 7/14 – 8/2 *Montreal

We RECOMMEND:

FANTASIA’S 20th EDITION TO CLOSE WITH FEDE ALVAREZ’S DON’T BREATHE AND JEAN-FRANCOIS RICHET’S BLOOD FATHER, STARRING MEL GIBSON
Appearances from Christopher Lloyd, Keishi Otomo, and iconic Japanese actor Denden; a new VR component; and an award for Jean-Claude Lord are among the newly announced highlights, which also boasts numerous World and International premieres

Montreal, Quebec – Fantasia’s full 2016 lineup of

over 130 features has been revealed.

Included therein are

19 World Premieres,

18 North American Premieres, and

47 Canadian Premieres! In addition, the festival will be showcasing

over 300 shorts from across the globe, the complete list of which can be found on their website.

 

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OFFICIAL CLOSING FILM: THE CANADIAN PREMIERE OF FEDE ALVAREZ’S TERRIFYING FILM DON’T BREATHE

For the grand finale of Fantasia’s 20th anniversary edition, the festival is more than proud to present the Canadian Premiere of co-writer/director Fede Alvarez’s terrifying new film DON’T BREATHE, which left audiences breathless during its ecstatic South by Southwest debut earlier this year. In DON’T BREATHE, a trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. Screening will be hosted by Alvarez himself. DON’T BREATHE is produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert along with Alvarez. Sony Pictures will release the film in North America on August 26, 2016.

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ADDITIONAL CLOSING NIGHT EVENT: THE NORTH-AMERICAN PREMIERE OF JEAN-FRANÇOIS RICHET’S MEL GIBSON-FRONTED POWERHOUSE BLOOD FATHER

Hot off its premiere at Cannes, the powerhouse Mel Gibson thriller BLOOD FATHER, directed by Jean-François Richet (MESRINE, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13), will be having its first North American screening at Fantasia as both part of the festival’s closing night events and the official closing film of the Action! section. BLOOD FATHER’s impressive cast also features Erin Moriarty, Elisabeth Röhm, William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Dale Dickey, Thomas Mann, and Michael Parks.

____________________________________________________________
INTRODUCING THE FANTASIA 2016 JURIES!

Fantasia is pleased to announce the esteemed jurors for our key international competitions. The complete list of juries, including those for Axis, Séquences, L’Écran fantastique, the Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Film, and the Prix AQCC (l’Association québécoise des critiques de cinema) can be found on our website.

CHEVAL NOIR

JURY PRESIDENTS:
Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado
, Israel – Filmmakers

Cyril Despontin, France – Paris International Fantastic Film Festival
George Schmalz, USA – Kickstarter
Justine Smith, Canada – Critic, The Globe and Mail, Vice Canada
Dr. Marcus Stiglegger, Germany – Critic, author, and Cinema Scholar

NEW FLESH AWARD (First Feature Competition)

JURY PRESIDENT:
Michael Gingold, USA – Critic and Screenwriter, Fangoria, Rue Morgue Magazine

Grady Hendrix, USA – Critic, author, co-founder of New York Asian Film Festival
Kate McEdwards, USA – Oscilloscope Laboratories
Nicolas Stanzick, France – Critic, Cahiers du cinéma, Repérages

INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION

JURY PRESIDENT:
Chris Oosterom, Netherlands – Imagine Fantastic Film Festival

Heather Buckley, USA – Critic, Graphic Designer, Blu-Ray producer
Peter Kuplowsky, Canada – Producer, programmer at Fantastic Fest, Toronto after Dark, programming assistant at TIFF (Midnight Madness)

____________________________________________________________

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FRONTIÈRES@FANTASIA ANNOUNCES FULL SLATE OF PROGRAMMING

After a highly successful Frontières Day in Cannes, which marked the introduction to the market’s new partnership with Cannes’ Marché du Film, the Frontières International Co-Production Market returns to Fantasia for its eighth edition, which will take place July 21st through the 24th.

Frontières is a four-day industry networking event specifically focused on genre film production and financing. Following the announcement of its main line-up of 20 projects, for the first time Frontières is pleased to announce international spotlights on projects from Australia and South Africa, in addition to a work-in-progress line-up featuring multiple past Frontières projects currently in post-production, and a case study panel focusing on the upcoming virtual reality collaboration between SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal.

Highlights include a project from director Brandon Cronenberg (ANTIVIRAL) and a first look at the EMAfilms-Epic Pictures sci-fi thriller RADIUS. These projects join a line-up of previously announced titles including projects from director Roxanne Benjamin (SOUTHBOUND) and producer Andy Starke (SIGHTSEERS, THE GREASY STRANGLER).

FRONTIÈRES CASE STUDY:
The SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montréal Virtual Reality Project

The Frontières International Co-Production Market is pleased to present a panel discussion with Ubisoft and SpectreVision that will provide a behind-the-scenes look at their collaboration on an upcoming genre-based virtual reality experience, and examine the relationship between genre film and virtual reality.

Frontières@Fantasia 2016: International Spotlight Projects

AUSTRALIA
KATE KELLY
Director/Writer:  Donna McRae
Producers: Liz Baulch (Wild Iris Productions)

LUCID
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Writer: Philip Tarl Denson
Producers: Raquelle David (Damsel Pictures)

NIGHTFLOWER (Australia/UK)
Director: Eron Sheean
Writer: David Scinto
Producers: Lizzette Atkins, Jasper Graham (Unicorn Films)

SOUTH AFRICA
CORPSEMEN (South Africa/USA)
Director: Brett Simmons
Writers: Brett Simmons, Marc Bloom
Producers: Jonh Volmink, Isaac Mogajane (Diprente), Peter Phok

DURBAN ROAD
Director/Writer:  Matthew Griffith
Producer: Rafeeqah Galant (Echo Ledge Productions)

MY DARK HEART
Director: James Adey
Writer: Steven Pillemer
Producers: Issac Mogojane, James Adey (Fiction Films)

WORK-IN-PROGRESS
THE CHAMBER (UK)
Director/Writer: Ben Parker
Producers: Jen Handorf, Paul Higgins (Chamber Films)

THE DEVIL ON WHEELS (Spain/UK)
Director/Writer: Enric Folch
Producers: Roger Allen, Gabriele Stifani, Luca Stifani (The Devil on Wheels Productions)

INNER GHOSTS (Portugal/Brazil)
Director: João Alves
Writer/Producer: Paulo Leite (Bad Behavior)

RADIUS (Canada)
Directors/Writers: Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard
Producer: Anne-Marie Gélinas (EMAfilms inc.)

THE VOID (Canada)
Directors/Writers: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillesipe
Producers: Casey Walker (Cave Painting Pictures), Jonathan Bronfman (JoBro Productions)

Frontières is made possible thanks to the generous support of Creative Europe, Telefilm Canada, and SODEC.

____________________________________________________________
CELEBRATING JEAN-CLAUDE LORD IN THE NAME OF DENIS HÉROUX

As part of the festival’s 20th Anniversary festivities, Fantasia has announced the creation of The Denis Héroux Award, a prize that recognizes exceptional contribution to the development of genre cinema and independent cinema from Quebec, named after the trailblazing filmmaker  – director of such works as VALÉRIE and A FEW ACRES OF SNOW, producer of landmarks that include QUEST FOR FIRE and ATLANTIC CITY  – who passed away in December of last year. The inaugural recipient will be Jean-Claude Lord, maker of such diverse works as PARLEZ-NOUS D’AMOUR, VISITING HOURS, PANIQUE, THE VINDICATOR, and BINGO, the latter being one of the first thrillers from Quebec.

INTRODUCING THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE

Whether you’re curious about this new technology or anxious to try some of the genre film experiences developed in Canada and around the world in recent months, FANTASIA, in collaboration with CFC Media Lab, Cream Productions and Woolf + Lapin, is proud to present THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE. On Thursday July 21st, from 3PM to 8PM, and from Friday to Sunday, July 24th, from noon to 8PM, the Fantasia audience will have the chance to choose among a selection of 11 different viewing experiences for virtual reality technology, selected for us by the CFC MEDIA LAB. Admission is free.

A SPOKEN-WORD PERFORMANCE BY GRADY HENDRIX:
SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS

Grady Hendrix, celebrated film critic and acclaimed author of bestsellers Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, brings his stunning, deeply personal one-man show about psychic teenagers to Fantasia with SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS. Telling the all-shocking, all-true tale of Victorian teenagers who spoke to the dead, this is the real life story of how biomechanical sex cults, the ghost of Ben Franklin, and Arctic explorers all teamed up to answer the ultimate question: is there life after death?

GO BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR WITH GÉRARD KIKOÏNE

Fantasia will be hosting a rare appearance by Gérard Kikoïne, French director of “films d’amour” featuring iconic X stars Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. Having just published his memoir, “Kikobook,” the industry pioneer will revisit his singular life path and discuss his collaborations with Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins, and Abel Gance, among others. During this round-table talk, moderated by filmmaker Éric Falardeau (THANATOMORPHOSE) and Mad Movies Magazine’s Gilles Esposito, he will reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets. The event will take place following our screening of Nicolas and Bruno’s IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX.

____________________________________________________________

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RUROUNI KENSHIN DIRECTOR HAS MURDER IN MIND FOR A FANTASIA WORLD PREMIERE

Fantasia is thrilled to host the World Premiere of the fascinating sci-fi thriller THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND, adapted from the popular manga Himitsu The Top Secret. A masterful script full of surprises, flawless characterizations and top-of-the-line production values make this visually stunning work a standout. After directing the immensely popular RUROUNI KENSHIN trilogy, Keishi Otomo proves once again that he is a singular talent and it will be a pleasure to welcome him back to Montreal for our 20th anniversary edition.

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CHRISTOPHER LLOYD HOSTS THE CANADIAN PREMIERE OF BILLY O’BRIEN’S I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER

Adored actor Christopher Lloyd will be visiting Fantasia for the Canadian Premiere of Billy O’Brien’s I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, an acclaimed adaptation of Dan Wells’ successful novel. Who better to understand and stalk a serial killer than a teenage closet sociopath? From the gifted director of ISOLATION.

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THE NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF YEON SANG-HO’S CANNES SENSATION TRAIN TO BUSAN

Following our First Wave announcement of the Canadian Premiere of Yeon Sang-ho’s animated horror masterpiece SEOUL STATION, Fantasia is excited to announce the first North American screening of the filmmaker’s riveting TRAIN TO BUSAN, fresh off obliterating audiences’ nervous systems at Cannes.


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CROATIAN CINEMA GETS ITS HANDS BLOODY: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF GORAN

Believe us when we tell you that one of the must-see discoveries of Fantasia’s 20th edition is the unpredictable, violent and hilarious GORAN from Croatian filmmaker Nevio Marasovic (VIS-À-VIS). Following a down on his luck alcoholic cab driver during a nightmarish birthday party, this amalgamation of deranged situations turns a powerful social drama into a comedy of awkward situations along the lines of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM with a substantially darker soul.

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AN ABSURDIST NEW CREATION FROM MINORU KAWASAKI

Japanese comedy master Minoru Kawasaki, creator of such Fantasia classics as THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, EXECUTIVE KOALA and THE RUG COP, is back with another hilariously absurdist treat! A giant monster feasts on hikers and begins to destroy the city when scientists have a genius idea: turning a skinny dude into a colossal pro wrestler! Buildings will fly and models will be pulverized when the hilarious KAIJYU MONO screens in its International Premiere.

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JOBS GET LETHALLY ODD IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF PASCAL CHAUMEIL’S UN PETIT BOULOT

Left jobless after the town’s big factory closes, Jacques (Romain Duris) finds a new job to cover his debts and make ends meet – contract killings. A smartly written black comedy that takes sharp shots at capitalism and conformity, UN PETIT BOULOT (ODD JOB) is scripted by and co-starring Michel Blanc, and directed by the late Pascal Chaumeil, who passed away shortly after production was completed.

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FROM THE MAKERS OF BITE –
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF BED OF THE DEAD

Maverick Canadian genre heroes Black Fawn Films, whose BITE, EJECTA, ANTISOCIAL, THE DROWNSMAN, and NEVERLOST have all world premiered at Fantasia, return to Montreal with BED OF THE DEAD, the directorial debut of cinematographer Jeff Maher (BITE, HELLOUTH). Four twenty-somethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death in this hallucinatory Grand Guignol Twilight Zone-esque shocker that gets freakier with each passing minute.

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EVERYONE WILL FALL IN LOWLIFE LOVE

Third Window Films and Eiji Uchida (GREATFUL DEAD) partner up once again for LOWLIFE LOVE, an undeniably personal and uncompromising look behind the scenes of Japan’s micro-budget film industry. Starring veteran actor Denden (COLD FISH, CURE, UZUMAKI) and Kiyohiko Shibukawa (LOVE & PEACE) in the lead role of a 39-year-old deadbeat lowlife running a scam film school for down-on-their-luck actors and filmmakers. Fantasia’s Canadian Premiere screening will be hosted by Director Eiji Uchida, actor Denden, and producer Adam Torel.

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FANTASIA CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF JAPAN’S MOST FAMOUS SUPERHERO WITH THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE

On July 17, 1966, the first episode of the hugely popular Ultraman series was broadcast on Japanese television. On July 17, 2016, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s most famous superhero, Fantasia will present the international premiere of Kiyotaka Taguchi’s ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE, the latest film from Tsuburaya Productions, featuring the original Ultraman.

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THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF KIM TAE-GON’S FAMILYHOOD

Both hilarious and deeply moving, Kim Tae-gon’s extremely smart dramedy FAMILYHOOD (International Premiere) is more than just a solid piece of entertainment. Featuring an impressive cast led by the extraordinary Kim Hye-soo (COIN LOCKER GIRL), it also sparks a necessary reflection on the cult of youth and beauty in contemporary society and South Korean medias, while tackling the unfair marginalization of young single mothers. Director Kim Tae-gon (THE POT) will be hosting Fantasia’s International Premiere of the film.

____________________________________________________________
DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE 2016 LINEUP

Fantasia’s documentary section returns with six fascinating works that will provoke thoughts and post-screening discussions-a-plenty.

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Beware the Slenderman
USA / Dir: Irene Taylor Brodsky    

On May 31, 2014, two girls in Wisconsin committed an irredeemable act at the behest of an eerie Internet entity. A doc in which fiction not only surpasses reality but contaminates it in a horrifying way. Using testimonials and archival footage, it also questions the complex relationship that exists today between youth and social media. If the Slender Man doesn’t exist, he certainly haunts our spirit. Screening will be hosted by director Irene Taylor Brodsky. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Dwarvenaut
USA / Dir: Josh Bishop

A portrait of the challenges and triumphs of artist, entrepreneur, off-the-cuff philosopher and supremely devoted D&D aficionado Stefan Pokorny, mastermind of Dwarven Forge gaming miniatures. Bishop’s doc is a robust and immensely inspiring tribute to talent, purpose, and dreams made real — an enchanted, and enchanting, tale for the ages. Pokorny and Bishop will be hosting our screening.  Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Show of Shows
Iceland-UK / Dir: Benedikt Erlingsson

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s perfectly okay to stare. Prepare to embark on a spectacular non-narrative journey through a century of lost circus and vaudeville arts, set to a bedazzling score by members of Sigur Rós and an Icelandic choir. A dreamy, beautiful, eerie poem of a film. Official Selection: Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2015, Göteborg International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Tower
USA / Dir: Keith Maitland

On Aug 1, 1966, Austin’s University of Texas campus abruptly became a place of horror when Charles Whitman opened fire from a clock tower. A hyper-cinematic oral history of sorts, set to an inspired combination of artfully animated recreations, newsreel footage, photographs and rotoscoped depictions of the speakers themselves, using these devices to brilliant effect, telling the story in near real-time. Winner: Best Documentary Feature, SXSW 2016. Fantasia’s screening on August 1st will be followed by a panel discussion organized by Meaghan Hennegan, survivor of the 2006 Dawson College Shooting, featuring speakers from Polytechnique, Dawson College and CTV News, with more participants to be announced shortly.

Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge titles: CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX and FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK.

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FANTASIA’S ACTION! SECTION EXPLODES THE REMAINDER OF ITS 2016 LINEUP

Following the earlier announcements of the World Premiere of KICKBOXER VENGEANCE and North American Premieres of SKIPTRACE, BLOOD FATHER, ANTIGANG, and TORO, among others, Fantasia’s Action! section has three more hard-hitting punches to land.

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Baaghi
India  /  Dir: Sabbir Khan

Ronny has mastered the art of fighting, a skill he’ll need when he races to the rescue of a kidnapped flame in Thailand. Tiger Shroff’s intense performance shows promise of major martial-arts stardom ahead. BAAGHI is a non-stop action feast that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its whole duration. Quebec Premiere.

Kill Zone 2
Hong Kong-China / Dir.:Soi Cheang

Thai prison guard Chai must keep Kit, an undercover Hong Kong cop, alive at any cost. An action extravaganza with some truly astounding scenes — including a prison riot that will have you on the edge of your seat! Official Selection : Toronto International Film Festival 2015.

The Phantom Detective
South Korea / Dir: Jo Sung-hee

Private investigator Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), searching for his mother’s killer, enlists the unsuspecting help of the man’s two granddaughters. A devilish, modern mélange of film noir and action. Official Selection: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Additional previously announced Action! titles: THE BODYGUARD, LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, and THEY CALL ME JEEG.

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AXIS 2016: ANIME THEN AND NOW, LONE-WOLF ANIMATORS

As its twentieth anniversary arrives, Fantasia can’t forget how essential Japanese anime has been in our programming over the past two decades, and this year we’re screening both a new, state-of-the-art anime feature (HARMONY) and an early cornerstone of Japanese animation history (MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILORS).

The 2016 Axis section also showcases BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE from Martinique and NOVA SEED from Canada, two superior examples of something we can expect more of in the years to come: full feature films crafted by a single animator on a negligible budget. The quality, creativity, and charm these labours of love exude should give big studios pause… and remind fans of the medium what they love about it in the first place.

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Harmony
Japan / Dirs.: Takashi Nakamura, Michael Arias

Tuan has fled to the ends of the Earth, the edge of human civilization drastically reduced by cataclysm – and since supremely elevated by nanotech miracles. A new key work in Japanese animation from the innovative Studio 4°C, part of the Project Itoh anime trilogy. Quebec Premiere.

Momotaro, Sacred Sailors
Japan / Dir.: Mitsuyo Seo

Commissioned by the Ministry of the Navy and inspired by Disney’s FANTASIA, animation pioneer Seo’s 1945 propaganda film for children was the very first Japanese anime feature. A lost masterpiece, freshly restored from the original 35mm negatives. Official Selection, Cannes Classics 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Battledream Chronicle
Martinique / Dir.: Alain Bidard

Syanna must confront the fiercest fighters of Mortemonde, to kill the masters inside them – and the slave inside herself. Martinique’s first animated feature, a digital anime adventure on par with Japan’s best, but proudly Caribbean at heart (and it’s all the work of a single filmmaker).

Nova Seed
Canada / Dir.: Nick DiLiberto

It’s bio-warrior beast-man versus wasteland warlock in this totally hand-drawn, homemade cartoon mini-masterpiece, shamelessly wallowing in vintage Saturday-morning science-fantasy fun. The ne plus ultra of do-it-yourself animation, loaded with irony-free charm. Quebec Premiere.

Previously announced Axis titles: BAD CAT, PSYCHONAUTS, and SEOUL STATION.

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ADDITIONAL THIRD WAVE TITLES INCLUDE:

The Arbalest
USA / Dir: Adam Pinney

The reclusive and eccentric inventor behind the Kalt Cube – the world’s most popular toy! – is opening up after a 10-year vow of silence, ready to unveil a new invention. A quirky, edge-of-your-seat character study, unfolding as the confessional of a Steve Jobs-esque inventor, THE ARBALEST is a rare thing: a vision at once fresh, hilarious, and chilling in its pitch-perfect timeliness. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2016.

Bakuman
Japan / Dir: Hitoshi Ohne

Two classmates team up to create a manga and get it published in the legendary magazine Shonen Jump. A film for manga fans to drool over, while pleasing the uninitiated with its contagious dynamism, astounding visual creativity, award winning soundtrack by electro band Sakanaction and stellar cast led by RUROUNI KENSHIN’s Takeru Sato. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Japan Cuts 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Collective Invention
South Korea / Dir: Kwon Oh-kwang

A journalist strives to expose the transformation of a boy into a fish following a clinical experiment gone awry. Alternately absurd and bitingly satirical, a smart, funny fantasy you can dive right into. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015, BAFICI – Buenos Aires Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
South Korea / Dir: Roh Deok

Breaking news, this just in! Killer-thriller collides with biting black satire of modern media! Body count sure to rise! Rising South Korean star Cho Jung-seok (ARCHITECTURE 101) headlines in this anxious, adrenal twist of mystery, mayhem, and mockery. Official Selection: Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Feuilles mortes
Quebec / Dirs: Thierry Bouffard, Carnior, Edouard A. Tremblay

On the road to a fortified village, three individuals with very different pasts see their destinies unwillingly intertwined. A post-apocalyptic Western that’s also a powerful human drama, starring Roy Dupuis, Noémie O’Farrell, and Philippe Racine. Big-screen viewing is a must. World Premiere.

Five
France / Dir: Igor Gotesman

Selling drugs isn’t for everybody, and when things turn sour, Samuel (Pierre Niney) has no choice but to turn to those who always had his back: his friends! A funny yet humanist film about friendship. North American Premiere.

Fourth Place
South Korea / Dir: Jung Ji-woo

Coach Gwang-su will make a better competitive swimmer of 11-year-old Jun-ho — but at what terrible cost? Gorgeously shot and masterfully written, this shattering, yet luminous sports drama carries the torch for independent Korean cinema in this Olympic year. Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival 2015, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

HK2: The Abnormal Crisis
Japan / Dir: Yuichi Fukuda

After being the hero of one of the craziest screenings in the history of Fantasia, Hentai Kamen is back for further sexy superheroics in a sequel packed with salacious gags, absurd dialogue, over-the-top action, and grotesque baddies. Official Selection: Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Holy Flame of the Martial World
Hong Kong / Dir: Lu Chin-Ku

The search for the ultimate weapon, the Holy Flame, continues to create havoc! Beware of laser fingers and flying disco balls as you enjoy this blast of pure, unfiltered kung fu insanity in a rarely seen 35mm Shaw Scope print.

Judge Archer
China / Dir: Xu Haofeng

A tormented young man invites trouble with his new identity in this resounding, confounding kung fu delight that breaks and remakes the very laws of martial arts cinema! North American Premiere.

Karaoke Crazies
South Korea / Dir: Kim Sang-chan

Financial pressures make a dysfunctional family of sorts out of the misfits at Addiction Karaoke — but a serial killer threatens to upend the fragile peace. A crafty blend of black comedy, poignant drama, and brutal suspense. Official Selection: South by Southwest Film Festival 2016, Boston Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Kiki, Love to Love
Spain / Dir: Paco León

Five unusual love stories unfold in sunny Madrid, in this smart, spicy sympathetic erotic comedy. León’s film blew up at the box office in Spain and seduced millions — and schooled them in the details of dirty dabblings like harpaxophilia, polyamory, dacryphilia, eliphilia, and somnophilia! Canadian Premiere.

Kiyamachi Daruma
Japan /  Dir: Hideo Sakaki

Katsuura was once at the top, boss of a Kyoto yakuza clan. Now, he’s at the very bottom, literally crawling on the floor as a limbless debt collector. One of the bleakest, most unrelenting gangster films which is playing against type at every level possible. Official Selection: New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Lace Crater
USA / Dir: Harrison Atkins

A disarming film about messy relationships and the shame of owning up to one’s sexuality… especially when ghosts and STDs are involved! Exploring a generation’s drive for romantic connection by way of the supernatural, LACE CRATER blends the improvisational and comedic approaches of erstwhile mumblecore cinema, with the unsettling metaphors that a genre framework can bring to life. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Imagine Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Little Sister
USA / Dir: Zach Clark

Halloween 2008 brings a former goth girl, now a nun, back into her dysfunctional clan’s den of disaster. A delightful and idiosyncratic black comedy about family, black lipstick, drugs, and finding grace in adversity starring Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy, Keith Poulson, and Barbara Crampton. An outright masterpiece from the wildly talented director of WHITE REINDEER. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Mon ami Dino
Quebec / Dir: Jimmy Larouche

“I’m not afraid to die — I’m scared to lose my life.” Actor Dino Tavarone (OMERTA) delivers a performance of rare authenticity, playing himself in a wild concoction that perfectly blends reality with fiction. A splendid celebration of life reflecting on family, friendship, work… and illness. Montreal Premiere.

Outlaws and Angels
USA / Dir: JT Mollner

Desperate bank robbers with a bounty hunter on their trail hide out at an isolated farm. A gloomy, violent concoction emphasizing the gritty, depraved, and brutal side of the Wild West, tipping its hat to the classics. Francesca Eastwood, daughter of the legendary silver-screen cowboy, delivers a twisted yet solid performance that is sure to make her famous father proud. Official Selection : Sundance 2016. Canadian Premiere.

Parasyte: Part 1
Japan  / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki

The right hand of teenager Shinichi has been commandeered by a strange alien entity, and it wants to find more of its kind. A shrewd, highly logical hybrid of horror and sci-fi, adapted from the hugely popular manga. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2014, Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.

Parasyte: Part 2
Japan / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki

The second act of the two-part PARASYTE series raises the stakes and cranks up the excitement. A mutant mash-up of grisly gore, creature feature, science fiction eco-shocker, and superhero thrill ride. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.

The Piper
South Korea / Dir: Kim Gwang-tae

In the aftermath of the Korean war, a humble musician and his sick son discover a hidden village plagued by rats — and by shameful, dark secrets. A haunting, horror-stained fable of doublecross and dire retribution adapted from the classic Pied Piper of Hamelin with an amazing cast led by Ryoo Seung Ryong (SEOUL STATION) and Chun Woo-hee (HAN GONG-JU). Official Selection: Vancouver International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015.

The Priests
South Korea / Dir: Jang Jae-hyun

A grizzled, borderline-burnout veteran exorcist and a rebellious young seminarian confront a demonic possession in Korea in this supernatural thriller that’s scary and/or funny in just the right places. Kim Yoon-seok (THE CHASER), Kang Dong-won (HAUNTERS), and Park So-dam (THE THRONE) shine in Jang Jae-hyun’s impressive first direction. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Psycho Raman
India / Dir: Anurag Kashyap

Raman, a serial killer in Mumbai, sees his alter ego in the crooked cop pursuing him. A genuine time bomb that can suddenly blow up in your face at any time, capturing the social pressures gnawing away at Indian society.  From the visionary director of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR and UGLY. Fantasia will be showing the Cannes cut, as opposed to the version that recently opened in theatrical release. Official Selection, Cannes Director’s Fortnight 2016.

Sori: Voice from the Heart
South Korea / Dir: Lee Ho-jae

Kim is searching for his long-lost daughter. A satellite robot he names Sori is also on a quest — and government agents are after them both. A smart, inventive, and empathic adventure, part quirky comedy, part techno-thriller. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

Too Young to Die!
Japan / Dir: Kankuro Kudo

Recently deceased teenager Daisuke, desperate to escape Hell and reach Heaven, embarks on an epic journey of wacky reincarnations. A devil-horned comedy masterpiece by Writer/Director Kankuro Kudo (BRASS KNUCKLE BOYS), bursting with gore gags and heavy metal tunes by the gallon! Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, Hong Kong Filmart 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

A Violent Prosecutor
South Korea / Dir: Lee Il-hyung

Hardboiled prosecutor Byun, framed for the death of a suspect, isn’t going to let prison walls get in the way of his revenge. A rough, tough, rambunctious legal thriller that ransacked the South Korean box office featuring stars Hwang Jung-min (THE WAILING) and Kang Dong-won (THE PRIESTS). Quebec Premiere.

 

MARILYN MANSON, SHINSUKE SATO, AND KEVIN SMITH AMONG FEST GUESTS AS FANTASIA REVEALS AN EXCITING SECOND WAVE OF TITLES!


Fest to open with World Premieres of KING DAVE and KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE! Polish Spotlight, Camera Lucida, Fantasia Underground, and more announced

Opening Film: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF DANIEL GROU’S KING DAVE

Violence, heartache and betrayal lie ahead when Dave (MOMMY’s Alexandre Goyette) gets caught up in a calamitous situation, driven by an unstoppable momentum. A tale told in a breathless rush, captured in a single tracking shot by celebrated Quebecois filmmaker Daniel “Podz” Grou (7 DAYS, 10 1/2, MIRACULUM). Also starring Karelle Tremblay and Mylène St-Sauveur.

Additional Opening Night Attraction: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JOHN STOCKWELL’S KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE

Re-launching the KICKBOXER franchise, this blistering new film boasts Canadian actor Alain Moussi in the lead and Jean-Claude Van Damme as a muay thai teacher with unconventional methods. Georges St-Pierre and Dave Bautista also star. Directed by John Stockwell (TURISTAS, INTO THE BLUE).

 
MARILYN MANSON WILL MAKE YOU A MARTYR

Trailblazing musician and multimedia artist Marilyn Mason will be coming to Fantasia to present the World Premiere of Corey Asraf & John Swab’s gripping and poetic modern Noir LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR. Manson is a producer on the film and co-stars alongside Mark Boone Junior, Niko Nicotera, Sam Quartin, and Michael Potts.

KEVIN SMITH WILL YOGA YOU A HOSER

Indie iconoclast Kevin Smith will be coming to Fantasia for a special evening with his uniquely Quebec-centric comedy YOGA HOSERS, the second entry in the filmmaker’s inspired “True North” trilogy centered around outrageously kooky and inventively hallucinatory happenings in our Canuckian neck of the woods.

© 2015″Library Wars -LM-“Movie Project


SHINSUKE SATO IS COMING TO FANTASIA WITH LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION

Shinsuke Sato is one of the most versatile directors in Japan, excelling as the Co-Writer-Director of a family oriented animation film like OBLIVIOUS ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Special Mention at Fantasia 2010) as much as he does at the helm of thrilling gore fest like I AM A HERO. The festival will have the pleasure of welcoming Director Sato again with the Canadian Premiere of LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, part of our Action! section, where paramilitary thrills, comical flourishes and powerful philosophical challenges pervade this sequel to the 2013 Fantasia hit.


THE WORLD PREMIERE OF NICK GILLESPIE’S BEN WHEATLEY-PRODUCED TANK 432

A military mission goes deadly wrong when a group of soldiers find themselves stalked by invisible enemies. Co-produced by Ben Wheatley (A FIELD IN ENGLAND, HIGH RISE), Nick Gillespie’s TANK 432 is a gripping and fascinating unnatural thriller where the lines between reality and nightmares dissolve to make room for an exploration into chaos. One of the highlights of the 2016 edition of Fantasia’s Camera Lucida section (full lineup announced later in this release).

SLEEP NO MORE AS WE UNCOVER MIKE FLANAGAN’S BEFORE I WAKE

Fantasia was among the first festivals to introduce the world to the brilliance of Mike Flanagan (OCCULUS, HUSH) with our screening of the filmmaker’s instant-classic debut ABSENTIA. We’re thrilled to be bringing him back with a special screening of his eerie and poetic horror/fantasy BEFORE I WAKE, starring Jacob Tremblay (ROOM) as a troubled orphan whose dreams spill out into the real-world environment around him when he sleeps – as do his nightmares. Also starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Annabeth Gish.

JACKIE CHAN RETURNS TO THE FANTASIA SCREEN WITH SKIPTRACE

A beloved figure on the Fantasia screen since the festival’s 1996 inception, Jackie Chan will always hold a special place here. We’re pleased to be presenting the North American premiere of his latest film, Renny Harlin’s SKIPTRACE, in which a detective from Hong Kong teams up with an American gambler (Johnny Knoxville) to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal. Also starring Fan Bingbing, Eric Tsang and Michael Wong.


ADAM NIMOY WILL HOST THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK

Arriving at Warp Speed to welcome STAR TREK’s 50th anniversary, FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK celebrates the enduring series by focusing on the franchise’s most popular character and the man who played him. Directed and narrated by Adam Nimoy, this fascinating doc offers a personal, intimate look at the life and livelihood of his late father, beloved actor Leonard Nimoy, and his iconic alter-ego, Mr. Spock. Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival 2016

© 2016 Toho Co. Ltd. / Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc. / Shogakukan Inc. / Amuse Inc. / Cross Company Inc. / Magazine House Co., Ltd. / Lawson HMV Entertainment , Inc. / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. / KDDI Corporation / GYAO Corporation / Nippon Shuppan Hanbai Inc.

IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD

A terminally-ill postman with days to live meets the Devil in the guise of his double, who offers him an extra day of life for each thing, linking him to his loved ones, that is forever removed from the surface of the Earth. A poignant Faustian tale full of both sadness and light. Make no mistake, Akira Nagai’s IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD, presented in Canadian Premiere, is among the finest jewels of Fantasia’s 2016 programming and one of the most touching films you will encounter anywhere this year.

THE NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF KIKE MAILLO’S TORO

Kike Maillo created quite a stir on the festival circuit in 2011 with the Goya-awarded sci-fi film EVA. For his second feature, he brings us a super-realist action film, highly stylized, cleverly written and flawlessly directed, starring Mario Casas (UNIT 7) and Luis Tosar (SLEEP TIGHT).


AN OUTSIDER ROMANCE TOLD UNROMANTICALLY: SOME FREAKS

A rare teen film about outsiders that actually understands them, playwright Ian McAllister-McDonald’s SOME FREAKS (World Premiere) depicts a sweet yet wounding romance between a one-eyed boy (Thomas Mann) and a large girl (Lily Mae Harrington) who come together from shared experiences as high school outcasts. Funny, honest and caustic, this film will charm your heart – and demolish it. Co-executive produced by Neil LaBute.

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SPOTLIGHT ON POLISH GENRE CINEMA

In tribute to the passing of the great Andrzej Zulawski earlier this year, Fantasia will be presenting a special showcase of Polish genre cinema. Presented in collaboration with the Polish Film Institute, our series will screen four masterpieces of provocative, individualistic filmmaking, three contemporary, one nearly-lost classic in vividly restored new light.


DEMON

Poland — Dir: Marcin Wrona

This festival favorite offers an ingenious twist on Jewish folklore and myth. Tackling complex ideas — whether the feeling of confronting life’s big changes, or of the lurking national and political histories that bubble to the surface once families are united under the same roof — DEMON is dense with illuminating metaphors, and rich with moments of unsettlingly quiet horror. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016.  Quebec Premiere


I, OLGA HEPNAROVA

Czech Republic-Poland-Slovakia — Dirs: Petr Kazda, Tomas Weinreb

On July 10, 1973, 22-year-old Olga Hepnarová drove a truck into a group of 25 strangers, setting in motion a tragic conclusion to a lonely young life of alienation and rage. A bracingly powerful and tough-minded true story featuring a haunting lead performance by the incredible Michalina Olszanska (THE LURE). Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere.



THE LURE

Poland — Dir: Agnieszka Smoczynska

Heart-eating sister sirens from the sea join an erotic cabaret in the disco mermaid stripper horror/musical/comedy/drama/romance/coming-of-age adult fable you’ve been waiting your entire life for.  A singular masterpiece of the unconventional, THE LURE is an exhilaratingly cool act of filmmaking whose charms are impossible to resist. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Luxembourg City Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.


ON THE SILVER GLOBE
(newly restored)
Poland — Dir: Andrzej Zulawski

Andrzej Zulawski’s long suppressed, now magnificently restored ON THE SILVER GLOBE (1977/1988) features some of the most bizarre and startling imagery ever committed to celluloid: heretics impaled on spikes, a mass underground orgy and (years before MAD MAX) a finned Cadillac screaming through the desert… Shortly before the end of filming, the project was shut down by the Polish Communist authorities. Almost a decade later, Zulawski was invited back to Poland to complete his broken masterpiece. Recently restored from the original camera negative, ON THE SILVER GLOBE presents a terrifying science fiction vision worlds apart from STAR WARS.

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CAMERA LUCIDA 2016

For its 7th edition, Camera Lucida once again showcases unique and groundbreaking perspectives on genre cinemas by taking its codes into new directions. Over a dozen titles from around the world have been selected to figure in our 2016 line-up, including festival favorites as well as exciting premieres from promising newcomers. Themes this year cover feminism, urban isolation, conspiracy theories and sexuality.

ALOYS
Switzerland / France — Dir: Tobias Nölle

In this urban fable, a lonely inspector sees his life turned upside down when a mysterious woman initiates him to « telephone walking », an unusual form of therapy. A rare example of audiovisual poetry, the bittersweet ALOYS could be compared to a melancholic variation on Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s AMELIE. Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2016.

L’ÉLAN
France — Dir: Étienne Labroue

The arrival of a humanoid being (an elk, with a big plush head) quickly creates havoc in a small French village. Part mockumentary, conspiracy theory and fantasy fable, this promising debut feature bursts with a refreshing originality. Official Selection: L’étrange festival de Paris 2015. Canadian Premiere.


SHELLEY

Denmark-Sweden — Dir: Ali Abbasi

A housekeeper finds a new job in an isolated house in the middle of wilderness. Once there, the two owners ask her to carry their child. Reminiscent of ROSEMARY’S BABY, this modern gothic chiller turns an intimate Bergman-like drama into one of the most surprising horror films of the year. Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2016. North-American Premiere.

IF THERE’S A HELL BELOW (Closing Film: Camera Lucida)
USA — Dir: Nathan Williams

Believing to be on the story of the century, a journalist suddenly finds himself caught in a frantic game of cat and mouse. Quiet yet profoundly suspense, the Closing Film of Camera Lucida 2016 creates a climate of paranoia so paralyzing that it’s almost asphyxiating. Official Selection: Slamdance Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.


THE INERASABLE

Japan — Dir. Yoshihiro Nakamura

A popular mystery writer and a young architecture student investigate a haunted apartment complex, in this clever deconstruction of J-horror tropes from prolific director Yoshihiro Nakamura (FISH STORY, THE SNOW WHITE MURDER CASE). Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.


THE WAILING
(Opening Film: Camera Lucida)
South Korea — Dir. Na Hong-jin

A wave of gruesome murders is tearing the rural village of Goksung apart and its only weapons against these manifestations of pure evil are an incompetent cop, a shy deacon and an exuberant shaman. With the ambient horror thriller THE WAILING, the Opening Film of our Camera Lucida section and one of the most talked about films of Cannes 2016, Writer/Director Na Hong-jin confirm his place among the masters of Korean cinema. Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival 2016, Munich International Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere

Previously announced Camera Lucida titles: AMERICANA, EMBERS, OPERATION AVALANCHE, UNDER THE SHADOW, WE ARE THE FLESH

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FANTASIA UNDERGROUND 2016

Get set for unrestrained eccentricity and mountains of resourceful, raw talent as Fantasia Underground celebrates its third birthday, bringing a homeless street gang, a power-stripped middle-aged superhero, an alienated dog groomer in love and a whole lotta monsters to town for the party.


PARASITES

USA — Dir: Chad Ferrin

Three college students find themselves lost and stranded on Skid Row when they get a flat tire and are captured by an angry homeless gang. Visceral, low-budget grittiness that pays homage to horror, westerns and ’80s action, playing like John Carpenter by way of Jim VanBebber.  World Premiere


SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS

USA — Dir: Michael Reich

In an era where we’re regularly seeing films calculated to be “weird” by design, here’s an intoxicatingly insane breath-of-fresh-air coming from a place so genuine and strange it cannot be faked. Is it a comedy? A horror film? A romance? A fever dream? Yes! An experimental observational comedy that doesn’t look or feel like anything else, this is one of the coolest discoveries of 2016.


SUPERPOWERLESS

USA — Dir: Duane Anderson

A former crime-fighter whose unnatural powers have waned, is plagued by midlife crisis. A witty, surprising and emotionally resonant film about aging, self-acceptance and legacy that brings a fresh perspective on the iconic superhero: you will believe that a man can fly, fall down and get back up again… Truly terrific.  World Premiere

THERAPY
France — Dir: Nathan Ambrosioni

Following the discovery of a home movie left by a pack of missing teenagers, two cops realized they must act quickly in order to save them from a murderous threat. Following the success of last year’s HOSTILE, maverick young filmmaker Nathan Ambrosioni, now a weather-beaten 16 years of age, returns to Fantasia with a frightening and well-crafted new take on the found footage subgenre. World Premiere.

Previously announced Fantasia Underground title: ATMO HORROX

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Additional Second Wave Highlights:

ANOTHER EVIL
USA — Dir: Carson D. Mell

A couple whose vacation home is haunted enlist a hardcore exorcist — and the real problems begin. This parapsychological gem, the feature debut from Carson D. Mell, a writer on EASTBOUND & DOWN and SILICON VALLEY, is both a weird, intimate comedy and a different kind of haunted-house chiller. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere

ANTIBIRTH
USA-Canada — Dir: Danny Perez

Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly and Mark Webber star in this twisted, surrealistic and grotesque tale of drug addiction and a very unusual kind of pregnancy that stunned audiences at Sundance earlier this year. Official Selection: Boston Underground Film Festival 2016

A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE
Japan — Dir. Shunji Iwai

Nanami meets her husband on the Internet, and her life unravels into a complex network of artifice, strange jobs and deceitful relationships. An epic of alienation and love for the age of social media, from master Shunji Iwai (ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU, VAMPIRE)! Official selection: Seattle International Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere

A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH
Denmark — Dir: Hans Petter Moland

A message in a bottle comes across the desk of a sleepy cold-case investigation unit in Denmark. It begins with the word ‘Help.’ An exhilaratingly chilling Nordic Noir starring the great Nikolaj Lie Kaas, A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH broke a 15-year Opening Weekend box office record in Denmark. Official Selection: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

THE DEVIL’S CANDY
USA — Dir: Sean Byrne

A vivid new take on the Satanic haunted-house thriller by way of a home-invasion siege nightmare, complete with a ferociously effective doom-metal sound design that will have the cinema’s walls shaking with demonic force to match director Byrne’s exhilarating storytelling chops. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Fantastic Fest 2015. Quebec Premiere.

EYES OF MY MOTHER
USA — Dir: Nicolas Pesce

First-time writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s B&W nightmare had everyone talking–and screaming–during its Sundance debut, and now makes its bloody mark on Fantasia. This rural horror show jangles the nerves from the get-go, when a lunatic arrives at the remote homestead of an odd family. But that’s just the tip of this chilling iceberg that evokes Takashi Miike at his most disturbing and Terrence Malick at his most evocative. Canadian Premiere.

LAZY HAZY CRAZY
Hong Kong — Dir: Jody Luk Yee-Sum

An audacious and unsettling coming of age story of three girls reaching adulthood in Hong Kong from 1st time director Jody Luk Yee-Sum, a regular co-writer (LOVE IN THE BUFF & VULGARIA) for award winning director Pang Ho-Cheung (who also serves as producer). Official Selection: Tokyo Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Five Flavors Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, Canadian Premiere.

THE LOVE WITCH
USA — Dir: Anna Biller

A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in VIVA director Anna Biller’s tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas. Dazzlingly decked out in the filmmaker’s aesthetic signature of personally hand crafted costumes and art direction (Biller also scripted, edited and scored the film). Official Selection: Maryland Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.

THE MASTER CLEANSE
USA — Dir: Bobby Miller

Heartbroken Paul (Johnny Galecki) joins an unusual spiritual retreat, where the approach to inner growth is perhaps a touch too literal. An intimately whimsical black comedy about personal baggage and the monsters it can become.  The long awaited feature debut from Bobby Miller, whose brilliant short TUB astonished audiences at Fantasia in 2010. Also starring Anna Friel, Kyle Gallner and Anjelica Huston. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.

SLASH
USA — Dir: Clay Liford

Teenagers Neil (Michael Johnston) and Julia (Hannah Marks) bond over their shared devotion to amateur, erotic fan fiction for sci-fi/fantasy geeks in this smart, empathic, often funny and always convincing coming-of-age drama. Official Selection: BAMCinemaFest 2016, Munich Film Festival 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere. 8

TEENAGE COCKTAIL
USA — Dir: John Carchietta

Picture-perfect teens Annie (Nichole Bloom) and Jules (Fabianne Therese) are in love, and have made a plan. A cautionary tale of sorts about mad teenage love, growing up on the Internet, and the kind of poor decisions that characterize life lived to its fullest… or shortest. Also starring Pat Healy. Official Selection: SXSW 2016. International Premiere.

THREE
Hong Kong — Dir: Johnnie To

A Crook, a cop and a surgeon with dark secrets converge in a hospital leading to deadly results. Director Johnnie To returns to the action genre after a three-year hiatus! Filmed entirely in a hospital in Southern China and without a full script, To is back in full force, creating tense cat and mouse games and a thrilling climatic shoot-out that he can do so effortlessly with fresh vigor! Official Selection: Taipei Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.

THE THRONE
South Korea – Dir. Lee Joon-ik

The horrible death of Prince Sado, condemned by his father King Yeongjo to die of thirst in a rice chest, is among most tragic events in Korea’s history. Lee Joon-ik masterfully turns this national drama in an intimate family tragedy where the great Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in lead stellar cast. A multiple award-winner, THE THRONE was South Korea’s runner up for the latest Academy Awards. Official Selection: Hawaii International Film Festival 2015 and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere

WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY!
Japan — Dir. Yoji Yamada

Living legend Yoji Yamada (TORA-SAN, TWILIGHT SAMURAI) reunites with the cast of his 2013 remake of Yasujiro Ozu’s TOKYO STORY for this comedic tour-de-force; a rip-roaring slapstick take on elderly divorce, and the generational gap that molds traditional values through time. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2016, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere

The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal from July 14 through August 2, 2016, once again returning to the SGWU Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University.

July 12, 2016 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM/FESTIVALS — JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film Announces Full Slate of NY Premieres 7/14-24/16 *nyc

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film Announces Full Slate of NY Premieres

 

Dynamic 10th Edition Bursting with Nearly 30 Features, Over 20 Shorts, Special Sections, Industry Panel and Unprecedented Number of Special Guests

 

July 14-24, 2016, at Japan Society

 

“No other film showcase on Earth can compete with its culture-specific authority—or the quality of its titles.” –Time Out New York

 

“[A] cinematic cornucopia… interest clearly lies with the idiosyncratic, the eccentric, the experimental and the weird, a taste that Japan rewards as richly as any country, even the United States.” –The New York Times

 

“JAPAN CUTS stands apart from film festivals that pander to contemporary trends, encouraging attendees to revisit the past through an eclectic slate of both new and repertory titles.” –The Village Voice

 

New York, NY — JAPAN CUTS, North America’s largest festival of new Japanese film, returns for its 10th anniversary edition July 14-24, offering eleven days of impossible-to-see-anywhere-else screenings of the best new movies made in and around Japan, with special guest filmmakers and stars, post-screening Q&As, parties, giveaways and much more.

 

This year’s expansive and eclectic slate of never before seen in NYC titles boasts 29 features (1 World Premiere, 1 International, 14 North American, 2 U.S., 6 New York, 1 NYC, and 1 Special Sneak Preview), 21 shorts (4 International Premieres, 9 North American, 1 U.S., 1 East Coast, 6 New York, plus a World Premiere of approximately 12 works produced in our Animation Film Workshop), and over 20 special guests—the most in the festival’s history.

 

Kicking off the festival with a rocking celebration, the Opening Film is the North American Premiere of Mohican Comes Home, a heartwarming, offbeat comedy about a punk rocker who heads back to the country with his girlfriend by JAPAN CUTS alum Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman and the Rain, JAPAN CUTS 2012). The director will be in attendance along with star and former AKB48 idol Atsuko Maeda for a post-screening Q&A, followed by the Opening Night Party.

 

As previously announced, this year’s recipient of the CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film is the venerated actor Lily Franky, who will appear for the North American Premiere of the Centerpiece Presentation title The Shell Collector, an enigmatic and sensual second feature by emerging auteur Yoshifumi Tsubota. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and beach-themed Underwater Dream Party with members of the cast and crew in attendance. One of Japan’s most sought-after actors, Franky’s appearance follows a string of memorable performances in films by Japan’s biggest and brightest directors including Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son, for which he was awarded the Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor, among a number of other prestigious awards.

 

In the Closing Film slot, JAPAN CUTS is proud to present the North American Premiere of arthouse director Satoko Yokohama’s The Actor. Anchored by Ken Yasuda’s irresistible lead performance, The Actor is a reflexive comedy that pays tribute to the quotidian characters of the film industry with an unpredictable postmodern twist. Director Yokohama will appear at the post-screening Q&A.

 

The Feature Slate offers an exciting and thought-provoking lineup that represents the rich diversity of contemporary Japanese cinema, from independents to blockbusters, introducing emerging new talents alongside the latest by revered directors and festival favorites. More than half of the films will be screening in North America for the first time, and all are new to NYC. This year JAPAN CUTS broadens its impact and resonance by inviting many new filmmakers, as well as celebrating returning stalwarts the festival has seen become masters of their craft.

 

Among the Feature Slate’s many in-person highlights is influential auteur Sion Sono, who was a guest at the very first edition of JAPAN CUTS, and will return to premiere his long-gestating passion project Love & Peace as well as the black-and-white sci-fi The Whispering Star, starring Megumi Kagurazaka, who will also be in attendance. The celebrated director of The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015), Mipo O, will also make a rare appearance to introduce the New York Premiere of her latest heart-rending drama Being Good.

 

Playwright and filmmaker Shiro Maeda is back with his second feature, the North American Premiere of Kako: My Sullen Past, a tale of radical politics and teen angst starring Kyoko Koizumi and Fumi Nikaido. Also a previous guest of the festival, Hitoshi Yazaki returns with the North American Premiere of A Cappella, a dark romance set amidst the countercultural movements of 1969, and the legendary Masao Adachi will introduce the North American Premiere of The Artist of Fasting via video from Japan. (Forbidden to leave the country by authorities, this is the radical filmmaker’s first film in nearly a decade). For anime and manga fans, director Hitoshi One will join to present the North American Premiere of his innovative Bakuman, the story of two aspiring manga-ka (comic book artists) that is sure to set the new standard for live-action manga adaptations.

 

Fresh off a big win for his recent film Harmonium, receiving the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, Koji Fukada’s Sayonara makes its North American debut at JAPAN CUTS, the first film to feature an android performing in the lead cast, in a haunting story of post-nuclear disaster in a near-future. Yoji Yamada also joins the lineup with the U.S. Premiere of postwar melodrama Nagasaki: Memories of My Son, scored by the immensely influential musician, producer and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who will introduce the screening. Also included in this year’s record-breaking guest lineup is director Eiji Uchida, who will be joined by stars Denden and Kanji Furutachi for the North American Premiere of Lowlife Love, a comically cringe-worthy satire of the lecherous underbelly of Japan’s film industry.

 

Classics: Flash-back / Flash-forward re-works the festival’s restoration showcase in celebration of JAPAN CUTS’ 10th anniversary, presenting filmmakers’ influential works from the past (all on 35mm!) alongside their contemporary creations. The festival will reintroduce Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii’s visionary 1982 Burst City, which borrowed from the original Mad Max to become a harbinger of Japan’s cyberpunk movement, as well the New York Premiere of Ishii’s latest, Bitter Honey, an emasculating inversion of a male writer’s fantasy love affair with a goldfish (played by Fumi Nikaido). One of the biggest discoveries this year is the North American Premiere of Junji Sakamoto and Naomi Fujiyama’s The Projects. Audiences will be able to flash-back to their original collaboration, Face [2000], a wildly transgressive take on the “fallen woman” genre epitomized by Mizoguchi. Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s groundbreaking 2001 dramedy Hush!, about a gay couple asked to father a child by an offbeat stranger, will be paired with the New York Premiere of the filmmaker’sThree Stories of Love, winner of the 2015 Kinema Junpo Awards for Best Japanese Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best New Actor.

 

The Documentary Focus section is also significantly expanded for this year’s 10th edition, with four outstanding portraits of artists whose work ripples out to the larger context of contemporary life in Japan. Titles include a special sneak preview of acclaimed director Tatsuya Mori’s FAKE, about the media scandal behind composer Mamoru Samuragochi, Japan’s “digital-age Beethoven,” and Arata Oshima’s (Nagisa Oshima’s son) North American Premiere of The Sion Sono, about the titular filmmaker. (Filmmaker Mori will be in attendance for a Q&A moderated by the esteemed documentarian Kazuhiro Soda). Two rigorous self-portraits from Japanese punk legend Michiro Endo, Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face, and artist Yuko Nakamura, A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light, round out the program—Endo’s film will be introduced by poet Mizuki Misumi.

 

With Experimental Spotlight: Anime Vanguard, the festival continues its commitment to independent artistic visions in cinema by offering a program of vibrant short-form animations. Award-winning filmmaker Onohana will present a number of her playfully poetic works alongside other short pieces by Mirai Mizue, Masanobu Hiraoka, Sawako Kabuki, Atsushi Wada, Yoko Yuki, and Ryo Hirano. Preceded by completed works made by participants from the MONO NO AWARE Hand-Drawn Animation Film Workshop (held at Japan Society on June 18).

 

Continuing this year’s theme of exploring the present, past, and future of Japanese cinema, the festival introduces a free Panel Discussion, “Japanese Film Culture In & Out of Japan,” featuring film industry professionals sharing their thoughts on the current state of Japanese cinema. Distinguished panelists include Pia Film Festival director Keiko Araki, award-winning filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda, and Harvard University professor and former Nippon Connection program director Alexander Zahlten.

 

Between screenings in the auditorium in Japan Society’s landmark Manhattan building, audiences are invited to drop into the Microcinema installed in the Murase Room on the first floor, where a decade-spanning selection of shorts by up-and-coming filmmakers will be screening on loop.

 

In their curatorial statement, festival programmers Aiko Masubuchi, Kazu Watanabe, and Joel Neville Anderson note: “Since its founding in 2007, the festival has offered a unique window on contemporary Japanese cinema and a direct line to Japanese film culture through its invited filmmakers and stars, many of whom have gone on to earn fans amongst festival audiences all over the world. With this landmark 10th edition, JAPAN CUTS celebrates a decade of the best new Japanese cinema and bolsters its commitment to exploring Japan’s dynamic film culture and entertaining New York audiences now and for years to come as the premier venue for Japanese film in North America.

 

Tickets: $14/$11 seniors and students/$10 Japan Society members. $20/$17/$15 for the July 14 screening of Mohican Comes Home and July 21 screening of The Shell Collectorincluding after parties. Special offer: purchase tickets for at least 5 different films in the same transaction and receive $2 off each ticket. Offer available only at Japan Society box office or by telephone at  (offer not available online and not valid for the July 14 screening of Mohican Comes Home and July 21 screening of The Shell Collector). Order tickets atwww.japansociety.org or call or visit the Japan Society box office, Mon.-Fri. 11 am to 6 pm and weekends during the festival, 212-715-1258.

 

JAPAN CUTS 2016 FULL LINEUP

All films are in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

 

FEATURE SLATE (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

 

A Cappella

Fri., July 22 at 9:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro with producer Risa Toyama

Japan. 2016. 132 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hitoshi Yazaki. With Riko Narumi, Sosuke Ikematsu, Takumi Saito, Nina Endo, Wakana Matsumoto.

Radicalized amidst the countercultural movements of 1969, Sendai high schooler Kyoko goes from leading feminist interruptions of her school’s sexist uniform policies to helmeted protest actions. Bruised from a clash with riot police, Kyoko takes refuge in A Cappella, a serene coffee shop with baroque music played from records on request, where she meets bohemian college students Wataru and Yunosuke. The older aesthetes’ nihilism challenges her activist ideals, and she falls for Wataru. As Kyoko spends her days with Wataru, Yunosuke and his girlfriend Ema, this love square tumbles into an uncertain future of political conviction and sexual identity. A celebrated director of works of daring intimacy such as Strawberry Shortcakes (2006) and Sweet Little Lies (2010), Hitoshi Yazaki renders Mariko Koike’s novel with a nostalgia touched by erotic desperation and the imminent horror of our neoliberal present.

 

Adapted from Naoki Prize winning author Mariko Koike’s 1990 novel

 

Closing Film

The Actor

Sun., July 24 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Satoko Yokohama

Japan. 2015. 123 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Satoko Yokohama. With Ken Yasuda, Kumiko Aso, Shohei Uno, Hirofumi Arai, Shota Sometani.

Takuji Kameoka has made a career out of masterful performances for the silver screen and he would be a household name—if it weren’t for the fact that his filmography consists entirely of bit parts. As the prospect of a breakout role in a foreign arthouse director’s newest work appears, so too does the possibility of winning the heart of izakaya owner Azumi Murota. In her hotly anticipated follow-up to the breakout Bare Essence of Life (aka Ultra Miracle Love Story, JAPAN CUTS 2010), director Satoko Yokohama adapts Akito Inui’s original novel, crafting this quietly daring tribute to the workaday human magic underlying the gleam of cinema. Ken Yasuda, known for TEAM NACS and many voice performances for Studio Ghibli, is irresistible in the film’s title role, while Yokohama regular Kumiko Aso shines just as brightly.

 

“Yokohama’s little salute to the Japanese film industry” Kaori Shoji, The Japan Times

 

The Artist of Fasting

Sat., July 23 at 4:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Video introduction with director Masao Adachi

Japan. 2015. 105 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Masao Adachi. With Hiroshi Yamamoto, Taizo Sakurai, Sho Ryuzanji, Shoichi Honda, Hiroko Ito.

After a decade-long hiatus, legendary filmmaker and political firebrand Masao Adachi returns with a characteristically transgressive, critical new film that adapts Kafka’s short story “The Hunger Artist” for the modern era. An anonymous man sits down in the middle of a shopping arcade and refuses to eat, speak or move. He is soon visited by a throng of onlookers who project their own meaning onto his assumed act of protest or claim to speak on his behalf. An absurdist satire that unfolds in episodic fashion with avant-garde interludes, Adachi’s film uses its fable-like narrative framework to approach controversial topics and historic atrocities while leaving room for ambiguity. Even well into his 70s, Adachi’s unique brand of political cinema remains as radical and confrontational as ever.

 

18+ This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.

 

“Adachi is a true revolutionary artist, a filmmaker whose unshakable political beliefs have shaped his vision of cinema as an intense engagement with its audience and with its time.”–Haden Guest, Harvard Film Archive

 

Bakuman

Sun., July 17 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro with director Hitoshi One

Japan. 2015. 119 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hitoshi One. With Takeru Satoh, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Shota Sometani, Lily Franky.

High schoolers Moritaka “Saiko” Mashiro (Takeru Satoh) and Akito “Shujin” Takagi (Ryunosuke Kamiki) have one burning desire—to make it into Weekly Shonen Jump, the most widely-read, influential manga magazine in Japan. Although the novice writer/illustrator team show exceptional promise, the competition is fierce. They battle for the top against a legion of talented artists—including Niizuma (Shota Sometani), an eccentric genius manga-ka their same age—all of whom are ultimately judged by Jump‘s discerning chief editor (Lily Franky). Based on the popular manga of the same name, Bakuman is an earnest tribute to the artistic process that sets a new standard for live-action manga adaptations. Featuring innovative motion graphics and CG animation and a propulsive soundtrack by rock band Sakanaction.

 

Winner, 2016 Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Music, Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing and Most Popular Film.

 

Being Good

Fri., July 22 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Mipo O

Japan. 2015. 121 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Mipo O. With Kengo Kora, Machiko Ono, Chizuru Ikewaki, Kazuya Takahashi, Michie Kita.

Suburban Hokkaido schoolteacher Tadashi (Kengo Kora) can barely make his pupils sit still, so when he suspects a student is being mistreated at home, he’s unsure of what to do. With her husband abroad, Masami (Machiko Ono) has taken on full-time parenting responsibilities, including punishing her daughter, a growing concern for her acquaintance Yoko (Chizuru Ikewaki). Accosted as a shoplifter after forgetting to pay for groceries, Akiko (Michie Kita) is elderly and alone when an autistic child may be in need of help. Based on Hatsue Nakawaki’s omnibus novel, these intertwining interventions may suggest a populist follow-up to Mipo O’s The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015), however Being Good is an even more harrowing drama, fearlessly gazing at generations of abuse, the precarious structures of Japanese society, and the glory and horror of taking responsibility for another’s life.

 

“Emphatically one of the best films to emerge from Japan this year, and in recent memory.” Don Brown, The Asahi Shimbun

 

NETPAC Award, 2015 Moscow International Film Festival

 

Bitter Honey

Fri., July 15 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2016. 82 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Gakuryu Ishii. With Fumi Nikaido, Ren Osugi, Yoko Maki, Kengo Kora, Masatoshi Nagase.

Akako, a shape-shifting goldfish in the form of a coquettish nymphet clad in diaphanous red dresses (Fumi Nikaido), naively plays the role of erotic muse and adoring pet for an aging writer seeking greatness (Ren Osugi). Things quickly get complicated for the odd couple, however, when the writer’s deceased former student/lover (Yoko Maki) enters the picture as a ghost and helps Akako realize her own desires, activating her agency and frustrating the one-sided male fantasy the writer is so keen to continue. Miles away from the punk-inspired material that distinguished his early career, director Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii displays the versatility of his talent by transforming this strange supernatural fable adapted from Saisei Muro’s novel into a heavily stylized, sensual comic fantasy full of visual wit and seamless, unpredictable shifts in tone.

 

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of [Ishii] for Japanese cinema.” –Nippon Connection retrospective, 2013

 

Emi-Abi

Sun., July 24 at 4:30 pm

**World Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Kensaku Watanabe

Japan. 2016. 88 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Kensaku Watanabe. With Ryu Morioka, Tomoya Maeno, Haru Kuroki, Hirofumi Arai, Mari Yamachi.

Up-and-coming manzai stand-up comedy duo Emi-Abi has lost consummate funny man Unno (a surprisingly touching Tomoya Maeno) to an accident, leaving conceited straight man Jitsudo (Ryu Morioka) to contend with his diminished career prospects as a bland, pretty face entertainer. Guided by his manager Natsumi (Haru Kuroki), who demonstrates stronger comedy chops than her own star, Jitsudo comes to learn the circumstances of his friend’s passing, as well as the life-and-death stakes of a career in comedy. Demonstrating a careful balance of tone across tragedy and deadpan and gross-out humor, writer/director Kensaku Watanabe expands Emi-Abi‘s hilarious premise into a strikingly assured meditation on artistic rivalry and self-actualization.

 

Director Kensaku Watanabe awarded Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay for Yuya Ishii’s The Great Passage

 

Flying Colors

Sun., July 24 at 12:30 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2015. 117 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Nobuhiro Doi. With Kasumi Arimura, Atsushi Ito, Shuhei Nomura, Tetsushi Tanaka, Yo Yoshida.

This smash-hit comedic drama stars newcomer Kasumi Arimura as Sayaka, a ditzy high school material girl who is unexpectedly encouraged by an overly-optimistic and unconventional cram school teacher (Atsushi Ito) to apply for admission to one of the toughest universities in Japan—a prospect that her friends and family initially laugh off. Inspired to reach her goal and prove a point, Sayaka completely throws herself to the task at hand, burying herself in textbooks and sacrificing her social life along the way. Based on a true story, Nobuhiro Doi’s whip-smart direction effortlessly hits all the sweet spots in delivering what could easily be considered Japan’s winking response to Legally Blonde.

 

Winner, 2016 Japan Academy Prize for Rookie of the Year (Kasumi Arimura)

 

I Am a Monk

Sat., July 23 at 12 pm

**New York Premiere

Japan. 2015. 99 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yukinori Makabe. With Atsushi Ito, Mizuki Yamamoto, Junpei Mizobata, Gaku Hamada, Miyuki Matsuda.

After the sudden death of his grandfather, 24-year-old bookstore clerk Koen (Atsushi Ito) cautiously accepts his inherited role as abbot of the Eifuku-ji Temple in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, 57th stop along Shikoku’s famous 88 temple pilgrimage. As he learns the ropes of monkhood — from memorizing ritual prayers to buying the right set of head clippers — the film offers an inside look at the day-to-day life of a monk (including after-hours drinking and baseball practice), humorously bringing to relief the relatable, earnest human beings behind the traditional robes and shaved heads. An often moving and poignant coming-of-age story, I Am a Monk uses Koen’s bumpy journey toward self-realization to ask universal questions about life’s purpose while ultimately leaving all possibilities open.

 

Based on an autobiographical essay “Boku wa Bosan” by Missei Shirakawa

 

Kako: My Sullen Past

Sun., July 24 at 2 pm

**North American Premiere

  1. 120 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Shiro Maeda. With Kyoko Koizumi, Fumi Nikaido, Kengo Kora, Itsuji Itao, Mochika Yamada.

Ah, the wistful summers of near adulthood—or, for high schooler Kako (the ever-amazing Fumi Nikaido), drudging through the humid months of caring for her young niece at her family’s sleepy restaurant in Kitashinagawa, Tokyo. However that all changes when her aunt Mikiko (Kyoko Koizumi), thought to have died 18 years ago in an explosive accident, suddenly returns, bringing with her rumors of anti-government terrorist plots, international intrigue and maternal drama. A follow-up to The Extreme Sukiyaki (JAPAN CUTS 2014) by acclaimed playwright, novelist and screenwriter Shiro Maeda, winner of the 52nd Kishida Drama Award and 22nd Yukio Mishima Prize, Kako: My Sullen Past finds Maeda in full control of his cinematic instrument, channeling his characteristic dialogue and parodic cynicism through his wonderful cast and engrossing tale of radical politics and quotidian angst.

 

“Maeda has succeeded in capturing the values and lifestyles of a generation unfettered by the burden of finding meaning in life.” –Performing Arts Network Japan

 

Ken and Kazu

Sat., July 23 at 2 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 98 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Hiroshi Shoji. With Shinsuke Kato, Katsuya Maiguma, Kisetsu Fujiwara, Shuna Iijima, Haruki Takano.

The long-awaited feature film debut by newcomer Hiroshi Shoji based on his eponymous 2011 short. Ken (Shinsuke Kato) and Kazu (Katsuya Maiguma) are small-time drug dealers and partners in crime operating out of a car repair shop under the watchful eye of a local yakuza boss. When Ken’s girlfriend becomes pregnant he makes plans to go straight, but Kazu has other ideas. Working on a shoestring budget, director Shoji manages to deliver a thrilling jolt of realism to the often overfamiliar yakuza genre. He amplifies the intensity of the actors’ performances by shooting largely in close-up with tightly framed compositions, creating a nerve-wracking sense of danger and instability that is sustained from the film’s first punch to its final sigh.

 

Official Selection of the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam.

 

Love & Peace

Sat., July 16 at 7:30 pm

**NYC Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Sion Sono

  1. 117 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Sion Sono. With Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Makita Sports.

Decades in the making, Love & Peace returns to director Sion Sono’s most persistent themes: purity, passion and cult power. A chilling, candy-colored fantasy of the nuclear age, this story of a coward turned Bowie-esque rock god is a frantic meditation on artistic integrity and political responsibility at a time when Sono’s own career is mutating beyond the Japanese stadium. Office clerk Ryoichi’s dreams have been squelched by fear, however a fateful meeting with a turtle sends him toward stardom. Provocatively named “Pikadon,” after the Japanese descriptor of the atomic bomb’s brilliant light (pika) and blast (don), the turtle returns just in time.

 

“The hardest working man in Japanese cinema, prolific cult auteur Sion Sono’s latest surreal offering feels like a genre-warping mash-up of Godzilla, Toy Story and Miracle on 34th Street.”Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

 

Lowlife Love

Fri., July 15 at 8:30 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Eiji Uchida, star Denden

Japan. 2016. 105 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Eiji Uchida. With Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Denden, Shugo Oshinari, Maya Okano, Chika Uchida, Kanji Furutachi.

Director Eiji Uchida’s follow-up to Greatful Dead (JAPAN CUTS 2014) is a relentlessly cynical black comedy that takes a look under the rug of the Japanese film industry, where scheming lowlife producers, filmmakers and actors get by through exploitation and intimidation. The biggest lowlife is Tetsuo (Kiyohiko Shibukawa), who made a minor indie hit many years ago but has since then coasted by shooting cheap pornos for cash and half-heartedly running an acting workshop where he sexually harasses newbie actresses. When two talented new students sign up for his workshop, however, one with an exciting original script and the other with star potential, Tetsuo sees an opportunity and makes plans for his comeback.

 

Official Selection, 2016 Film Festival Rotterdam

 

18+ This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.

 

The Magnificent Nine

Sat., July 16 at 12 pm

**U.S. Premiere

Japan. 2016. 129 min., in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura. With Sadao Abe, Eita, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Karen Iwata, Yuko Takeuchi Ryuhei Matsuda.

Things seem hopeless for the residents of a poor post-town in 18th century Japan who suffer from land taxes and an oppressive law requiring them to bear the costs of transporting goods for their lord. That is until an ingenious idea is introduced that could turn their fortunes around—lend money to their financially strapped lord and redistribute the interest to the townspeople. Pulling together every resource they have, an unlikely group of nine small business owners and farmers set the plan in motion, risking their own heads for the sake of the town’s survival. Based on a true story, this inspiring period comedy helmed by versatile director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story, JAPAN CUTS 2009) is a celebration of the power of collective action in response to tyranny.

 

Based on the novel Mushi no Nihonjin by Michifumi Isoda

 

Opening Film, followed by OPENING NIGHT PARTY!

Mohican Comes Home

Thurs., July 14 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Shuichi Okita and star Atsuko Maeda

Japan. 2016. 125 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Shuhei Okita. With Atsuko Maeda, Ryuhei Matsuda, Akira Emoto, Masako Motai, Yudai Chiba.

After years of trying to make it in Tokyo as a punk singer, deadbeat Eikichi (Ryuhei Matsuda) decides to go back to his island home in Hiroshima along with his wide-eyed, clumsy girlfriend Yuka (Atsuko Maeda) to share the news that she is pregnant. Though Eikichi’s old-school father (Akira Emoto) initially reacts badly, he soon calls the entire town over to celebrate his grandchild—only to collapse in pain during the party. Along with his family, Eikichi tries his best to make his bedridden father happy, with hilarious results. With a nod to Carmen Comes Home (1951), director Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman and the Rain, JAPAN CUTS 2012) masterfully cuts a slice of life out of this perfect intersection of comedy and drama that leaves the heart as breezy and warm as the island air.

 

“An endearingly loud dramedy which reminds one that not all Japanese family dramas are gentle and restrained.” Maggie Lee, Variety

 

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son

Sun., July 17 at 4:15 pm

**U.S. Premiere

**Featuring Introduction with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto

Japan. 2015. 130 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoji Yamada. With Sayuri Yoshinaga, Kazuya Ninomiya, Haru Kuroki, Tadanobu Asano, Kenichi Kato.

August 9, 1948. Nagasaki, Japan. An aging midwife named Nobuko (Sayuri Yoshinaga) is visited by the ghost of her son Koji (Kazuya Ninomiya), whom she lost to the atomic bomb. From then on Koji visits his mother frequently to reminisce and catch up on lost time. Their biggest topic of conversation is Koji’s kind-hearted fiancée Machiko (Haru Kuroki), who regularly visited Nobuko over the three years since Koji’s death. Machiko and Koji both seem unable to fully accept Koji’s death, but Nobuko slowly encourages them to move on. Yoji Yamada’s moving, star-studded film is a complementary response to playwright Hisashi Inoue’s seminal work The Face of Jizo, about a father-daughter relationship in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, and the master director’s self-proclaimed attempt at making “the most important film in his life.”

 

Winner of 11 awards at the 2016 Japan Academy Prize including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress.

 

The Projects

Tue., July 19 at 6:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2016. 104 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Junji Sakamoto. With Naomi Fujiyama, Ittoku Kishibe, Michiyo Okusu, Renji Ishibashi, Takumi Saito.

Whether it’s someone mixing burnables and recyclables or noise from a neighbor’s domestic spat, there’s always something occupying the residents of a housing project in the suburbs of Osaka. However Hinako (Naomi Fujiyama) and Seiji (Ittoku Kishibe) couldn’t care less. Having moved in just six months ago after the closure of their herbal medicine shop, the old couple is reluctantly putting their life back together. But when Seiji disappears, the apartment rumor mill churns: divorce, murder, dismemberment? As the story spins out of control, and a mysterious man with a parasol puts in a tall order of natural remedies, the truth turns out to be even more fantastic than gossip. Ranging from incisive comedy of errors to absurdist adventure to moving late life romance, The Projects is one of the biggest surprises of the year.

 

Reunites stage actress and comedian Naomi Fujiyama with director Junji Sakamoto 15 years after her starring debut in the smash hit Face.

 

A Road

Wed., July 20at 6:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 85 min. HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Daichi Sugimoto. With Daichi Sugimoto, Yuta Katsukura, Rika Sugimoto, Masato Ikariishi, Yoji Kondo.

Prompted by a film school assignment to capture an episode of his life on video, Daichi (played by director Daichi Sugimoto) searches his memory for a moment when he felt most like himself. He settles on his childhood hobby of catching lizards, something that used to bring him the kind of pure joy he finds missing from his life as a young adult now entering his college years. With this simple premise, first-time filmmaker Sugimoto creates a refreshingly inspired take on a contemporary coming-of-age story that gracefully blends documentary footage within an autobiographical narrative feature. An earnest exploration of the possibilities of cinema to capture, preserve, and represent the truth of personal experience.

 

Grand Prize, Pia Film Festival Award Competition 2015

 

Preceded by:

Born With It

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro with director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.

Japan. 2014. 16 min. Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.

Young Keisuke moves from Tokyo to rural Japan where, for the first time, he encounters classroom prejudice due to his dark skin. Unsure how to respond, he turns to his mother for answers.

 

Sayonara

Sun., July 17 at 1:45 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 112 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Koji Fukada. With Bryerly Long, Hirofumi Arai, Geminoid F, Makiko Murata, Nijiro Murakami.

One of the most highly regarded Japanese directors on the international scene, Koji Fukada finds a near-future Japan in the midst of a national evacuation brought about by a nuclear disaster in Sayonara. Tanya (Bryerly Long), a South African raised in Japan suffering from a terminal illness, is at the bottom of the departures list. She spends her days with her friend Sano and lover Satoshi, however her constant companion is android caregiver Leona (Geminoid F). Created by robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, Geminoid F reprises her role with Long, both featured in the play by Oriza Hirata on which the film is based. While the post-disaster scenario is ambiguous, it clearly references Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Addressing politically charged taboos, Sayonara asks the question “Can life as we know it survive nuclear catastrophe?”

 

Adapted from Oriza Hirata’s stage play Sayonara II

 

The Shell Collector

Thu., July 21 at 7 pm

**North American Premiere – CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Yoshifumi Tsubota and star Lily Franky, with CUT ABOVE award ceremony, followed by the Underwater Dream Party!

Japan. 2016. 89 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yoshifumi Tsubota. With Lily Franky, Shinobu Terajima, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ai Hashimoto, Akira Fukuhara.

Living alone along the white sand and turquoise waters of Okinawa is a blind professor (Lily Franky) who spends his days collecting and writing about seashells. His solitude is interrupted when a woman (Shinobu Terajima) washes up unconscious on the shore. Restored to health, the young woman is stung by one of the professor’s poisonous shellfish and unexpectedly cured of a rare disease. News about the shellfish’s healing power spreads quickly and soon everyone seeks out the professor’s cure, including his estranged son (Sosuke Ikematsu). Director Yoshifumi Tsubota delivers a hypnotically beautiful, impressionistic dream of a film that ponders the connection between man and nature. Featuring stunning location cinematography by Akiko Ashizawa and a spare, haunting score by Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin & Wood).

 

Adapted from the story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr

 

Three Stories of Love

Mon., July 18 at 6:30 pm

**New York Premiere

  1. 140 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With Atsushi Shinohara, Toko Narushima, Ryo Ikeda, Daisuke Kuroda, Chika Uchida, Lily Franky.

Named the best Japanese movie of 2015 by Kinema Junpo, this immensely rich and expertly crafted original drama by groundbreaking writer/director Ryosuke Hashiguchi centers on the lives of three heartsick characters suffering because of love: Atsushi, a gifted bridge inspector whose wife is murdered in a random attack; Toko, a housewife trapped in a suffocating, loveless marriage; and Ryo, a successful, but emotionally unfulfilled lawyer secretly pining for a childhood friend. Much like the unforgettable character of Atsushi, who can instinctively identify bridge damage by delicately tapping on the tower foundations with a hammer, Hashiguchi is able to identify the emotional damage of his fragile, lonely characters with a seemingly effortless touch, tapping in on their moments of quiet desperation to speak volumes about the loneliness of modern life.

 

“Three Stories of Love is the best film I’ve seen all year.” Mark Schilling, The Japan Times.

 

Winner, Kinema Junpo Awards for Best Japanese Film, Best Director, Best Screenwriter, and Best New Actor (Atsushi Shinohara)

 

The Whispering Star

Sat., July 16 at 4:45 pm

**New York Premiere

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Sion Sono and star Megumi Kagurazaka

Japan. 2016. 100 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Sion Sono. With Megumi Kagurazaka, Kenji Endo, Yuto Ikeda, Koko Mori.

Sion Sono’s first feature with his newly established independent production company is the realization of a script he wrote two decades ago but reworked to reflect the present. Humanoid delivery woman Yoko Suzuki (Megumi Kagurazaka) makes her rounds through space, landing on isolated planets and meeting near-extinct human beings along the way. Whispering to Yoko is the child-like voice of her spaceship’s operating machine. Neither understands why humans have the need to send each other seemingly insignificant objects that take years to be delivered. Shot in black and white, Sono’s beautifully crafted sci-fi setting is reminiscent of the films of Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky. The empty landscapes that Yoko visits were filmed in the evacuated zones of Fukushima, featuring many people that Sono interviewed while making his post-3/11 film, The Land of Hope(2012).

 

“Sion Sono… can always be counted on for something extraordinary, and The Whispering Star is one of his most imaginative films yet.” Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival

 

DOCUMENTARY FOCUS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

 

FAKE

Sat., July 23 at 7 pm

**Special Sneak Preview

**Featuring Intro and Q&A with director Tatsuya Mori, moderated by filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda

Japan. 2016. 109 min. (Japan version). DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tatsuya Mori. With Mamoru Samuragochi, Takashi Niigaki, Tatsuya Mori.

Born to atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, Mamoru Samuragochi, a self-taught classical composer with a degenerative condition causing deafness, was celebrated as a “Japanese Beethoven” for the digital age. However, just prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, where Samuragochi’s Sonatina for Violin was to accompany figure skater Daisuke Takahashi, part-time university lecturer Takashi Niigaki revealed that he had served as the composer’s ghostwriter for 18 years, that Samuragochi couldn’t notate music and, in fact, could hear perfectly. As Samuragochi’s recordings were pulled and performances cancelled, Niigaki enjoyed success on TV talk shows. Filmmaker Tatsuya Mori finds Samuragochi holed up in his small Yokohama apartment with his wife and cat, ready to tell his side of the story. A mesmerizing character study skewering media duplicity and constructions of ability/disability, in which Samuragochi’s career has collapsed, taking fact and fiction with it.

 

“The entreaty ‘you’d better not film this’ seems to be a signal for [Mori] to zoom in even closer on his subject.” –International Documentary Film Amsterdam on Tatsuya Mori’s A2

 

Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face

Wed., July 20 at 8:45 pm

**International Premiere

**Featuring Intro with poet Mizuki Misumi and percussionist Takashi Itani

Japan. 2016. 103 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Michiro Endo. With Michiro Endo, Mizuki Misumi, Takao Morishima, Takehara Pistol, Yoshihide Otomo.

Pig heads, intestines, megaphones: all these and more have been thrown into crowds of loyal fans following the influential punk band THE STALIN or any of number of Michiro Endo’s other bands since 1980. Taking a step in front of the camera, however, Endo offers a very different kind of encounter in this inspiring self-portrait. Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face follows the artist, a native of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima, on the 2011 nationwide solo tour celebrating his 60th birthday, which was interrupted by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Traveling, performing and talking with fellow musicians and activists, Endo reflects on the past and future of Fukushima, the legacy of Hiroshima, his upbringing and his feelings about his mother, communicated in the song from which the documentary is named.

 

“A partial but engaging picture of a galvanizing artist and human being… it harnesses one of the main reasons Endo has remained vital while other punks have fallen by the wayside: It rocks.”Don Brown, The Asahi Shimbun

 

A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light

Sun., July 17 at 12 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2015. 87 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yuko Nakamura. With Rei Naito, Ran Taniguchi, Hina Yukawa, Keiko Oyama, Nobuko Numakura, Kyoko Tanaka.

On an island in the Seto Inland Sea, the Teshima Art Museum integrates the serene seaside environment with an architectural structure by Ryue Nishizawa and the artwork “Matrix” by Rei Naito. The remote museum’s single installation suspends light, air and droplets of underground water in constant play, defining a unique, meditative space barred from filming. An innovative portrait in which the mysterious artist refuses to appear onscreen, Yuko Nakamura’s documentary explores five women’s interactions with the dynamic space of “Matrix” in unprecedented access to the site while delving into Naito’s body of work, beginning with her projects in Hiroshima. Foregrounding a deep connection with tangible and intangible elements of human experience and generations of Japanese women, Nakamura’s film takes full advantage of the cinematic medium to confront Naito’s artworks and the existential themes they evoke.

 

“Highlighting the two-year communications between Naito, an artist who has never revealed her creating processes to the outside world, and director Yuko Nakamura, this film shows the quest of five women, all invariably enchanted by Naito’s art, as they explore her artistic world based on the question of whether it is in itself a blessing to be alive.” –Aichi International Women’s Film Festival

 

The Sion Sono

Sat., July 16 at 2:30 pm

**North American Premiere

Japan. 2016. 97 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Arata Oshima. With Sion Sono, Shota Sometani, Fumi Nikaido, Megumi Kagurazaka.

The ever-evolving Sion Sono, who burst onto the Japanese film scene with I Am Sion Sono!! in 1984, has made a name for himself in world cinema as a multiple award-winner, festival favorite and provocateur. Directed by Arata Oshima, son of rebel filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, who had praised Sono’s early work before his passing, this documentary gives insight into the man, the poet, the painter, the scriptwriter, the husband and the boy who will eventually grow up to be the Sion Sono. Lineage, history and the past meeting the present are themes in this film in which Oshima connects the dots in Sono’s creative life by taking the camera to the site of his upbringing and following the production of his most recent film The Whispering Star, also screening at this year’s JAPAN CUTS.

 

“It goes without saying that the director of Heya, Strange Circus and Love Exposure is one of the most influential Japanese filmmakers of recent decades.” –Berlinale Forum program notes

 

CLASSICS: FLASH-BACK TO FLASH-FORWARD (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

 

Burst City

Sat., July 23 at 10 pm

Japan. 1982. 117 min. 35mm, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Gakuryu Ishii (as Sogo Ishii). With Machizo Machida, Michiro Endo, Shigeru Izumiya, Shigeru Muroi, Shinya Ohe.

Sogo (Gakuryu) Ishii’s hugely influential film kicked off the Japanese cyberpunk movement of the late 1980s by taking Mad Max’s futuristic, dystopian biker gang aesthetic and smashing it together with the frenetic energy and antiauthoritarian sneering of the contemporary Japanese punk scene while foregrounding a hyper-inventive, groundbreaking visual style heavy on fast cutting, alternating film speeds, and concert documentary shooting. The loose, frenzied plot revolving around a violent confrontation between several gangs of punk musicians, yakuza, bikers and cops over the attempted construction of a nuclear power plant quite literally erupts into an explosive finale. A peerless punk cinema manifesto, Burst City remains as vibrant today as it did when it roared new life into Japanese cinema over 30 years ago.

 

“A seminal and visionary work… [Burst City] can be regarded as the starting point of contemporary Japanese cinema, making it one of the most important films in that cinema’s history.” Tom Mes, Midnight Eye

 

Face

Tue., July 19 at 8:45 pm

Japan. 2000. 123 min. 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Junji Sakamoto. With Naomi Fujiyama, Michiyo Okusu, Etsushi Toyokawa, Ittoku Kishibe, Jun Kunimura.

An independent cinema sensation at the time of its release, Face is a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of middle-aged seamstress Masako, set free from the emotional abuse and isolation of her family’s dry cleaning business in a shocking act of violence. Painfully shy and clumsy, she is an unlikely fugitive from the law when the nationwide manhunt for her is interrupted by the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. Masako’s life on the lam brings her in contact with a host of lonely characters, who see the face of this sympathetic killer change from humiliation to self-assurance. With Face, Junji Sakamoto sharpened his keen balance of violence and humor, moving from masculinist heroics to this unruly take on the fallen woman genre anchored by stage actress and comedian Naomi Fujiyama in her mesmerizing star debut.

 

“Sakamoto’s subtly subversive [Face] delves so deeply into the heart of a killer on the lam that by the end of the movie you are rooting for the murderer to continue eluding the law and achieve a measure of self-fulfillment that seemed unthinkable at the beginning.”Stephen Holden, The New York Times

 

Hush!

Mon., July 18 at 9:30 pm

Japan. 2001. 135 min. 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With Seiichi Tanabe, Kazuya Takahashi, Reiko Kataoka, Yoko Akino, Manami Fuji.

When Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s first feature A Touch of Fever hit Japanese cinemas in 1993, the young filmmaker burst doors open for independent Japanese cinema by generating a huge box office success while simultaneously creating space for public discourse on gay life in Japan, virtually absent from mainstream movie screens until then. With Hush!, Hashiguchi continued to mine the complex theme of individual freedom in conflict with restrictive social pressures through gay characters, this time focusing on adults instead of adolescents. Soon after Naoya (Kazuya Takahashi) and Katsuhiro (Seiichi Tanabe) start to settle into a relationship, a slightly unhinged young woman (Reiko Kataoka) asks Katsuhiro to father her child. From this simple premise Hashiguchi develops a deeply human story told with honesty and humor about three people doing their best to do the right thing.

 

Official Selection, 2001 Cannes Film Festival (Director’s Fortnight)

Winner, Best Film, Best Actor (Seiichi Tanabe), Best Director at 2003 Yokohama Film Festival                   

Winner, Best Actress (Reiko Kataoka) 2002 Kinema Junpo Award

 

SPECIAL SECTIONS

 

Experimental Spotlight: Anime Vanguard

Sunday, July 17 at 9:30 pm

**Featuring Intro with Onohana

An exciting selection of experimental animated works from Japan never before screened in New York City, representing a broad range of contemporary avant-garde practice. The titles range from 3-14 minutes, adopting the full breadth of styles in new animation: from visual music to raunchy music videos, digital processes to analogue filmmaking, and from minimalist atmospheric shorts to narratively rich miniature epics. All evoke completely unique worlds. 18+ These films are unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age and older.

 

Mono No Aware Hand-Drawn Animation Workshop Films 2016. Approx. 8 min. Digital.

Various works from the participants of Mono No Aware’s Hand-Drawn Animation Workshop held at Japan Society on June 18. World Premiere.

 

AGE OF OBSCURE, Mirai Mizue and Onohana. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

A grand collision of Mizue’s signature visual music forms and Onohana’s mesmerizing impressionistic illustrations, featuring music by Twoth. North American Premiere.

 

Ouch, Chou Chou, Onohana. 2016. 12 min. Digital.

Onohana’s expansive imagination and visual style here recounts the touching saga of a cabbage and pea’s friendship across bullying and interdimensional travel. North American Premiere.

 

Land, Masanobu Hiraoka. 2013. 4 min. Digital.

Shape shifting animal and geometric forms stun in this piece with music and sound by Aimar Molero. New York Premiere.

 

MASTER BLASTER, Sawako Kabuki. 2014. 4 min. Digital.

Coital psychedelia featuring the music of Shinsuke Sugahara, a wild imaginary of physical intimacy. New York Premiere.

 

The Great Rabbit, Atsushi Wada. 2012. 7 min. Digital.

“If you believe in the Rabbit, it means that you’ll believe anything. If you don’t believe in the Rabbit, it means that you wouldn’t believe anything.” New York Premiere.

 

lost summer vacation, Yoko Yuki. 2015. 3 min. Digital.

The mystical happenings of a tropical island are pictured in an animated scroll. North American Premiere.

 

Don’t tell Mom, Sawako Kabuki. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

A naughty musical sex-ed film for siblings. New York Premiere.

 

HOLIDAY, Ryo Hirano. 2011. 14 min. Digital.

Delirious, deeply romantic tale of love and loss featuring a girl, golden nude, and akahara imori newt in a gondola resort. New York Premiere.

 

TENSAI BANPAKU, Mirai Mizue. 2015. 4 min. Digital.

The mutating forms of Tensai Banpaku, or “Genius Expo” create a stunning abstract orchestra. New York Premiere.

 

ZDRAVSTVUITE!, Yoko Yuki. 2015. 6 min. Digital.

“On a summer day a strange man who teaches Russian at the beach took me to a town.” East Coast Premiere.

 

such a good place to die, Onohana. 2015. 3 min. Digital.

Forms shift like a landscape of memory in this enchanting work featuring music by Tatsuki Tsushima. North American Premiere.

 

PANEL DISCUSSION

Japanese Film Culture In & Out of Japan

Wed., July 20 at 4 pm

For the past 10 years, JAPAN CUTS has been introducing new Japanese films to New York audiences amidst numerous shifts in film culture as well as production, distribution and exhibition practices in Japan and beyond. What are the social, economic and political pressures that help determine the types of films that get made in Japan and how they are sold abroad? How has the international perception of Japanese cinema changed in recent years? What are the efforts being made and what more can be done to increase its exposure? This panel of diverse film industry veterans is assembled to address these questions and to consider the role of festivals like JAPAN CUTS – as well as distribution companies, academia, technology and beyond–in determining the direction of Japanese cinema.

 

This event is free. Seating is limited. Customers will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Approx. 60 min.

 

Panelists:

 

Keiko Araki is the Festival Director for Pia Film Festival (since 1992); focusing on the discovery and nurturing of new filmmakers, PFF is the longest running film festival in Japan (founded in 1977).

 

Kazuhiro Soda is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York known for his observational method and style of documentary production, and the author of many books published in Japan.

 

Alexander Zahlten is an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, and was Program Director for Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany from 2002 to 2010.

 

JAPAN CUTS 2016 MICROCINEMA

New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC)

July 14-24, screening daily from starting at 11 am

An outstanding program supporting the development of a vibrant film culture in Japan, New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC) gives up-and-coming filmmakers the opportunity to produce a professional quality thirty minute short, shot on 35mm film. In recognition of their recent 10th anniversary, JAPAN CUTS offers a selection 10 highlights from 2006-2015. The JAPAN CUTS Microcinema is installed in the Murase Room on the first floor of Japan Society. All films 30 minutes in length, and are projected in digital video, in Japanese with English subtitles.

 

Hana, Kujira, and Her Father

  1. Directed by Takahiro Horie. With Mei Kurokawa, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Yuji Nakamura.

A pro wrestler trains to slug her deadbeat dad, but when she finds him he claims amnesia. International Premiere.

 

Endrollers

  1. Directed by Kohei Yoshino. With Takahiro Miura, Denden, Masahiro Kuno.

An aging man makes increasingly preposterous demands to Nakamoto who is still new to his job as a funeral coordinator. North American Premiere.

 

Buy Bling, Get One Free

  1. Directed by Kosuke Takaya. With Wataru Kora, Takashika Kobayashi, Rumi Hiragi.

A satirical comedy that pokes fun at the fashion-obsessed. Think Harajuku meets Zoolander. North American Premiere.

 

Turning Tides

  1. Directed by Teruaki Shoji. With Hanae Kan, Ryoya Fujita, Tomomitsu Adachi.

Two unlikely friends reject pressures of the cynical adult world and explore fantasies of renewal. North American Premiere

 

I AM HERE

  1. Directed by Yukihisa Shichiji. With Reina Aoi, Anna Aoi, Hajime Inoue

Twins Manami and Misora could always feel each other’s presence no matter how far apart they are. Until one day, when Misora suddenly disappears… International Premiere.

 

Boys

  1. Directed by Daishi Matsunaga. With Naoya Shimizu,Takuya Yoshihara, Chika Uchida.

A tenderly brutal portrayal of two high school boys bullied at school and their struggle to reach out for human connection. Director of Pieta in the Toilet (JAPAN CUTS 2015). North American Premiere.

 

HOLE IN WONDERLAND

  1. Directed by Nao Shimizu. With Yurine Hanada, Shunsuke Sawada, Hiromi Miyagawa.

A sweet childhood story approaching robot toys and the rituals of death. North American Premiere.

 

A LYING WOMAN’S DAYBREAK

  1. Directed by Madoka Kumagai. With Yuko Miyamoto, Reiko Saito, Ryosuke Watabe.

Yuriko’s languid life as a piano teacher is suddenly disrupted by the curse of being labeled a “cheating bitch.” North American Premiere.

 

SEISMIC GIRL

  1. Directed by Kenta Tatenai. With Satoshi Yamanaka, Aona Kawai, Noriko Eguchi.

Men are weak but earthquakes are strong in this love triangle comedy involving a catfish. International Premiere.

 

LINE

  1. Directed by Hiroyuki Nakao. With Eri Fuse, Ryuhei Ueshima, Masanobu Katsumura.

Hilarious comedy ensues when a middle-aged couple attempts to steal from the safe of an insurance company president. International Premiere.

 

SPECIAL GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE

 

Lily Franky (The Shell Collector)

Recipient of the CUT ABOVE Award for Outstanding Performance in Film

Lily Franky is a Japanese actor, illustrator, essayist, and author of the best-selling autobiographical novel Tokyo Tower: Me and Mom, and Sometimes Dad, which was adapted into a film in 2007. Since beginning his acting career in 2001, he has distinguished himself as one of the most highly sought-out, versatile actors in Japanese cinema, often playing scene-stealing supporting characters. He is best known to international film audiences for his memorable performance in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son (2013), for which he won multiple awards including the Kinema Junpo Award and Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to The Shell Collector, his first leading role since Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s All Around Us (JAPAN CUTS 2009), Franky can be seen in Bakuman and Three Stories of Love.

 

Denden (Lowlife Love)

Venerable character actor Denden first appeared in Yoshimitsu Morita’s Something Like It in 1981 and has since acted in over 100 films and TV shows. His impressive career includes turns in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (1997) and Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on (2000), among many others. He is best known for his role in Sion Sono’s Cold Fish (2010), for which he won multiple awards including the Kinema Junpo Award and Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actor.

 

Megumi Kagurazaka (The Whispering Star)

With breakthrough roles in Sion Sono’s 2011 films Cold Fish and Guilty of Romance, model and actress Kagurazaka revealed an ability to portray complex characters charged with delicate, ecstatic energy. Kagurazaka has continued this versatility, often collaborating with Sono, her husband, including standout roles in Himizu, The Land of Hope, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Love & Peace, and a brave lead as the android heroine of The Whispering Star.

 

Atsuko Maeda (Mohican Comes Home)

Maeda shot to mega-stardom as one of the most prominent members of AKB48. Since graduating from the idol group in 2012, she has become an in-demand actress, starring in TV dramas as well as working with some of Japan’s most well-respected film directors such as Ryuichi Hiroki, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hideo Nakata, Nobuhiro Yamashita, portraying against type characters complicating her previous girl group star image while demonstrating fantastic talents as a performer.

 

Mizuki Misumi (Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face) (hyperlink)

One of the vibrant artists appearing in Endo’s documentary, Kagoshima native Misumi is a poet known for her performances, published collections, and music albums. She was awarded the Gendaishi Techo (Modern Poetry Notebook) Award in 2004, received the 10th Chuya Nakahara Prize for her first book of poetry Overkill, and her following collection received the Rekitei Prize for Young Poets and the Southern Japan Literature Award.

 

Tatsuya Mori (FAKE)

Born in Hiroshima, Mori is a filmmaker and writer renowned for the award-winning A (1998) and A2 (2001), on Aum Shinrikyo and the aftermath of the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks. His 2011 film 311 is a collaborative documentary about the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Winner of the Kodansha prize for nonfiction, Mori has published over 30 best-selling books on social issues and the media.

 

Mipo O (Being Good)

From Mie Prefecture, O studied at Osaka University of Arts, later working under Nobuhiko Obayashi. After her Harmony received the Digital Short Grand Prix Award at Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival, she directed her first feature The Sakai’s Happiness, which won the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. Her recent The Light Shines Only There (JAPAN CUTS 2015) was Japan’s Best Foreign Language Film entry for the 2015 Academy Awards.

 

Shuichi Okita (Mohican Comes Home)

Born in Saitama, Okita began his career making short films, eventually winning the Grand Prix at the 7th Mito Short Film Festival for his short Sharing a Hotpot (2002), later moving on to feature films. His breakthrough feature The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), starring Koji Yakusho, was the centerpiece presentation at JAPAN CUTS 2012 and won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival.

 

Hitoshi One (Bakuman)

A veteran TV director, One made his feature debut with the popular romantic drama Love Strikes (JAPAN CUTS 2012) and followed up with sex comedy Be My Baby (aka The Vortex of Love) in 2013. A visually dynamic filmmaker with a gift for comedy, One quickly found an international audience at festivals such as Udine Far East Film Festival, Nippon Connection, and Fantasia, among others. Bakuman is his third feature.

 

Onohana (Experimental Spotlight)

From Iwate, Onohana’s Tokyo University of the Arts’ Department of Animation thesis received the Noburo Ofuji Award at the Mainichi Film Concours, and her works have debuted throughout Japan and internationally, including TOKYO ANIMA!, Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival, FANTOCHE, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. A skilled and versatile animator, her works evoke fantastical worlds of imagination and landscapes of the mind.

 

Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr. (Born With It)

Born and raised in Houston, Texas to a Ghanaian immigrant family, Osei-Kuffour fell in love with the storytelling sensibilities of Japanese cinema upon his first visit. For the past 6 years he lived in Japan working as a director/producer, with premieres in international festivals such as Cannes and Toronto. Now in Los Angeles, he is working on his first feature, to take place in the U.S. and Japan.

 

Ryuichi Sakamoto (Nagasaki: Memories of My Son)

A world-renowned composer, producer and musician, Sakamoto began his career as a founding member of pioneering techno-pop supergroup Yellow Magic Orchestra. His first film score for Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (in which he also acted) brought immense critical acclaim, followed by an Academy Award win for his score to Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. He recently scored Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant with Alva Noto.

 

Sion Sono (Love & Peace, The Sion Sono, The Whispering Star)

A poet and provocateur, Sono began his career making experimental 8mm films, eventually leading to a Pia Film Festival fellowship used to make his first 16mm feature Bicycle Sighs (1991). Since his breakthrough 2001 Suicide Circle, Sono has remained one of the most visible, prolific Japanese filmmakers working. He was a guest at the first JAPAN CUTS in 2007 with Exte: Hair Extensions, returning in 2009 for the New York premiere of Love Exposure.

 

Yoshifumi Tsubota (The Shell Collector)

Born in Kanagawa, Japan, Tsubota started creating under the influence of his father, a manga artist and illustrator. His experimental film Big Spectacles received the Grand Prix at the 2000 Image Forum Festival. His first narrative feature film, Miyoko, premiered in the Tiger Competition of the 2010 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Tsubota maintains a career working as a production designer and director of commercials and music videos while writing novels.

 

Adam Torel (Lowlife Love)

Torel is a film producer, programmer and the Managing Director of Third Window Films, the UK’s leading distributor of Asian contemporary cinema, through which he has helped bring greater international attention to filmmakers such as Sion Sono, Tetsuya Nakashima and Shinya Tsukamoto, among others. In addition to Lowlife Love, he has producing credits for Sono’s The Land of Hope and Yosuke Fujita’s Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats.

 

Eiji Uchida (Lowlife Love)

A prolific writer/director known for his genre-inflected films, Uchida is best known for his unique slasher/black comedy The Greatful Dead (JAPAN CUTS 2014), which screened in 30 countries worldwide and received critical acclaim at film festivals including the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Raindance and more. With 13 features credited to his name since 2004, the tireless filmmaker is already at work on his next project.

 

Kensaku Watanabe (Emi-Abi)

Born in Fukushima, Watanabe joined producer Genjiro Arato’s office in 1990, and worked as an assistant director for Seijun Suzuki’s Yumeji, making his writer/director debut withThe Story of Pupu in 1998, followed by Chinchiromai, Loved Gun, Invisible War, and Cheer Cheer Cheer!. He produced and also played a lead role in Hiroshi Okuhara’s Wave (NETPAC Award, 2002 Rotterdam International Film Festival), and appeared in Satoko Yokohama’s 2011 short Midnight Jump. He received the Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay for Yuya Ishii’s 2013 The Great Passage (JAPAN CUTS 2014).

 

Satoko Yokohama (The Actor)

Awarded Best Film in Osaka’s CO2 Open Competition for her Film School of Tokyo thesis, Yokohama’s debut feature German + Rain (2007) received the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award and Osaka’s Grand Prix. Bursting onto the international scene with Bare Essence of Life (aka Ultra Miracle Love Story) set in her native Aomori, she continued to amaze with outstanding shorts (Granny Girl, Midnight Jump, A Girl in the Apple Farm) and now The Actor.

 

~

 

Founded in 2007, JAPAN CUTS gives cinephiles their first (and sometimes only) chance to discover the next waves of film from Japan today. The festival traditionally presents a range of titles from the biggest of Japanese blockbusters, raucous genre flicks, peerless independents, arthouse gems, radical documentaries and avant-garde forms, along with unique collaborative programs put together with the cooperation of other international organizations. Special guest actors and filmmakers join the festivities for Q&As, award ceremonies, and the wild themed parties and receptions audiences have come to expect, with live music, food and drink.

 

Japan Society has actively introduced Japanese cinema to New York’s international audiences since the 1970s, presenting works by the era’s new giants such as Shohei Imamura, Seijun Suzuki, and Hiroshi Teshigahara upon their first release, and groundbreaking retrospectives on now canonical figures such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Special guests such as Akira Kurosawa, Machiko Kyo, Toshiro Mifune, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, and Hideko Takamine had already been part of Japan Society’s events before JAPAN CUTS’ inception in 2007.

 

Since then the festival has attracted nearly 45,000 filmgoers and over 250 feature films, many never-before seen in the U.S. The first annual JAPAN CUTS was one of the most successful single events in the Society’s 2007-08 centennial celebration. Noted for its “rich and varied selection of recent Japanese films” (The New York Times), JAPAN CUTS has premiered several films that have gone on to garner international acclaim, including: 0.5mm, 100 Yen Love, About Her Brother, Buy a Suit, Confessions, Death Note, Fish Story,Kamome Diner, Love Exposure, Milocrorze: A Love Story, The Mourning Forest, Ninja Kids!!!, Sawako Decides, Sukiyaki Western Django, Sway, Sketches of Kaitan City, The Tale of Iya, and United Red Army.

 

The Japan Society Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions, including retrospectives, thematic repertory film series, and U.S. premiere screenings. Its aim is to entertain, educate, and support activities in the Society’s arts and culture programs.

 

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

 

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.

 

# # #

 

SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

*Guest intro and/or Q&A

 

 

Thursday, July 14

7:00 PM – Mohican Comes Home* + Opening Night Party

 

Friday, July 15

6:30 PM – Bitter Honey

8:30 PM – Lowlife Love*

 

Saturday, July 16

12:00 PM – The Magnificent Nine

2:30 PM – The Sion Sono

4:45 PM – The Whispering Star*

7:30 PM – Love & Peace*

 

Sunday, July 17

12:00 PM – A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light

1:45 PM – Sayonara

4:15 PM – Nagasaki: Memories of My Son*

7:00 PM – Bakuman

9:30 PM – Experimental Spotlight*

 

Monday, July 18-

6:30 PM – Three Stories of Love

9:30 PM – Hush!

 

Tuesday, July 19

6:30 PM – The Projects

8:45 PM – Face

 

Wednesday, July 20

4:00 PM – Panel Discussion

6:30 PM – A Road preceded by Born With It*

8:45 PM – Mother, I’ve Pretty Much Forgotten Your Face*

 

Thursday, July 21

7:00 PM – The Shell Collector* + Underwater Dream Party

Friday, July 22

6:30 PM – Being Good*

9:30 PM – A Cappella*

 

Saturday, July 23

12:00 PM – I Am a Monk

2:00 PM – Ken and Kazu

4:30 PM – The Artist of Fasting

7:00 PM – FAKE*

10:00 PM – Burst City

 

Sunday, July 24

12:30 PM – Flying Colors

2:00 PM – Kako: My Sullen Past

4:30 PM – Emi-Abi*

7:00 PM – The Actor*

June 10, 2016 Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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