With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ACF 1504: JAPAN CUTS: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema, July 12-28

Scene from Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins
 JAPAN CUTS: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema
July 12-28, 2012, at Japan Society
World’s Largest Japanese Film Festival Presents Most Features Ever in 2012 with
39 Films, 33 Premieres, 6 Special Guests, 3 Awards, Parties and More

Japan Society has recently put out extensive information about the upcoming Japan Cuts Festival. This outstanding annual event has been highlighting recent Japanese films since 2007, with an oldie-but-goodie thrown in from time to time. From July 12-15, Japan Cuts will again dove-tail with the New York Asian Film Festival for a number of co-presentations.

This year’s fest pays tribute to the late actor Yoshio Harada, screening his final film Someday and 9 Souls. The festival also highlights the career of living legend Koji Yakusho, presenting five of his most inconic films: Chronicle of My Mother, Cure, Shall We Dance?, Toad's Oil (which Yakusho also directed), 13 Assassins, and The Woodsman and the Rain. Yakusho will be on hand for the July 20 screening of The Woodsman and the Rain for an introduction, Q&A and reception. On that occasion, the festival will award the star the first ever JAPAN CUTS prize, the Cut Above Award for Excellence in Film. Yakusho will also appear for the July 21 screening of Takashi Miike's hit samuri action movie 13 Assassins.

Marking 16 months after Japan’s Tohoku region was devastated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crises, the Focus on Post 3.11 Cinema series encompasses Women on the Edge, Chips, A Gentle Rain Falls for Fukushima, No Man’s Zone and the shorts series We Are All Radioactive.

This year’s parties include the Striking Love! JAPAN CUTS Opening Party, following the July 14 screening of Love Strikes!, with an introduction and Q&A with star actress Masami Nagasawa--this year's recipient of NYAFF's Rising Star Asia Award; and the  DON'T STOP! JAPAN CUTS Party following the July 26 screening of Don’t Stop!, featuring an introduction with director Kenji Kohashi. Other special guests during the festival are Monsters Club director Toshiaki Toyoda for the July 15 screening introduction and Q&A; No Man’s Zone director Toshi Fujiwara for the July 22 screening introduction and Q&A; and Leonie director Hisako Matsui for the July 27 screening introduction and Q&A

Finally in the how-lowbrow-can-you-go category, the festival includes two Anime from Hell for the 18-and-over crowd, Asura and Gyo; three delectably depraved shorts screened back-to-back as The Atrocity Exhibition; and the outrageous Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead by modern schlockmeister Noboru Iguchi (RoboGeisha, Mutant Girls Squad).

“This year’s expanded and expansive edition of JAPAN CUTS reflects our (slightly maniacal) ambition to be the ultimate platform for Japanese cinema in North America – in the world perhaps?” says Japan Society’s chief film programmer and festival curator Samuel Jamier.  “In this respect, the explosive, purposefully off-balance mix of dark-themed hard-core actioners, blockbusters, hit comedies, nano-budget indie titles and philosophical art house pieces emphasizes the wild diversity of the production in the archipelago, as well as its incredible resilience, despite the rise of its East Asian neighbors and the current severe economic conditions. We might not be solving the epistemological conundrum that is Japanese and world cinema (or event zombie apocalypse), but we’re giving it a good try.”

The complete film schedule is listed below. For information about individual films and to order tickets, click here.

JAPAN CUTS 2012 Schedule At-A-Glance

Thursday, July 12
6:30 - Asura
8:15 - Smuggler

Friday, July 13
6:30 - Hard Romanticker
8:40 - The Atrocity Exhibition (Let's Make the Teacher… + Big Gun + Henge)

Saturday, July 14
1:00 - Scabbard Samurai
3:15 - Tokyo Playboy Club
5:30 - Gyo
7:15 - Love Strikes! + Striking Love! JAPAN CUTS Opening Party!*

Sunday, July 15
1:30 - Ace Attorney
4:15 - Tormented
6:00 - Monsters Club*
8:00 - Chips

Tuesday, July 17
7:30 - Zombie Ass

Wednesday, July 18
7:30 - Girls for Keeps

Thursday, July 19
6:30 - Someday
8:30 - 9 Souls

Friday, July 20
7:00 - The Woodsman and the Rain, Centerpiece Gala Presentation*

Saturday, July 21
1:00 - Shall We Dance?
3:30 - Toad's Oil
6:00 - Chronicle of My Mother
8:20 - 13 Assassins*
11:00 - Cure

Sunday, July 22
1:00 - Love Strikes!
3:15 - No Man's Zone*
5:20 - About the Pink Sky
7:20 - Isn't Anyone Alive?
9:30 - Roadside Fugitive

Tuesday, July 24
7:00 - Rebirth

Wednesday, July 25
7:00 - Rent-a-Cat
9:15 - Ushijima the Loan Shark

Tuesday, July 26
7:00 - Don't Stop! + DON'T STOP! JAPAN CUTS Party*

Friday, July 27
7:00 – Leonie*

Saturday, July 28
1:00 - A Gentle Rain Falls for Fukushima
3:00 - Women on the Edge
5:00 - Lonely Swallows
7:00 - The Brat!
9:00 - Space Battleship Yamato

*Director or actor introduction and/or Q&A!

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