Playing at Grand Illusion Cinema
From January 14th – 20th
All that remains of Japan is Tokyo-3, a city that is now under attack by giant alien creatures (called Angels) determined to destroy mankind. Humanity’s only hope for survival is NERV, a special government agency that has secretly developed a gigantic humanoid weapons system to combat the Angels. With the fate of the world resting on the shoulders of a fourteen-year-old boy. Will he be able to fight? What is the truth behind “The Human Instrumentality Project”, an operation somehow related to the “Second impact”? And who is the true enemy? The Angels? NERV? The mysterious SEELE, or the demons held within the hearts of the people involved? All this and more will be answered in the thrilling, big-screen version of the wildly popular Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series from the 90s.
Playing at Grand Illusion Cinema
From January 21st – 27th
The landmark anime Evangelion evolves, reaching new heights of intensity in this second installment. In an explosive new story full of brutal action and primal emotion, a group of young pilots maneuver their towering, cyborg Eva Units into combat against a deadly and disturbing enemy. In the battle to prevent the apocalyptic Third Impact, Shinji and Rei were forced to carry humanity’s hopes on their shoulders. Now, as the onslaught of the bizarre, monstrous Angels escalates, they find their burden shared by two new Eva pilots: the fiery Asuka and the mysterious Mari. In this breathtaking new experience for fans of giant robot action, the young pilots fight desperately to save mankind – and struggle to save themselves.
Playing at SIFF Cinema
From January 21st – 26th
The title is literally translated from the Japanese as Black Cat. In war-torn medieval Japan, a demon haunts the Rajomon Gate, ripping out the throats of samurai in the grove beyond. The governor sends a war hero to confront the spirit, but what the man finds are two beautiful women who look just like his lost mother and wife. Both a chilling ghost story and a meditation on the nature of war and social hypocrisy, Black Cat is the second horror triumph from director Kaneto Shindo (Naked Island, Onibaba), who mixes stunning visuals, an evocative score, and influences from Noh theater to create an atmospheric, haunting, and emotionally devastating masterpiece.
Playing at the Varsity
From January 28th – February 3rd
In the award-winning Japanese animated feature Summer Wars, Kenji is a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job—passing himself off as Natsuki’s boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056-digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake. This intriguingly intelligent cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, with the amazing world of Oz as the highlight. Like the Internet as conceived by pop artist Haruki Murakami, Oz is a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears and a bursting rainbow of colors.
WE DON’T CARE ABOUT MUSIC ANYWAY
Playing at the Northwest Film Forum
February 7th and 8th
This sonic portrait shows us a group of experimental musicians who wire themselves for sound, treat familiar instruments like cheap playthings, get lost in technology and embrace every hiss, pop, thud, buzz and drone. Set in the darkness of Tokyo’s wastelands, this beautifully photographed documentary is a picture of Tokyo we rarely see.