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Japan Society's Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film Announces Two Major Premieres Based on Popular Manga: Kentaro Hagiwara's Blue Period International Premiere - July 13, Kiyotaka Oshiyama's Look Back East Coast Premiere - July 14

These newly announced additions to North America's largest Japanese film festival join a lineup filled with popular culture premieres such as the International Premiere of SHIN GODZILLA: ORTHOchromatic, a new short by legendary anime director Rintaro, and a documentary on the author of Kiki's Delivery Service

JAPAN CUTS Festival Dates - July 10-21, 2024

New York, NY (June 18, 2024)—Japan Society announces two major premieres based on manga as part of its lineup for JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest festival of its kind in North America. Set for July 10–August 21 in New York City, it will present over 30 films spanning 12 days featuring major blockbusters, indie darlings, up-and-coming filmmakers, restorations, documentaries, experimental and short films, and anime.

“Anime and manga are two of Japan's most beloved artistic treasures,” says Peter Tatara, Director of Film at Japan Society, who organized this year's festival with Japan Society Film Programmer Alexander Fee. “We're honored to showcase Blue Period and Look Back, both based on manga and highly anticipated all around the world, side by side with new works from legendary directors including Kei Chika-ura, Gakuryu Ishii, Shunji Iwai, Sho Miyake, Shinya Tsukamoto, and more.”

Blue Period
『ブルーピリオド』 (Buru Piriodo)
Saturday, July 13 at 3:00 PM
Dir. Kentaro Hagiwara, 2024, 115 min., DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Gordon Maeda, Fumiya Takahashi, Rihito Itagaki, Hiyori Sakurada.

International Premiere. Tsubasa Yamaguchi's Blue Period manga is an acclaimed coming-of-age story about the power of passion, dedication and art. It has over 8 million copies in print worldwide and has won awards at the Kodansha Manga Awards and Manga Taisho Awards. Now, Yamaguchi's manga comes to the big screen through director Kentaro Hagiwara. Following Yatora (Gordon Maeda) through his sophomore year of high school, his life changes when completing an art project. Consumed by a deep new feeling inside himself, he submerges into the world of art and challenges himself to get into one of the most difficult art universities in Japan. Yatora's journey is one of competition, compulsion, despair and beauty driven forward by a mesmerizing soundtrack by Yuki "Yaffle" Kojima. JAPAN CUTS will present Blue Period on July 13 before it comes to theaters in Japan on August 9.

Look Back
『ルックバック』 (Rukku Bakku)
Sunday, July 14 at 1:30 PM
Dir. Kiyotaka Oshiyama, 2024, 56 min., DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Yuumi Kawai, Mizuki Yoshida.

East Coast Premiere. Based on an award-winning manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, creator of the popular Chainsaw Man manga series, Look Back is the tale of two school children united by the power of comics. The film follows their friendships, rivalries, passions and regrets, all revolving around their desire to draw. Looking back, they ask if they would make the same decisions again—even if painful—to become who they are. The original Look Back manga was released online in 2021 where it amassed over 4 million views in only two days. The Look Back anime brings this story to life through animation from Studio Durian with Kiyotaka Oshiyama serving as director, screenwriter, and character designer. Look Back will premiere in Japan on June 28 and come to JAPAN CUTS on July 14, just two weeks later.

Tickets for both Blue Period and Look Back are available now at japansociety.org/japancuts for Japan Society members. Tickets will launch for the general public on June 20.

Blue Period and Look Back are two of JAPAN CUTS' biggest films and two of several films based on anime, manga, or generally of interest to popular culture audiences. Further films include:

Bottle George
Saturday, July 13 at 11:00 AM (Part of SHORT CUTS Program 1)
From the mind of Akihiro Nishino comes a short film with a big message. Told through disarmingly beautiful stop motion animation, Bottle George is a parable for addiction, what we can lose when trapped by alcohol, and the hope of breaking free.

Kadono Eiko's Colorful Life: Finding the Magic Within (International Premiere)
Sunday, July 21 at 11 AM
A documentary bounding with energy on the renowned children's book author most known as the writer of Kiki's Delivery Service. Kadono's works have been published in 16 countries and inspired generations, and at the age of 88, the author shows no signs of slowing down.

KUBI (New York Premiere)
Tuesday, July 16 at 9:00 PM
77-year-old icon of Japanese film and television Takeshi Kitano returns to the big screen in epic fashion with his 19th feature—a bloody and comically subversive retelling of the death of samurai warlord Oda Nobunaga.

Moving (4K East Coast Premiere)
Friday, July 17 at 6:30 PM with lead actress Tomoko Tabata in person
Shinji Somai's undisputed masterpiece is a heartbreaking elegy to childhood, focusing on Ren (Tomoko Tabata), a resilient young girl grieving the separation of her parents. A sweeping odyssey of self-discovery, Moving finds young Ren having to grow up in the face of it all, culminating in a surreal matsuri drenched in billowing flame and fantasy. Moving screenwriter Satoko Okudera would go on to become one of Mamoru Hosoda's greatest collaborators, writing The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars and Wolf Children.

Nezumikozo Jirokichi (U.S. Premiere)
Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 AM (Part of SHORT CUTS Program 2)
Legendary anime director Rintaro's first new work in over a decade depicts pioneering 1930s director Sadao Yamanaka. While most of his films have been lost to time, his scripts remain, and Nezumikozo Jirokichi recreates one of these lost films as imagined by Rintaro together with an all-star team including Katsuhiro Otomo, Taro Maki and Masao Maruyama.

SHIN GODZILLA: ORTHOchromatic (International Premiere)
Sunday, July 14 at 9:00 PM & Sunday, July 21 at 8:30 PM
Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi's 21st century masterpiece is reborn with this stunning black-and-white version. ORTHOchromatic adds new dimensions to the film's visual impact by rendering it in orthochromatic black-and-white, a type of monochrome characterized by starker contrasts and more pronounced blacks. The results are awe-inspiring and presents Shin Godzilla as never seen before.

Screenings: $20 Nonmembers / $14 Members / $18 seniors & students Short Films: $12 Nonmembers / $5 Members / $10 seniors & students

Prices are inclusive of fees, where applicable. All screenings take place in-person at Japan Society's theater, located at 333 East 47th Street in New York, NY.

For more information, please follow Japan Society Film on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Letterboxd.

JAPAN CUTS 2024 is sponsored by Sapporo-Stone Brewing. Food and beverages are generously donated by Brooklyn Kura and Glico. Additional support is provided by Japan Village and Sunrise Mart.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Anime NYC and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family and Friends of Film.

Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Prince Kitano New York, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.


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