Thursday, July 1, 2010

VIZ Cinema Has That Fighting Spirit in July


Catch Swift And Deadly Samurai Action And Genre-Defining Anime Classics As Well As SF IndieFest’s 2010 Hole In The Head Film Festival

VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, offers a July theme of Beyond The Battles and offers a wide array of action and samurai films as well a series of screenings to celebrate the Ghost In The Shell anime saga. This month, the cinema welcomes San Francisco IndieFest’s Another Hole In the Head film festival for a week-long run of science fiction, fantasy and horror films at the end of the month. Tickets, screening times and complete details for each film are available at:

Battle League Horumo, July 2nd FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY!
(Directed by Katsuhide Motoki, 2009, 113min, With English Subtitles)
Celebrate the DVD release of this new action film by VIZ Pictures with a special screening. This combat action comedy is based on the best-selling fantasy novel by Manabu Makime. As a college freshman, Akira Abe joins the club “Azure Dragon” to get closer to his dream girl. At first, the club appears to be an ordinary social club but the new members soon find out about the 1000 year-old tradition upheld by the four universities of Kyoto and the “Horumo” battle. Members must go through rigorous training and learn to manipulate an army of Oni spirits. Starring Takayuki Yamada (Train Man) and Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill Vol. 1). Special $25.00 ticket package includes the DVD, a movie poster and a pass to the screening. General admission (movie only, no DVD) tickets are $10.00.

Sci-fi Anime Madness, Volume 2: Ghost In The Shell Marathon, July 3rd – 8th. Sci-fi Anime Madness returns with an epic Ghost In The Shell film marathon!

Ghost In The Shell (Original Version), July 3rd and also July 5th
(Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 1995, 85min, Digital, English Subtitles)
This is the acclaimed sci-fi action masterpiece that proclaimed a new era of anime and helped to define the cyber-punk genre.

Ghost In The Shell 2.0 (CGI version), July 3rd and also July 5th
(Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 2008, 85min, Digital, English Subtitles)
This is a new, visually enhanced version of the classic original movie.

Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, July 3rd
(Directed by Mamoru Oshii, 2004, 100min, Digital, English Subtitles)
This is the gripping sequel to the original classic Ghost in the Shell film.

Ghost In The Shell Stand Along Complex: The Laughing Man, July 4th and also July 6th
(Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, 2005, 106min, Digital, English Subtitles)
The feature film adaptation of the Stand Alone Complex series, re-cut to tell the story of a police battle with an evil computer hacker.

Ghost In The Shell: Individual Eleven 161, July 4th and also July 7th
(Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, 2006, 161min, Digital, English Subtitles)
A feature-length OAV feature, adapted from Stand Alone Complex: Second Gig, the second season of the Ghost in the Shell broadcast series.

Ghost In The Shell: Solid State Society 108, July 4th and also July 8th
(Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, 2006, 108min, Digital, English Subtitles)
A film adaptation of the popular Solid State Society animated TV series.

TOKYOSCOPE TALK, Volume 5: Japanese Superheroes!, July 9th
Join hosts Patrick Macias (Editor, Otaku USA), August Ragone (author, Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters), and Tomohiro Machiyama (founding editor, Movie Treasures magazine) as they explore the fascinating history and origins of Japanese superheroes featuring tokusatsu, sentai, and henshin hero productions including Ultra Seven, Kikaida, Space Sheriff Gavan, and many others! General admission tickets are $10.00.

SAMURAI SAGA, Volume 1: From Classic Noir to New Colors
Celebrate nearly 50 years of samurai action and drama in a series of new and classic films.

Kill!, July 10th – 11th
(Directed by Kihachi Okamoto, 1968, 114min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
In this pitch-black action comedy by Kihachi Okamoto, a pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute. One, previously a farmer, longs to become a noble samurai. The other, a former samurai haunted by his past, prefers living anonymously with gangsters. But when both men discover the wrongdoings of the nefarious clan leader, they side with a band of rebels who are under siege at a remote mountain cabin. Kill! playfully tweaks samurai film convention, borrowing elements from established classics and seasoning them with hints of Italian westerns.

Sword of Doom, July 10th and also July 12th – 13th
(Directed by Kihachi Okamoto, 1968, 114min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman who plys his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule, Ryunosuke (played by Nakadai) kills without remorse, without merc, and becomes a way of life that ultimately leads to madness.

Harakiri, July 11th – 13th
(Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, 1962, 133Mmin, 35mm, English Subtitles)
Following the collapse of his clan, unemployed samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to commit ritual suicide on his property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for charity, try to force him to eviscerate himself – but they have underestimated his honor and his past. Winner of the 1963 Cannes Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri is a scathing denouncement of feudal authority and hypocrisy.

Samurai Rebellion, July 14th and also July 16th – 17th
(Directed by Masaki Kobayashi,1967, 121min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord’s mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family’s surprise, the young couple fall in love. But the lord soon reverses his decision and demands the mistress’s return. Against all expectations, Isaburo and his son refuse, risking the destruction of their entire family. Director Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.

Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron, July 14th – 15th and also July 17th
(Directed by Hideo Gosha, 1976, 163min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
Based on the bestselling novel by Shotaro Ikenami, this story involves a former samurai who abandons his class to become the leader of a gang of bandits. He leads his outlaws in an attempt to rob the castle of his former clan to avenge the destruction of his own family by the official he once served.

Three Outlaw Samurai, July 15th – 17th
(Directed by Hideo Gosha, 1964, 95min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up their fight, joined by two renegades from the magistrate's guard. The three outlaws soon find themselves in a battle to the death.

Enjoy four award winning Samurai films from recent times, all based on the historical novels by the bestselling author Shuhei Fujisawa, including the Samurai Trilogy by by Academy Award® nominated director Yoji Yamada.

Twilight Samurai, July 18th and also July 22nd
(Directed by Yoji Yamada, 2002, 129min, Digital, English Subtitles)
This is the first film of the Shuhei Fujisawa trilogy, directed by Yoji Yamada. Set in mid-19th century Japan, a few years before the Meiji Restoration, it follows the life of Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai employed as a bureaucrat. The Twilight Samurai was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 76th Academy Awards, and also won an unprecedented 12 Japanese Academy Awards.

The Hidden Blade, July 18th and also July 20th – 21st
(Directed by Yoji Yamada, 2004, 132min, Digital, English Subtitles)
The second of the Shuhei Fujisawa film trilogy directed by Yoji Yamada. Set in the 1860s, this is an epic tale of Munezo, a samurai being displaced in a rapidly changing Japan. After a failed political coup he is ordered to prove his innocence by finding and killing Yaichiro, a former samurai friend and brilliant swordsman. Munezo enlists the help of their old teacher, who entrusts him with a secret technique. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Yoji Yamada and starring Masatoshi Nagase (Mystery Train).

Love and Honor, July 18th – July 20th
(Directed by Yoji Yamada, 2006, 121min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
This is the final film of the Shuhei Fujisawa trilogy, directed by Yoji Yamada. An award winning masterpiece of sacrifice and devotion, Love and Honor weaves a timeless tale set in the waning days of feudal Japan. Love and Honor depicts the emotional intensity of an age when respect was more valuable than riches and love cut more truly than any sword.

Yamazakura - The Cherry Tree in the Hills (U.S. Premiere), July 18th – 19th and July 21st
(Directed by Tetsuo Shinohara, 2008, 100min, Digital, English Subtitles)
A poetic love story about a samurai and a young widow in the late Edo period. Noe, the eldest daughter of the samurai family with class, had lost her first husband and was forced to marry her late husband's brother, whom Noe was never able to admire as a samurai. On the way home from visiting her aunt’s grave, Noe encounters a samurai, Tezuka Yaichiro, who aspired to marry Noe in the past but was never able to because of family matters.

SFindie Fest Presents: Another Hole In the Head, July 23rd – July 29th
VIZ Cinema is thrilled to be one of the main venues for SF IndieFest's 2010 Another Hole In the Head film festival! Witness the most dangerous line-ups of sci-fi, horror and fantasy films!

Advance Tickets available for only $10.00 online at Rush tickets will be available for $11.00 only on the day of the screenings at the VIZ Cinema box office.Get more details about the films and a complete schedule at and

Symbol, July 24th at 5:00pm
(Directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto, 2009, 93min, Digital, English Subtitles)
Hitoshi Matsumoto, who brought the world the bizarre and madly comic romp of Big Man Japan, takes his visual perspective to the highest extremes of surrealism. A man wakes up and finds himself trapped in an empty white rectangular room, wearing clownish bright yellow polka dot pajamas. Where is he? Who did this to him? How did he end up here? Will he manage to make him escape to safety? Symbol is an incredibly strange and visually striking film that goes past the confines of the mind and out into the abyss.

Alien vs. Ninja, July 25th at 7:00pm
(Directed by Seiji Chiba, 2010, 82min, Digital, English Subtitles)
**Plays with film short, Escape From Death Planet, directed by James Cadden.
Alien vs Ninja is a visual orgy of action, blood, limbs, internal organs, more action, some chat, more blood, stamped heads, explosions, more limbs, more action and really, really scary looking aliens. Alien vs Ninja is funny and there are action scenes that will put a smile on your face but of course there's also sensational gore and minced body parts alongside buckets of entrails flying in the sky. Film contains explicit content, adults only.

Death Kappa , July 29th at 5:00pm
(Directed by Tomo'o Haraguchi, 2010, 90min, Digital, English Subtitles)
Death Kappa takes a modern look at one of the more infamous Japanese Yokai creatures, the Kappa, and elevates it to Godzilla-like proportions and city stomping shenanigans. Death Kappa is an extraordinary film and audiences won’t be surprised to learn that some of the talent behind the recent Godzilla films worked on Death Kappa as well. A nod of the hat to the monster lizard and a beautifully crafted effort that puts the rampage of the Death Kappa firmly on the map!

Mutant Girls Squad, July 29th at 7:00pm
(Directed by Noboru Iguchi, Yoshinori Chiba and Yoshihiro Nishimura, 2010, 90min, Digital, English Subtitles)
The Mutant Girls Squad does ongoing battle with the sinister Ministry of Defense. These black clad evildoers wear black 'tengu' devil masks that have long protruding noses which aren't just for show. They are actually machine gun noses and a deliver a ballet of bullets for each scene they enter. This film delivers all the bizarre effects and humor and blood-spurting goodness viewers can handle and possibly a bit more. Film contains explicit content, adults only.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s only movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.

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

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