Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME.「君の名は。」expanding to IMAX from 1/13 through 1/26

Toho’s megalithic animated hit Your Name. 「君の名は。」 will be expanding its influence to the IMAX screen for a limited 2-week engagement in select Toho Cinemas. A runaway smash since its release in late August, Your Name. is currently second only to 2001’s Spirited Away (director Hayao MIYAZAKI, Studio Ghibli) as the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time.

Stateside fans will have to wait a little longer to see Your Name., though a release through Funimation Films is expected later this year. Your Name. recently won in the Best Animation category at the 42nd LAFCA Awards, and is expected to be a strong Oscar contender.

A full listing of the film’s impending IMAX engagements is available from TohoYour Name. is written and directed by Makoto SHINKAI (5 Centimeters per SecondChildren who Chase Lost Voices).

ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD at Minneapolis’ own Lagoon Cinema in limited engagement from January 10th

The latest cinematic installment in the megalithic One Piece saga will be on-screen in Minneapolis, starting tomorrow evening. The Lagoon Cinema, in conjunction with Funimation Films, will hold three screenings of One Piece Film: Gold from tomorrow through the 17th – January 10th at 7pm, January 14th at 12pm, and January 17th at 7pm.

From the Funimation Films site:

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world unfolds a new saga in the highly anticipated movie, One Piece Film: Gold.

The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.

One Piece Film: Gold is presented with English dubbed dialogue. Advance tickets are available now through the Lagoon Cinema website.

Meiko Kaji retrospective from The Japan Society this February

Just in time for Valentine’s Day and in celebration of the iconic star’s 70th birthday in March, New York’s Japan Society will present Cruel Beauty: A Romantic Weekend with Meiko Kaji from February 10th through the 12th. The five-film retrospective is guest curated by producer Marc Walkow (The ABCs of Death), and features a selection of works from the height of the actor’s career.

Festivities begin with New Battles Without Honor and Humanity: The Boss’s Head (director Kinji FUKASAKU, Toei, 1975) on February 10th, continue with Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (director Toshiya FUJITA, Toho, 1974) and Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (director Yasuharu HASEBE, Nikkatsu, 1970) on February 11th, and conclude with Eiga · Bouei favorite Blind Woman’s Curse (director Teruo ISHII, Nikkatsu, 1970) and Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (director Shunya ITŌ, Toei, 1973) on February 12th. Tickets are $13 per film ($10 for seniors / students, or $9 for Japan Society members), or $50 for an all access pass ($35 seniors / students, $30 Japan Society members).

Details, a full schedule, and tickets are available through the Japan Society site. Trailers for the films follow below. Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance is out on Blu-ray / DVD from The Criterion Collection, while Stray Cat Rock: Sex HunterBlind Woman’s Curse and Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable are out on Blu-ray / DVD from Arrow Video.

English-dubbed ONE PIECE FILM GOLD in theaters from Funimation Films in January

Released this past July so significant success in Japan, the thirteenth adventure in the One Piece theatrical saga will soon be setting sail on US screens. Funimation Films will screen Hiroaki MIYAMOTO’s One Piece Film Gold in a limited theatrical engagement from January 10th through January 17th 2017.

From the Funimation Films site:

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world unfolds a new saga in the highly anticipated movie, One Piece Film: Gold.

The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.

One Piece Film Gold will be presented in dubbed English. A home video release has not yet been announced, but will presumably follow at a later date. Funimation Films’ English-language trailer follows below.

SHIN GODZILLA set to stomp through the Twin Cities in October

Today Funimation Films published both a new trailer for their upcoming release of Shin Godzilla and a theater locator to help viewers find screenings in their home territories. Denizens of the downtown Minneapolis area will be thrilled to see Landmark’s Lagoon Cinema (a great venue, and a frequent Uptown haunt) among the three currently booked for the Twin Cities. The film will play three dates there – October 11th at 7pm, the 16th at 12pm, and the 17th at 7pm. Tickets should be available shortly through the Lagoon website.

UpdateThe Lagoon Cinema showings are now up for presale via the Lagoon Cinema website. Tickets are $15 each.

Further Twin Cities screenings are slated for the Oakdale 20 and the Marcus Oakdale 17, and I imagine tickets for both will be available through Fandango in short order.

You’ll find the screening locator at Funimation Films’ official Shin Godzilla page, along with a variety of media. The film opens in cinemas nationwide on October 11th for a limited 1-week run.

Tatsuya Nakadai talks ‘The Face of Another’ at the Japan Society this October

New York’s Japan Society will present a 50th anniversary screening of TESHIGAHARA Hiroshi’s existential classic The Face of Another (Tanin no Kao) this Halloween, and legendary actor NAKADAI Tatsuya (Sword of Doom, The Age of Assassins) will be in attendance for a special post-screening talk.

The film, first released in 1966, explores themes of identity and urban alienation with overtones of science fiction, horror and eroticism. Nakadai stars as an irreparably scarred man who is granted a new prosthetic face by his psychiatrist, and begins to live a clandestine life as another man. The film co-stars KYŌ Machiko (Gate of Hell), OKADA Eiji (Hiroshima mon Amour) and KISHIDA Kyōko (Woman in the Dunes). ABE Kōbō provided the screenplay, here adapting from his novel of the same name.

The Face of Another screens on October 31st at 7pm at the Japan Society, and tickets are $15 ($12 for society members). From 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. Once available on DVD as part of the Criterion Collection’s The Films of Hiroshi Teshigahara, but now out-of-print, The Face of Another remains available for viewing via the Criterion Collection on Hulu. Abe’s novel received an English-language reprint in 2003, and is still available through Amazon and other outlets.

‘ANTI-PORNO’, ‘Terra Formars’, and ‘Wet Woman in the Wind’ in International Competition at 22nd annual L’Étrange Festival

Two features from Nikkatsu’s 45th anniversary Roman Porno Reboot are in International Competition at this year’s L’Étrange Festival of genre cinema – SONO Sion’s ANTI-PORNO and SHIOTA Akihiko’s Wet Woman in the Wind (Kaze ni Nurute Onna), which will respectively be making their European and French premieres at the festival.

ANTI-PORNO follows a fashion icon who, while awaiting an interview in her apartment, takes to dominating her personal assistant, while Wet Woman in the Wind concerns a reclusive stage actor and the young woman who just won’t let him be. Each film was produced under certain restrictive conditions, a combination of limited shooting schedules and concise run-time demands, in accordance with the shooting practices for Nikkatsu’s original Roman Porno series, which began in 1971.

Also up for competition is MIIKE Takashi’s Terra Formars, the live-action adaptation of the manga series of the same name, which follows a band of genetically altered super-humans with animal-sourced fighting abilities doing battle with monstrous cockroach people on the red planet. Distributed by Warner Brothers in Japan, Terra Formars will be making its French premiere at the festival.

L’Étrange Festival’s International Competition is a joint venture between the festival and the Canal+ Cinéma channel, and the winning film will be licensed for future airing on the channel. Details of the 22nd L’Étrange Festival are available at the official website.

Wet Woman in the Wind © 2016 Nikkatsu
Wet Woman in the Wind © 2016 Nikkatsu

Ōbayashi Nobuhiko’s HOUSE at the Trylon this October

The oddball cult-classic lives on this Halloween as the final attraction in the microcinema’s Houses Atop the Gates of Hell series. ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko’s infectiously pop-inflected and confoundingly allegorical teenage horror show was a bona fide box office hit in its day, and voted the fourth-best film of the year by Kinema Junpo readers besides. It’s in good company in the Trylon program, prefaced by the likes of the original The Evil Dead, Friedkin’s The Exorcist, and even a presentation of the recently restored Murnau classic Destiny.

HOUSE will receive nine screenings (!) across three days, beginning on the evening of October 28th and ending the evening of October 30th. The film is set to screen in 35mm, which is a rarity in itself these days, and those within range of the Twin Cities are encouraged to indulge.

Full details are available hereHOUSE is available on home video domestically through the Criterion Collection. A trailer follows below.