Thinking of going to the movies with some friends or that special someone? If you’re a San Francisco resident, there could be something for you on right now at the VIZ Cinema complex!
Our friends at VIZ have let us know about some of the cool Anime and Japanese films you will have the opportunity to see from now until the beginning of February! They’re calling the whole event “Hit Me With Music, Volume 2“, taking inspiration from the way in which music can shape the ways of our lives. So what can we see, and when?
Starting off, we have “Shindo“. This film has been screening since December 26th 2009, and finishes up on January 7th 2010.
Shindo is based on a manga series created by Akira Sasou. Wao is a high school graduate wanting to go to music school and he meets Uta, a 13-year-old child prodigy pianist. Uta often skips lessons behind her mother’s back but she takes a liking to Wao, who is completely devoted to the piano. Uta soon begins to regularly visit Wao’s family vegetable shop and although they are not lovers or siblings, their relationship grows close through the pair’s shared love of music. Actor Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note) gives an excellent performance as the young man, Wao, while Uta is played by Riko Narumi, a talented up and coming actress. This is her first starring role in a feature film.
Next we have “Midnight Sun” (pictured) which starts on the 8th of January 2010, and finishes on January 21st. If you have a chance I would personally recommend you see this movie… not that I’ve ever watched it online or anything… oops!
Kaoru is a talented young teenager who sings and plays guitar. But she also suffers from a rare skin disease called Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), which prevents her body from repairing the cell damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. This means that she must avoid sunlight completely. She has never attended school and is incapable of doing many things most teenagers take for granted. When she falls in love with a boy named Kouji, however, she once again begins to challenge herself as she tries things she had given up because of illness and slowly regains her inner sunshine.
You may have heard of “Sword of the Stranger” (which is out on DVD in Australia now), and it is going to be showing on January 19th and 20th for ANIME WEEKNIGHT PEOPLE.
Famed animation studio BONES (Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa) pulls out all the stops in this feature-length samurai anime action movie. No Name is a ronin who abandoned his name in troubled times and vowed to never unsheathe his sword again. Luo-Lang is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Western assassin working for the Ming Dynasty. The two strangers are destined to clash, as the only thing they believe in is their swordsmanship. They kill – and kill some more – in this blazing display of Japanese sword action!
On January 26th, for ONE NIGHT ONLY, there will be a screening of the documentary film “Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog Of Tokyo“, which will also include the launch of the films DVD.
Daido Moriyama has been a major force in artistic photography since the late 60’s, but his true persona has been hidden behind a veil of mystery, until now. This documentary follows the charismatic Moriyama as he takes his first digital photos and displays his trademark photographic technique of taking quick snapshots without looking in the viewfinder. Often shot in black and white, out of focus and dramatically cropped or tilted, the themes of Moriyama’s images have been said to convey a sense of the disordered human condition and the conflicting realities of modern urban life.
“Oh! My Buddha” is running from January 22nd to February 4th. And it doesn’t appear to be a take on the “Ah! My Goddess!” anime – in case you were wondering!
Jun is a boy who just started his first year at a private Buddhist school and is obsessed with his guitar and Bob Dylan. Despite his love for rock and roll, his life is like a mundane routine just passing him by. One day, his friend invites him to go to an island over summer break and stay at a youth hostel with other boys and girls who practice “free love.” Jun’s journey into adulthood begins. This film refreshingly and often comically depicts the awkward stages of adolescent life. Daichi Watanabe from the popular band Kuroneko Chelsey makes his debut in this film.
If you would like to go and see one of these “eiga” (film) sessions, go to the VIZ Pictures or the VIZ Cinema website for screening times and information. To find the complex itself, head to 1746 Post Street in San Francisco and look for the building with a 3-floor transparent glass “façade”.
So, what are you going to see?