JAPAN CUTS: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema began on Thursday, July 12th and will run through Saturday, July 28, 2012. This is the sixth consecutive year of this extraordinary showcase of recent Japanese films, with a classic or two thrown in as well. And once again JAPAN CUTS dovetails with the ongoing New York Asian Film Festival. From July 12-15, the two fests will co-present twelve films. After July 15th, JAPAN CUTS will continue on its own for another thirteen days.
JAPAN CUTS will showcase a total of 39 films, 33 of which will be premieres of one sort or another. Leading things off was Asura (2012), which will had its North American Premiere at 6:30 pm on the 12th. It’s a very dark anime about a savage child left on his own to survive as best he can in a land racked by war and starvation. You can read Colleen Wanglund’s review by clicking here. Asura was one of the two films in the Anime from Hell sidebar, the other being Gyo, in which the apocalypse “come[s] in the form of bio-mechanical fart-propelled mutant zombie fish.”
Several special guests are scheduled to attend JAPAN CUTS, including the renowned Japanese actor Koji Yakuso. Six of his films, including Shall We Dance? and 13 Assassins, will be featured, and at the July 20th screening of The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), he will receive the Cut Above Award for Excellence in Film, the first-ever JAPAN CUTS prize. (Sorry but tickets for this screening and event are already sold out.) Complete info about all the special guests can be found here.
The JAPAN CUTS festival also provides special events for those who like to party hardy. The 7:15 pm screening of Love Strikes! on July 14th will feature an introduction and Q&A with actress Masami Nagasawa, a recipient of the NYAFF’s Rising Star Asia Award. The film will be followed by the STRIKING LOVE party, which will feature a live performance by COBU. Again, sorry, but tickets for this screening and the following party sold out. (Love Strikes! will also be shown on Sunday, July 22nd at 1 PM; info and tickets for that screening here.)
The International Premiere of Don’t Stop! will have and introduction and Q&A with director Kenji Kohashi and will be followed by the DON’T STOP! JAPAN CUTS Party! (Click here for info and tickets for Don’t Stop!)
There’s lot’s of great Japanese cinema to catch over roughly the next two weeks. So click here for complete, current JAPAN CUTS info, tickets and trailers. Also don’t forget that VCinema is giving away tickets to several Japan Cuts screenings. Click here to find out how to enter.