With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

San Francisco's ROXIE THEATER launches “NIPPON NIGHTS”

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco is presenting NIPPON NIGHTS, a new monthly series dedicated to Japanese cinema. The first season, titled “Neon Tokyo”, throws the spotlight on the popular genre of Anime. The series opens tonight, July 16 with SHORT PEACE, a program of four shorts that includes the 2013 Oscar nominated short “Possessions” and Katsuhiro Otomo’s latest work “Combustible”. Nippon Nights is scheduled to continue in August and September, with AKIRA (on 35mm) directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, on Thursday, August 21st, and TAMALA 2010: A Punk Cat in Space & WAKE UP!! TAMALA directed by t.o.L on Thursday, September 25th.

“The Nippon Nights series was conceived in response to Roxie audience requests for Japanese cinema - particularly Anime films such as Akira and Tamala" said programmer Fuyumi Saito. "It was logical to kick off the series with a sampling of animated films that represent the Japanese mastery of this genre. In a wider sense, Nippon Nights is an effort to shine a light on the richness of Japanese cinema" Saito said. "We will dramatically bridge different styles, genres and generations throughout the series, giving local cinephiles the opportunity to further engage with Japanese cinema, history and culture."

Nippon Nights is curated by Japan native programmer Fuyumi Saito. The series is endorsed by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and co-presented by CAAM. The promotional partner is btrax.

Admission: General $10, Senior $7.5 Shows start at 7:00 pm, except for AKIRA, on August 21st, which starts at 8:00pm. Tickets will be available at the door and online at roxie.com.

Schedule and Lineup

JULY. 16th (WED) 7:00pm

Omnibus of animations including Oscar nominated short film “Possessions” and the one by the creator of “AKIRA”, Katsuhiro Otomo “Combustible”. Four amazing directors have created four astounding animated films.

In 1995, Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic anthology MEMORIES showcased the work of upcoming superstars of the anime world. Now, Otomo’s spotlight shifts to a fresh generation of master creators with an all-new anthology of visionary films: A lone traveler is confronted by unusual spirits in an abandoned shrine in the 2013 Academy Award® nominated POSSESSIONS (TSUKUMO), directed by Shuhei Morita (COICENT, KAKURENBO). A mysterious white bear defends the royal family from the predations of a red demon in the brutal GAMBO, directed by Hiroaki Ando (FIVE NUMBERS!) from REDLINE’s Katsuhito Ishii’s original story with character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (NEON GENESIS EVANGELION). The focus shifts from supernatural to science fiction for the action packed A FAREWELL TO WEAPONS (BUKI YO SARABA),as MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM designer Hajime Katoki helms Otomo’s tour-de-forcesaga of men battlingrobotic tanks in apocalyptic Tokyo, while grandmaster Otomohimself assumes the directorial reigns for a spectacular tale of love, honor and firefighting in ancient Japan with the multi-award winning COMBUSTIBLE (HI-NO-YOUJIN). Prepare your senses for these animated films that are taking the critical world by storm as a new era in anime is ushered in with Katsuhiro Otomo’s SHORT PEACE!

“COMBUSTIBLE” directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (“AKIRA”)
“POSSESSIONS” directed by Shuhei Morita (Oscar nominated)
“GAMBO” directed by Hirokai Ando

AUG. 21st (THU) 8:00pm
AKIRA 124min (35mm print)
Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

Clandestine army activities threaten the war torn city of Neo-Tokyo when a mysterious being with powerful psychic abilities escapes his prison and inadvertently draws a violent motorcycle gang into a heinous web of experimentation. As a result, a biker with a twisted mind embarks on a path of war, seeking revenge against a society what once called him weak.

The film depicts a dystopian version of Tokyo in the year 2019, with cyberpunk tones. The plot focuses on teenage biker Tetsuo Shima and his psychic powers, and the leader of his biker gang, Shotaro Kaneda. Kaneda tries to prevent Tetsuo from releasing the imprisoned psychic Akira. While most of the character designs and settings were adapted from the original 2182-page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the manga. It became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation.

Sep. 25th (THU) 7:00pm
TAMALA 2010: A Punk Cat in Space 92min
Wake Up!! TAMALA 17min
Directed by t.o.L

“TAMALA 2010: A Punk Cat in Space”
“TAMALA”, Japanese animated film about kitten from the Planet of Cats, who sets out to solve the mystery of her birth. With large eyes and a cherubic face she is cute enough to make you go crazy for her (until she opens her mouth, that is!) Don’t be fooled by her innocent face; TAMALA is a real hell-on-wheels, bitter-sweet punk cat.

“Wake Up!! TAMALA”
In 2010, the new “TAMALA” film project started in cooperation with one of the world's most famous environmental preservation funds, WWF Japan. Wakeup!! TAMALA depicts a vision of a crisis which has seen biodiversity destroyed by human civilization during poetic time travel with TAMALA. The subject of death and rebirth, as the place of origin of its concept, has been set in this film with the perspective of the nature conservation.”

The Roxie is the country’s oldest continually operating theater; turning 100 in 2009. It has been functioning as an independent art house theater since the 1970s, showing the best of art, music, foreign and documentary films. In 2009, the Roxie became a certified 501c (3) non-profit. The Roxie is deeply committed to providing diverse audiences with affordable access to cutting-edge new works, vital and forgotten older titles, and fiercely independent and socially conscious programming in an inspiring environment.