With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Section23 Films has announced its April 2020 slate of releases


Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its April slate of releases, featuring the latest installment in BUSHIROAD’s popular multimedia franchise: BanG Dream! 2nd Season.

Product details follow, in order of release.

Title: REVUE STARLIGHT
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/7/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: As the 99th graduating class of the Seisho Music Academy prepares for their annual review, "Starlight", aspiring actress Karen Aijo is happy just to have the chance to be in the cast. But when Karen's childhood friend Hikari mysteriously arrives after years abroad, Karen quickly learns that there is more going on at Seisho than the normal drama classes. Following Hikari late one night, Karen discovers an elevator that takes her deep below the Earth, where the secret auditions for the leads in Starlight is underway… a competition that is fought with real weapons as well as song and dance! Goaded by the giraffe in charge of the trials, Karen throws caution to the wind and takes the stage herself… but will she be ready to survive the ultimate contest of drama and skills that is REVUE STARLIGHT?


Title: AO-CHAN CAN'T STUDY
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 180 min.
Street Date: 4/14/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Most high school girls would be proud that their father is a famous writer, but Ao Horie's father is an EROTIC writer, a purveyor of pornographic prose. He's authored hundreds of dirty books and it has definitely warped his twisted sensibilities. Since Ao thinks that anyone who learns about her father is going to assume that Ao is at least somewhat like her pornographic papa, Ao's solution is to just not talk to other people, especially boys. All she wants to do is study and get good grades so she can go to a school far away from her family. And that's why Takumi Kajima is driving her crazy! He keeps trying to talk to her, distracting her, and causing her to think about the kind of things she'd rather not think about… which is why, suddenly, AO-CHAN CAN'T STUDY!


Title: CINDERELLA NINE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/14/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Since Satogahama High School was an all-girls school until recently, they've never even had a boy’s baseball team. Arihara Tsubasa isn't the kind of girl who waits for boys to lead the way, however, so she makes an unauthorized announcement that the Girls' Baseball Team is seeking members! But that was the easy part! Now she has to find the four other girls required to form a school club, and then four more girls to make a team. At least Arihara's best friend, Tomoe, can fill one position, but then they'll have to get creative. If that means co-opting cheerleaders, student council members, reporters from the school paper and even an archrival from Junior High, then so be it! They're not running away from the ball; they're fielding it and running for home in CINDERELLA NINE!


Title: BANG DREAM! 2ND SEASON
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 4/21/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: It's a new school year and Kasumi, Arisa, Saya, Tae, and Rimi are thrilled to finally be second-year students. Even more exciting than becoming upperclassmen, however, is the fun they have while performing in their band Poppin' Party… until things get out of control when the girls publicly announce that they're going to do their own concert before they've really studied the issue. Suddenly they're committed to doing something that's a lot more difficult than it seemed, and the pressure is doubled since their musical rivals in Roselia, who've also announced a live concert, are way ahead of them in planning! But you can't stop the music, and with a little hard work and help from other groups and some talented newcomers, Poppin' Party fever will soon be popping up all over in BANG DREAM! 2


Title: CLANNAD STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1225 min.
Street Date: 4/28/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $149.98

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes all it takes to change your life forever is a chance encounter. Since the death of his mother, Tomoya has distanced himself from his abusive father and seems on a path of self-destruction. Nagisa's poor health has left her a year behind in school, but she longs to restart the now disbanded Drama Club. In an impulsive moment, Tomoya agrees to help her and they soon find themselves joined by others in desperate need of support and emotional healing. Join the Club and meet the ambitious Tomoyo, who dreams of becoming class president; Kotomi, a troubled genius with a secret past; and the mysterious Fuko, whose disassociation with the world is so severe that she seems to be fading away as the sentimental, the surreal and the supernatural merge together in the acclaimed anime classic CLANNAD!


Title: W'Z
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 400 min.
Street Date: 4/28/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Even though he’s only 14, Yukiya wants to become the best online DJ anyone has ever heard. But becoming famous isn’t easy, and it’s made even more difficult by his father’s odd instructions to never touch hands with anyone else. So, while Yukiya spends every moment he can working on music videos, he knows that hard work alone may not be enough to achieve his goals. He needs something else. Something different. And then he finds the Ziggurat. It’s another world, a place that Yukiya can access just by touching hands with another person. Any other person. That’s something that no one else has ever been able to do before. And that ability makes Yukiya an extremely valuable commodity that some people will be willing to do anything to control in W’Z!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Naoto Takenaka's NOWHERE MAN showing in 35mm at Japan Society NY this evening, Friday, March 13th

Japan Society NY
presents
© 1991 Shochiku Ltd.
Nowhere Man / Muno no Hito
Directed by Naoto Takenaka
With Naoto Takenaka, Jun Fubuki,
Ren Osugi, and Hiroshi Kanbe
Japan, 1991, 107 minutes
35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, March 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC
Tickets: $14/$11 seniors & students/$5 members

In this wry comedy adapted from legendary cartoonist Yoshiharu Tsuge's newly translated semi-autobiographical work The Man Without Talent (New York Review Comics), a hapless manga artist disillusioned with drawing comics turns his attention to selling rocks that he finds in a nearby river—a hopeless endeavor that only further estranges him from his poverty-stricken family.

An auspicious directorial debut by popular Japanese actor and comedian Naoto Takenaka, Nowhere Man won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 48th Venice Film Festival.

This rare 35mm screening is co-presented with New York Review Comics in celebration of their brand-new publication of The Man Without Talent, the first full-length work by Tsuge translated into English.

Watch the Nowhere Man trailer here.

This screening is part of Japan Society's MONTHLY CLASSICS film series.

Read Japan Society’s Coronavirus Update

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Martial arts film BLOOD HUNTERS coming to digital on March 17th

DarkCoast
presents
Blood Hunters
Directed by Vincent Soberano
USA, 2019, 70 minutes

DarkCoast will release the award winning martial arts film, Blood Hunters (a.k.a. Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids) onto digital platforms (Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, FlixFling, Vudu, FANDANGO) on March 17th.

Starring Mayling Ng (Suicide Squad, Wonderwoman) and international Chinese-American martial arts champion, Sarah Chang, Blood Hunters follows Gabriella on a trail of vengeance, teaming up with a group of monster hunters called the “Slayers”, hoping they can save the world from the Monster Queen.

Watch the trailer here.

Monday, March 09, 2020

CROSSCURRENT getting its digital premiere on MUBI on April 3rd

Cheng Cheng Films
presents
Crosscurrent / Chang jiang tu
Written and directed by Yang Chao
China, 2016, 116 minutes

Crosscurrent, a breathtaking fantasy journey on China's longest river, will have its digital premiere on MUBI on April 3rd. The visually stunning film about a poet's trip on China's longest river was shot by Mark Lee Ping-Bing (In the Mood for Love, The Assassin) in 35 mm and won the master cinematographer a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at Berlinale.

Synopsis:
This mysterious, sublime and elegiac odyssey blends breathtaking images of the river that has nurtured Chinese civilization with fantasy, poetry and history to create a complex universe. From the spinning Shanghai metropolis to snow-capped Tibet mountains, Gao Chun steers a cargo up the Yangtze and comes across a reversely aging woman named An Lu at every port recorded in a poetry book. He wonders if she is supernatural or if he is traveling back in time. After passing a pagoda that reverberates Buddha’s voice, a flooded town, and the grandiose Three Gorges Dam, he finally arrives at the start of the river and unveils the secret of his past and An Lu.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Romantic Indian film DRAUPADI UNLEASHED opening March 20th in eight U.S. cities

Passion River Films
presents
Draupadi Unleashed
Directed by Tony Stopperan and Nisha Sabharwal
USA, 2019, 110 minutes

Set in 1930’s India, Draupadi Unleashed centers on sixteen-year-old Indira, who finds herself torn between true love, her duty to follow through with an arranged marriage and the powerful allure of a mysterious guru. Through her heartbreaking journey to self-discovery, long-held secrets are brought to light, and Indira discovers the strength within herself to break free.

In a story that mixes magical realism and gorgeous surroundings with the harsh realities of a patriarchal society, this beautifully-told tale of a young woman at a crossroads in her life offers a rare look at aristocratic Indian society in the early part of the 20th Century - one that will resonate with audiences today.

Based on the novel by the same title by Nisha Sabharwal (also co-director), Draupadi Unleashed is written for the screen and directed by Tony Stopperan, produced by Hello Desi and distributed by Passion River Films.

The film will release in the following eight cities on March 20th and the next two cities on March 27th:

March 20th Theatrical Releases:
Chicago — AMC River East 21
Dallas-Ft. Worth — AMC Stonebriar Mall 24
Hartford & New Haven — AMC Plainville 20
Houston — AMC First Colony 24
Orange County — AMC Orange 30
Los Angeles — Laemmle Town Center
Philadelphia — AMC Hamilton 24
New York City — AMC Empire 25

March 27th Theatrical Releases:
Larkspur, CA (Marin County) — Lark Theater
Hartford, CT — Real Art Ways

Watch trailer here