VIZ Cinema is a 143-seat underground cinema inside NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, VIZ Cinema’s programming focuses on the latest and hottest films from Japan, as well as an incredible legacy of classics, favorites, documentaries and anime – making it the only venue of its kind in the United States.
At the very last month of 2010, VIZ Cinema introduces various ways to look at humanity. Whether its coated in beauty or exposed through reality, our perception becomes our knowledge and life’s story.
|Continued from Nov. – Wednesday, 12/1||Kamui Gaiden [ SF Premiere ]|
|Wednesday, 12/1 @ 7:15pm||NEW PEOPLE TALK Vol.1 : Space and Wind|
|Thursday, 12/2 @ 7:00pm||8 x 8 x 8 Film Festival Presented by The Hub|
|Friday, 12/3 – Sunday, 12/5||China Underground|
|Monday, 12/6 – Thursday, 12/9||REDLINE [ Encore ]|
|Friday, 12/10 – Sunday, 12/19||Cast Me If You Can|
|Friday, 12/17 @ 7:15pm||The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya [ Encore ]|
|Saturday, 12/18 – Thursday, 1/6||Mifune x Kurosawa : A Beautiful Man|
|Wednesday, 12/22 @ 1:30pm||Ping Pong **Senior Free Movie Day**|
|Friday, 12/24 & Saturday, 12/25||Christmas Eve & Christmas Day: VIZ Cinema Closed|
|Friday, 12/31 & Saturday, 1/1||New Years Eve & New Years Day: VIZ Cinema Closed|
Wednesday December 1, @ 7:15pm
NEW PEOPLE TALK Vol.1 : Space and Wind
(Guest Speaker: Tetsuya Kaida, Toyota’s Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department)
Talk is followed by Q & A and Reception
Does building cars out of seaweed sound crazy? No, not to Tetsuya Kaida, founder and general manager of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department. As a leader in his field of design philosophy, Mr. Kaida will discuss how Toyota is adapting to the changing global trends of lifestyle, values, cultures, and human psyche. Mr. Kaida has pushed for designing kinder, gentler cars inspired by Japanese culture and its emphasis on harmony with nature. The outcome: concept cars with transparent floors, huge windows, and doors that slide like Japanese ’shoji’ screens, and a version of the Prius made with a lighter material called “carbon fiber reinforced plastic”.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Tetsuya Kaida
Mr. Kaida created the Business Revolution Corporate Value Project Department in Toyota, and started a full-scale reconsideration of corporate value creation for Toyota. One of his first duties as head of this new department was to announce the new concept cars Toyota 1/X, Toyota RIN and Toyota i-REAL at the most recent Tokyo Motor Show. Kaida and his team continue to dedicate themselves to the creation of new corporate value for Toyota as well as to its communication to the world.
Thursday, 12/2 @ 7:00pm
8 x 8 x 8 Film Festival Presented by The Hub
The Hub presents 8 x 8 x 8 Film Festival screening 8 short films, supported by Schmaltz Brew Company and Dynamo Donuts.
Films curated by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Reception / Food:7:00 pm • Screening: 8:00 pm
Friday, 12/3 – Sunday, 12/5
VIZ Cinema proudly presents “China Underground” showcasing acclaimed documentary films directly from China, which were made outside the system. Unauthorized, uncensored, underground, totally independent, and from a new generation of filmmakers in China!
China Underground opens with the premiere of Queer China, “Comrade” China at 7:00pm on 12/3. The screening will include a Q&A session with several guest speakers and an after-party that will immediately follow. The remaining films will be screened throughout the weekend.
(Directed by Cui Zi’en. China, 2008. Documentary, 60 minutes, Mandarin w/ English subtitles)
12/3 (Fri) @ 7:00pm
China’s most prolific queer filmmaker presents a comprehensive historical account of the queer movement in modern China. Unlike any before, this film explores the historical milestones and ongoing advocacy efforts of the Chinese LGBT community.
Followed by Q & A with guest speakers and after party in cinema lobby.
(Directed by JIAN Yi. China, 2007. Documentary, 73 min. Mandarin w/ English subtitles)
12/4 (Sat) @ 1:00pm
“As entertaining as it is revelatory” – Ronnie Scheib, Variety
SUPER, GIRLS! follows ten teenagers on their quest to become superstars on China’s biggest TV show. Through candid interviews and footage of nail-biting auditions, SUPER, GIRLS! offers a fascinating look inside what the Chinese media have dubbed “the Lost Generation.”
(Directed by OU Ning. China, 2006. Documentary, 85 min. Mandarin w/ English subtitles.)
12/4 (Sat) @ 2:45pm
MEISHI STREET shows ordinary citizens taking a stand against the planned destruction of their homes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Acclaimed at over two dozen museums and galleries around the world, MEISHI STREET, by renowned visual artist Ou Ning, works as both art and activism, calling worldwide attention to lives being demolished in the name of progress.
(Directed by ZHOU Hao. China, 2008. Documentary, 105 minutes. Mandarin w/ English subtitles)
12/4 (Sat) @ 4:45pm
A twisted relationship develops between an urban Chinese couple struggling with heroin and a filmmaker chronicling their addiction, in this provocative documentary on drug abuse, filmmaking and friendship. Zhou’s unflinching depiction of his friends’ repeated attempts to quit blurs the line between filmmaker and subject, and raises provocative questions about the ways in which each uses the other.
(Directed by ZHAO Dayong. China, 2008. Documentary, 169 min. Mandarin, Nu, & Lisu w/ English subtitles)
12/4 (Sat) @ 7:15pm
Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. Tucked away in a rugged corner of Southwest China, the village is haunted by traces of China’s cultural past while its residents piece together a day-by-day existence.
(Directed by DU Haibin. China, 2009. Documentary, 117 min. Mandarin and Sichuan dialect w/ English subtitles)
12/5 (Sun) @ 1:00pm
Du Haibin’s award-winning documentary of the earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province in 2008 explores how victims, citizens and government respond to a national tragedy. Du depicts a world in chaos, both material and moral. “Without judgment but with a deep compassion for their subjects, the filmmakers of 1428 bring us a myriad of individual stories of absurdity, confusion and grief ” (Cherise Fong, CNN).
(Directed by ZHAO Liang. China, 2007, Documentary, 122 min. Mandarin w/ English subtitles)
12/5 (Sun) @ 3:30pm
“Zhao’s artistry is instantly apparent.” (Robert Koehler, Variety)
A prime example of how independent documentaries are on the vanguard of Chinese cinema, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT is an unprecedented look at the everyday workings of law enforcement in the world’s largest authoritarian society. With penetrating camerawork, Zhao Liang (Petition, 2009 Cannes Film Festival) patiently reveals the methods police use to interrogate and coerce suspects to confess crimes – and the consequences when such techniques backfire.
(Directed by LI Yifan and YAN Yu. China, 2005, Documentary, 147 min. Mandarin and Sichuan dialect w/ English subtitles)
12/5 (Sun) @ 6:00pm
A landmark documentary following the residents of the historic city of Fengjie as they clash with officials forcing them to evacuate their homes to make way for the world’s largest dam. Shot over two years, Before the Flood is a breathtaking achievement in verité-style documentary filmmaking. This profound film shows the human effects of one of history’s grandest social engineering projects, reflecting on the loss of both home and heritage.
Monday, 12/6 – Thursday, 12/9
(Directed by Takeshi Koike, 2010, 100 min, Digital, English Subtitles)
VIZ Cinema is bringing back REDLINE by popular demand! If you missed the premiere event, don’t miss this second chance to catch the exhilarating racing animation! For 4 days only!
The creative mastermind Katsuhito Ishii, known for The Taste of Tea, Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl and the animated segment of Kill Bill Vol.1, teams up with Anime Studio Madhouse and spirited animator and director Takeshi Koike (The Animatrix) for this epic animation film. After 7 years of production, REDLINE finally emerges in its entirety.
The toughest and most destructive underground car race in the universe, REDLINE, is about to begin! The race attracts the top drivers from across the universe and everyone brings their heavily armed, road-tearing machines to take down their competition. On top of that, this year’s race is taking place in Roboworld, where the race is prohibited, so the military have a plan of their own to put an end to this race. Among the racers is JP, a reckless driver oblivious to speed limits who is determined to win with pure speed without the help of weapons and gimmicks. While cars crash and burst into flames, the race course becomes a merciless battlefield and JP whips his ride into a dead heat. As the adrenaline rush takes over, who will survive and make it across the finish line?!
12/6 (Mon)-12/9(Thu) @ 5:00pm & 7:15pm
Friday, 12/10 – Sunday, 12/19
Cast Me If You Can
(Directed by Atsushi Ogata, 2010, 97min, Digital, Japanese with English subtitles)
Featured as “Japan’s answer to Woody Allen” in Metropolis Magazine, globetrotting comedy director Atsushi Ogata combines wit, humor, romance and family relations, in collaboration with veteran Japanese star actors Toru Masuoka, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masahiko Tsugawa, Keiko Matsuzaka, and Akira Emoto, and an international crew, to present a romantic comedy which transcends national and cultural borders. Cast Me If You Can is Ogata’s feature film debut.
Premiering at the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival in June, Cast Me If You Can also screened at festivals in California, New York, Indiana, Korea and India, won prizes for “Best Title Sequence” and “Best Original Score” in Los Angeles, and has also been adapted into a novel and published in Japan by Takeshobo Co. Ltd.
12/10 (Fri) @ 5:00pm, 7:15pm
12/11 (Sat) @ 12:30pm, 2:45pm, 5:00pm, 7:15pm
12/12 (Sun) @ 12:30pm, 2:45pm, 5:00pm
12/13 (Mon) & 12/14 (Tue) @ 5:00pm & 7:15pm
12/15 (Wed) @ 5:00pm
12/16 (Thu) @ 5:00pm & 7:15pm
12/17 (Fri) @ 5:00pm
12/18 (Sat) & 12/19 (Sun) @ 12:30pm
Friday, 12/17 @ 7:15pm 1 night only!
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya [ Encore ]
(Directed by Jun-ichi Mori, 2010, 163min, 35mm, with English Subtitles)
Saturday, 12/18 – Thursday, 1/6
Mifune x Kurosawa : A Beautiful Man
Toshiro Mifune graced Japanese cinema with his good looks, fierceness, and charisma. VIZ Cinema brings you Akira Kurosawa’s films featuring Mifune at his finest moments.
(1965, 185 minutes, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/18 (Sat) @ 2:45pm
12/20 (Mon) @ 7:15pm
12/21 (Tue) @ 3:00pm
12/23 (Thu) @ 7:15pm
12/26 (Sun) @ 1:45pm
Red Beard (Akahige) chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity.
(1951, 166 minutes, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/18 (Sat) @ 7:15pm
12/19 (Sun) @ 6:00pm
12/20 (Mon) @ 3:00pm
12/22 (Wed) @ 7:15pm
12/23 (Thu) @ 3:00pm
The Idiot, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth-century masterpiece about a wayward, pure soul’s reintegration into society—updated by Kurosawa to capture Japan’s postwar aimlessness—was a victim of studio interference and, finally, public indifference.
(1957, 125 minutes, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/19 (Sun) @ 2:45pm
12/21 (Tue) @ 7:15pm
12/22 (Wed) @ 4:00pm
12/26 (Sun) @ 6:00pm
12/27 (Mon) @ 4:00pm
Mifune and Kurosawa transform Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own way firmly situated in the postwar world. Remaining faithful to the original with its focus on the conflict between illusion and reality, their film making styles converge to create unique masterpieces.
(1963, 143min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/27 (Mon) @ 7:15pm
12/28 (Tue) @ 3:30pm
12/30 (Thu) @ 7:15pm
1/3 (Mon) @ 3:30pm
1/6 (Thu) @ 3:30pm
Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low, a compelling race-against-time thriller and a penetrating portrait of contemporary Japanese society.
(1949, 122min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/28 (Tue) @ 7:15pm
12/29 (Wed) @ 4:00pm
1/4 (Tue) @ 7:15pm
1/5 (Wed) @ 4:00pm
1/6 (Thu) @ 7:15pm
When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.
(1948, 98min, 35mm, English Subtitles)
12/29 (Wed) @ 7:15pm
12/30 (Thu) @ 4:30pm
1/3 (Mon) @ 7:15pm
1/4 (Tue) @ 4:30pm
1/5 (Wed) @ 7:15pm
In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura’s jaded physician.
(1954, 207 minutes, 35mm, English Language)
NEW YEAR’S SPECIAL SCREENING with RECEPTION!
1/2 (Sun) @ 1:30pm
Kick-off 2011 with one of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai ! This three-hour ride featuring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire eponymous warriors to protect them from the invading bandits.
Wednesday, 12/22 @ 1:30pm
(Directed by SORI, 2002, 114min, Digital, English subtitles)
VIZ Cinema’s last SENIOR FREE MOVIE DAY of the year is our all-time-favorite film Ping Pong!
Best friends Peco and Smile have been playing ping pong since they were little kids. While the unique and brazen Peco plays to win and loves the sport, the quiet and introverted Smile thinks of it as just a way to kill time with friends, but plays only because he looks up to Peco as his hero. And though Smile is the more talented player, he frequently and intentionally loses to Peco out of a misguided sense of friendship.
* All programming is subject to change. * Showtimes in ( ) indicates matinee price.Back to Top