JAPAN CUTS Adds KILLERS to Lineup
Japan Society announces a new film to JAPAN CUTS' already bursting 2014 lineup. In the spirit of celebrating the versatility of guest actor Kazuki Kitamura, recipient of the festival's CUT ABOVE Award for Excellence in Film, the Society adds the horror-thriller Killers in its East Coast Premiere. Kitamura plays an eerily handsome and decadently deranged serial killer in this adrenaline-filled Indonesian-Japanese co-production, an entrancing take on the consumption of violent imagery counterposed with political violence and corruption. Showing three completely different sides of the phenomenal international star, the festival also features the Kitamura vehicle Neko Samurai ~Samurai ♥ Cat~ and his turn as homme fatale inMan from Reno.
Running July 10-20 and now screening 28 features with 8 special guests, the 2014 edition of JAPAN CUTS: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema encompasses a thrilling cross section of cinephilic genre oddities, sword-swinging period action, profound documentaries, cathartic melodramas, warped comedies and cutting-edge arthouse cinema made in and around Japan. Guests include superstar performers and independent auteurs opening up in rare Q&As and dynamic parties rocking Japan Society's historic theater and waterfall atrium. As in past years, the festival dovetails with the 13th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), co-presenting 13 titles in the JAPAN CUTS lineup July 10-13.
JAPAN CUTS 2014 again earns the distinction as "New York's premiere Japanese cinema event," every title never before screened in New York City, "unspooling across a kaleidoscopic range of taste and aesthetics" (The Wall Street Journal). Boasting 1 World Premiere, 3 International Premieres, 7 North American Premieres, 6 U.S. Premieres, 6 East Coast Premieres, and 4 New York Premieres, every day of the festival provides a must-see event for the NYC cinephile, follower of Japanese art and culture, and devoted world cinema aficionado alike.
The festival opens July 10 with the U.S. Premiere of Takashi Miike's candy-colored undercover cop saga The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, followed by the yakuza-turned-filmmaker movie magic that is Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play in Hell?. The screening is joined by young actress Fumi Nikaido, named by Variety this year as its International Star You Should Know, who joins for an introduction and Q&A, as well as the JAPAN CUTS Opening Night "Let's Play in Hell!" Party.
The festival centerpiece is the World Premiere on July 17 of director Momoko Ando's masterful dark comedy 0.5mm-a wicked critique of patriarchy following an assisted living caregiver who survives unemployment by taking advantage of elderly men. Ando visits Japan Society to present and discuss her film, as well as participate in the intimate reception after the screening.
JAPAN CUTS' closing film is the magnificent The Tale of Iya, with its North American Premiere July 20. Director Tetsuichiro Tsuta joins to present his renowned work that tells a timeless story on beautiful 35mm, showing a vanishing part of rural Japan through a mode of film artistry which is itself disappearing. A sign of the times, JAPAN CUTS 2014 marks the debut of a new digital cinema projection system in the Lila Acheson Wallace auditorium of Japan Society's landmark building, continuing to show viewers the best of this vibrant international film scene in the best cinematic conditions possible.
In its celebration of Brave and unpredictable international star Kazuki Kitamura, who receives JAPAN CUTS' annual prize, the festival presents a three-film mini-retrospective. In addition to introducing the just-added Killers, Kitamura joins the festival July 19 to share Dave Boyle's Japanese-American thriller Man from Reno along with the director, including an introduction and Q&A following The East Coast Premiere of this sexy, moody neo-noir. Kitamura will receive the CUT ABOVE Award for Excellence in Film as part of the International Premiere of The Comedy Neko Samurai ~Samurai ♥ Cat~, in which Kitamura plays a deadly ronin whose heart is melted by his feline target, followed by the Japan CATS Party! Kitamura has proven to be not only a versatile performer in dramatic and comedic roles in Japan's Tragedy and Thermae Romae, but a trailblazer in transnational filmmaking in The Raid 2 and Killers, receiving Kinema Junpo's Best New Actor award for his work in Rokuro Mochizuki's Minazuki and Takashi Miike's Ley Lines (Nihon Kuroshakai).