A Heavy Hitting Weekend with NYAFF and Japan Cuts

The Japan Society’s fifth annual film series, Japan Cuts 2011: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema, teams up with the New York Asian Film Festival this weekend with a full arsenal of heavy hitters.

Natsuna Watanabe Gantz © 2011 Gantz Film Partners

Saturday’s lineup:

Gantz: The Movie, Part 1 and Gantz, Part II: Perfect Answer (12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.)

If you don’t already have tickets to see the live-action versions of the popular Japanese sci-fi manga, well . . . you’re out of luck. Both screenings of the alien war games flicks are sold out. But here are the trailers to make you feel as if you’re there. Co-presented with NYAFF.


Ninja Kids!!! (6:00 p.m.)

Just look at these cute ninjas-in-training! Wait a second – This film was directed by Takashi Miike, so it might be more crazy than cute. Co-presented with NYAFF.

Seishiro Kato, Roi Hayashi, Fuuta Kimura (front row) Ninja Kids!!! © 2011 “Ninja Kids!!!” Production committee


Yakuza Weapon (8:15 p.m.)

There are yakuza and weapons and yakuza body parts replaced by weapons. I have no idea what an M61 Vulcan cannon is, but it sounds pretty serious. Co-presented with NYAFF. Q&A with director and star Tak Sakaguchi and co-director and writer Yudai Yamaguchi and an insane after party round out an incredible day of films.

Taku Sakaguchi Yakuza Weapon © 2011 Sushi Typhoon/ Nikkatsu


Sunday’s lineup:

Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure © 2011 “Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha” production committee 13


Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure (12:30 p.m.)

Buddha opened Japan Cuts on July 7. This film by Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka is the only one in the festival that gets a second screening. Co-presented with NYAFF.


Heaven’s Story (2:45 p.m.)

This film is four-and-a-half hours long. Yes. Director Takahisa Zeze, who was formerly a significant part of Japan’s adult film industry, spent almost two years shooting Heaven’s Story, an epic tale of murder and revenge. Co-presented with NYAFF.

Moeki Tsuruoka Heaven’s Story © 2010 Heaven's Project


Milocrorze: A Love Story (8:00 p.m.)

This smorgasbord of “masculine romantic angst” stars Takayuki Yamada of Thirteen Assassins and Gantz fame (and the winner of the NYAFF Star Asia Rising Star Award) as three different characters: a man-child who’s in love with the title character, a dancing relationship coach draped in white polyester, and a one-eyed samurai. Co-presented with NYAFF, with an introduction and Q&A with the director, Yoshimasa Ishibashi.

Takayuki Yamada Milocrorze- A Love Story © 2011 “Milocroze” Film Partners


Tickets for each screening are $12/$9 Japan Society members, students, and seniors; and $16/$12 for the July 9 and July 15 screenings and after parties (Into the White Night’s screening/closing party is regular price). Tickets can be purchased in person at the Japan Society at 333 East 47th Street, through the box office at 212.715.1258, or online at www.japansociety.org. Those purchasing more than five tickets for at least five different films receive $2 off each ticket, but you must call the box office or make your purchase in person.


Japan Cuts 2011 remaining schedule:

Saturday, July 9

  • 12:30 – Gantz: The Movie, Part 1 (SOLD OUT)
  • 3:00 – Gantz, Part II: Perfect Answer (SOLD OUT)
  • 6:00 – Ninja Kids!!!
  • 8:15 – Yakuza Weapon with Q&A and After Party


Sunday, July 10

  • 12:30 – Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure
  • 2:45 – Heaven’s Story
  • 8:00 – Milocrorze: A Love Story with Q&A


Tuesday, July 12

  • 6:30 – Sword of Desperation
  • 9:00 – The Last Ronin


Wednesday, July 13

  • 6:30 – Rinco’s Restaurant
  • 9:00 – Birthright (a.k.a. Umbilical Cord)


Thursday, July 14

  • 6:30 – Rail Truck
  • 9:00 – Yuki and Nina


Friday, July 15

  • 6:15 – Toilet
  • 8:30 – Three☆Points with Q&A and After Party


Saturday, July 16

  • 2:30 – Love Addiction
  • 4:30 – The Seaside Motel with Q&A
  • 7:15 – A Liar and a Broken Girl with Q&A
  • 10:30 – Love and Treachery


Sunday, July 17

  • 2:30 – The Knot
  • 4:00 – Torso
  • 6:15 – Strangers in the City
  • 9:00 – A Night in Nude: Salvation


Tuesday, July 19

  • 6:30 – Sketches of Kaitan City
  • 9:30 – Control Tower


Wednesday, July 20

  • 7:00 – Haru’s Journey with Q&A and reception


Thursday, July 21

  • 7:00 – Vengeance Can Wait
  • 9:00 – Wandering Home


Friday, July 22

  • 7:00 – Into the White Night with Closing Party (Location TBA)