Viz Cinema Opens 2010 with Exciting New Films from Japan


“Hit Me With Music Vol. 2” Opens 2010 With New Films To Screen At The Premiere Venue For Japanese Pop Culture

San Francisco, CA, December 29, 2009 – VIZ Cinema, the nation's first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, opens 2010 with an exciting new program for January that continues to explore music as a cinematic theme.

From rock 'n roll to classical, music provides the soundtrack for young people's lives. “Hit Me With Music, Volume 2” will showcase several films that each move to a different beat and will premiere Shindo, Midnight Sun and Oh! My Buddha. VIZ Cinema's ever popular Weeknight Anime People will screen the samurai action of Sword of the Stranger while the venue's NEW PEOPLE ARTIST SERIES plans a special presentation of the intriguing documentary, Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo. Preview trailers and screening times are available at:

Shindo, December 26th- January 7th REGIONAL PREMIERE

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.

Midnight Sun, January 8th - January 21st

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.

Oh! My Buddha, January 22nd - February 4th

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.

Sword of the Stranger, January 19th – January 20th WEEKNIGHT ANIME 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!

Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog Of Tokyo, January 26th FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY!

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. The DVD for this documentary film will be released on the same date from VIZ Pictures. For more details please visit

VIZ Cinema is the nation's first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at:

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