Japan Society’s first week of JAPAN CUTS 2011 offers ‘Buddha,’ ‘Battle Royale’

Japan Society's JAPAN CUTS 2011 film festival kicks off with 'Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure' Thursday, July 7. Credits: © 2011 Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha Production Committee

Seeking summer movie asylum from Autobots and aging boy wizards? Head to Japan Society.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the JAPAN CUTS 2011 film festival includes 32 new titles—the biggest lineup in the festival’s history with (almost) nothing but premieres and one-off shows—running from July 7 to 22, including ten co-presentations with the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF).

“Arguably North America’s premier showcase for Japanese film” (Firefox News), JAPAN CUTS screens the cutting edge of contemporary Japanese fare, caroming between elegant drama to anything-goes comedy to uncanny experimentalism.

All films—most of themNew Yorkpremieres–are primarily shown in Japanese with English subtitles, some with actor/director intros and Q&As and after parties. This week’s cuts are:

Thursday, July 7
Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure, 6:45 p.m.

The much-anticipated animated epic based on Osamu Tezuka’s landmark bio of the Buddha. A spectacular, philosophical drama of life told through the eyes of Siddhartha, who will later become the Buddha.

Ringing in Their Ears, 9 p.m.

Yu Irie (8000 MILES 1 & 2) returns with this ambitious flick about the upcoming concert of a reclusive rock group and the managers, obsessed fans, shut-ins, single moms and kindergarten teachers who are affected by it. A true tribute to the healing power of rock ‘n’ roll.

Friday, July 8
Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano, 7 p.m.

A lonely, nerdy office worker moonlighting as a porn actress finds her two lives increasingly intertwined. The verge of breakdown is nigh.

Battle Royale, 9:15 p.m.

Originally released in 2000 and starring Takeshi Kitano (Fireworks) and Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill), director Kinji Fukasaku’s last masterpiece is about killer kids: high school children are taken to a small, isolated island with a map, food and weapons of varying deadliness. Over three days, they are forced to fight one another to the death until only one remains.

Saturday, July 9
Gantz: The Movie, Part I, 12:30 p.m.

Presented back-to-back with its sequel, it’s the uncut, subtitled, live action movie based on Japan’s top sci-fi action manga. After trying to rescue a man on the subway tracks, two teens (Kazunari Ninomiya and Kenichi Matsuyama ) wake up in a room where a mysterious black sphere orders them to hunt down and kill aliens hiding on Earth… Imagine the Harry Potter and Twilight movies rolled into one (well, make that two flicks), except with Japanese teenagers in tight black leather, advanced war gear and buckets of blood.

Gantz, Part II: Perfect Answer, 3 p.m. (SOLD OUT!)

The Gantz alien war games continue in Part II. Kei (Kazunari Ninomiya) is still playing, but added to his list of charges is protecting manga artist/love interest Tae (Yuriko Yoshitaka) from mysterious black-clad and human-looking aliens. Grand, excessive, massively pop sci fi entertainment: If you are going to spend $22 million, this is the way to do it.

Ninja Kids!!!, 6 p.m.

Based on the popular newspaper comic “Ninja Rantaro Flunks Again” by Sobei Amako and the TV anime series of the same name comes a live action film directed by Takashi Miike, who has been impressing critics with 13 Assassins and his 3D remake of Hara Kiri that just playedCannes. Whatever. Japan Society’s got his new, insane kid’s flick about a feuding ninja school. People wonder where all the craziness went from Miike’s two new films. He put it all in here. Your jaw will drop like an elevator with a snapped cable.

Yakuza Weapon, 8:15 p.m.

After four years overseas, Shozo returns toJapanto avenge his yakuza boss who was assassinated by his own treacherous top man, Kurawaki. The resulting battle leaves both men severely injured, and Shozo awakens in a mysterious medical facility to find his arm replaced with an M61 Vulcan cannon and his leg replaced with a rocket launcher. Meanwhile, Kurawaki has been fitted with mechanical augmentations of his own. Get ready for the second round.

The movie’s director and star, Tak Sakaguchi, and co-director and writer, Yudai Yamaguchi, will be at the screening followed by an after party.

Sunday, July 10
Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure (encore screening), 12:30 p.m.

Heaven’s Story, 2:45 p.m.

Monumental and strange, passionate and philosophical, this is an epic in every sense of the word. Former “King of Pink” Takahisa Zeze spent almost two years shooting this four-hour revenge movie. Eight-year-old Sato, whose family was wiped out by a psychopath who then went on to kill himself, learns of a man who has sworn to take revenge on the murderer of his wife and daughter. For eight long years she waits in vain for him to keep his promise before taking the initiative herself and setting in motion a chain of tragic events.

Milocrorze: A Love Story, 8 p.m.
Why yes, ‘tis hard to be a boy: a he-man woman-hater relationship therapist, a smitten one-eyed samurai, and a man-child out of a storybook deal with masculine romantic angst. Thirteen Assassins’ Takayuki Yamada stars as all of the guys mentioned above in artist and designer Ishibashi’s solid slab of irreverent pop n’ punk psychedelia.
Includes an introduction and Q&A with director Yoshimasa Ishibashi.

Tickets: General admission is $12 for the public, $8 Japan Society members. Special event screening is $16/$12 for the July 9 Yakuza Weapon screening with after party. Purchase more than five tickets for at least five different films and receive $2 off of each ticket! Special offer available only at Japan Society box office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online. For more information, visit www.japansociety.org/japancuts.

na �:0�o�(Ժn-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-style: italic; “>Yakuza Weapon, 8:15 p.m.

After four years overseas, Shozo returns to Japan to avenge his yakuza boss who was assassinated by his own treacherous top man, Kurawaki. The resulting battle leaves both men severely injured, and Shozo awakens in a mysterious medical facility to find his arm replaced with an M61 Vulcan cannon and his leg replaced with a rocket launcher. Meanwhile, Kurawaki has been fitted with mechanical augmentations of his own. Get ready for the second round.

The movie’s director and star, Tak Sakaguchi, and co-director and writer, Yudai Yamaguchi, will be at the screening followed by an after party.

Sunday, July 10
Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure (encore screening), 12:30 p.m.

Heaven’s Story, 2:45 p.m.

Monumental and strange, passionate and philosophical, this is an epic in every sense of the word. Former “King of Pink” Takahisa Zeze spent almost two years shooting this four-hour revenge movie. Eight-year-old Sato, whose family was wiped out by a psychopath who then went on to kill himself, learns of a man who has sworn to take revenge on the murderer of his wife and daughter. For eight long years she waits in vain for him to keep his promise before taking the initiative herself and setting in motion a chain of tragic events.

Milocrorze: A Love Story, 8 p.m.
Why yes, ‘tis hard to be a boy: a he-man woman-hater relationship therapist, a smitten one-eyed samurai, and a man-child out of a storybook deal with masculine romantic angst. Thirteen Assassins’ Takayuki Yamada stars as all of the guys mentioned above in artist and designer Ishibashi’s solid slab of irreverent pop n’ punk psychedelia.
Includes an introduction and Q&A with director Yoshimasa Ishibashi.

Tickets: General admission is $12 for the public, $8 Japan Society members. Special event screening is $16/$12 for the July 9 Yakuza Weapon screening with after party. Purchase more than five tickets for at least five different films and receive $2 off of each ticket! Special offer available only at Japan Society box office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online. For more information, visit www.japansociety.org/japancuts.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Japan Society’s first week of JAPAN CUTS 2011 offers ‘Buddha,’ ‘Battle Royale’ – New York japanese culture | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/japanese-culture-in-new-york/japan-society-s-first-week-of-japan-cuts-2011-offers-buddha-battle-royale#ixzz1Sa64rwAO