ABOUT THE 2018 FESTIVAL

The third annual 2018 Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival was held April 6 – 19, 2018.

2018 FILM SELECTIONS

NEKO ATSUME HOUSE

Directed by: Masatoshi Kurakata
2017, 97 Minutes, Cats

OPENING NIGHT FILM
PITTSBURGH PREMIERE
Based on the popular smartphone game! A novelist who is struggling with writer’s block seeks out an old house in the countryside to find inspiration and jumpstart his creativity. Initially annoyed by his curious whiskered neighbors, he eventually finds the battle to attract their attention oddly satisfying.

WILD ZERO

Directed by: Tetsuro Takeuchi
1999, 98 Minutes, Rock-a-billy zombie love story

CLOSING NIGHT FILM
FIRST TIME IN PITTSBURGH
After a meteor strike, aliens attack Earth and begin turning people into zombies. Wannabe rocker Ace finds himself caught up in the carnage after rescuing his heroes Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf, and Drum Wolf and becoming their blood brother. Is this legendary garage rock band the only thing standing in the way of the total destruction of Earth?

YOJIMBO

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
1961, 110 Minutes, Samurai action comedy

Wandering samurai Sanjuro finds himself in a rough gambling town run by two warlords and their hired thugs. While Sanjuro sets out to rid the town of all these pestilences by playing the two warlords off against each other, his efforts are complicated by the arrival of the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver.

SANJURO

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
1962, 96 Minutes, Samurai action comedy

This sequel to Kurosawa’s Yojimbo draws wandering samurai Sanjuro into the local politics of a group of young men determined to clean up corruption in their town. However, the town’s evil Superintendent is determined to kill off anyone standing in his way, so it’s up to Sanjuro’s cunning and sword craft to ensure that the Superintendent’s plan does not come to fruition.

YOUR NAME

Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
2016, 106 Minutes, Animation

The 4th-highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, and the 5th-highest-grossing non-English film worldwide tells the story of a high school girl in rural Japan and a high school boy in Tokyo who swap bodies randomly. They build a connection by leaving notes for one another until they wish to finally meet, but something stronger than distance may keep them apart.

ANTIPORNO

Directed by: Sion Sono
2016, 76 Minutes, Roman porno

PITTSBURGH PREMIERE
Part of a reboot of Japanese movie studio Nikkatsu’s “Roman Porno” (romantic pornography) films of the 1970s and 80s. Director Sion Sono’s take on the genre is a film-within-a-film, which reveals layers of two actresses’ personalities over the course of repeated performances of a Roman Porno scene.

GODZILLA

Directed by: Ishiro Honda
1954, 96 Minutes, Godzilla

NEW RESTORATION
The monster movie that spawned a multimedia franchise, including 32 feature films, and that has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest running film franchise in history. A 164-foot-tall dinosaur-like monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan but the rest of the world as well. Can the monster be destroyed before it’s too late?

STRAY CAT ROCK: SEX HUNTER

Directed by: Yasuharu Hasebe
1970, 85 Minutes, Female vigilante

NEW RESTORATION
The third in a series of five films which depict a gang of vicious teenage schoolgirls who get their kicks from gang fights, street muggings, and rock and roll. This time Mako and her gang The Alleycats clash with racist macho pigs The Eagles after Mako starts dating an Afro-Japanese man.

UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND

Directed by: Hideki Takayama
1989, 108 Minutes, Tentacle hentai porn animation

Most famous for being the first anime to feature a scene of tentacle rape and the precursor to the infamous genre of tentacle porn, this complicated horror/fantasy/erotica tells of parallel realms of demons and man-beasts and a 3000-year-old legend that foretells the coming of the Overfiend—a being of unimaginable power that will unite all three realms into a land of eternity.

PRETTY GUARDIAN SAILOR MOON: THE MUSICAL-LE MOUVEMENT FINAL

2018, 165 Minutes, Filmed live musical

CENTERPIECE SELECTION
PITTSBURGH PREMIERE
In this filmed version of the Japanese musical, Usagi Tsukino says farewell to Mamoru Chiba as he is set to leave for school in America. As Usagi says goodbye, she faints, and a super idol group called the Three Lights appear to catch her fall. Meanwhile, new groups calling themselves Sailor Guardians appear, but are they friend or foe?

BOMBS, GODZILLA, PITTSBURGH: THE MAKING OF AN ANIMATED FILM

HOMETOWN SELECTION
BEHIND THE SCENES

A film expertly animated & produced by local Pittsburghers, “The Day of the Western Sunrise” is a true story that inspired Godzilla. Not yet completed, but get a sneak peak and….

1) Experience insight from survivors of the atomic fallout through film
2) Discover the historic culture of surprise atomic bomb testing in the 1950’s
3) See how an animated film is made from start to finish presented by Director Keith Reimink