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.
Cinema Rental Details | For inquiries, please email: email@example.com
|Saturday, 8/6 @ 2pm||Twice Bombed; the Legacy of Yamaguchi Tsutomu|
|Friday, 8/12 @ 7pm||“CLASSIC” SUMMER WEEKENDS: Ikiru||Saturday, 8/13 & Sunday, 8/14||An Asian American Film Retrospective|
|Saturday, 8/13 @ 11:50am||“CLASSIC” SUMMER WEEKENDS: I Live In Fear|
|Friday, 8/19 @ 7pm||PING PONG / Tsunami Relief For Japan Vol.6|
|Saturday, 8/20 @ 2pm||“CLASSIC” SUMMER WEEKENDS: Ugetsu|
|Sunday, 8/21 @ 2pm||“CLASSIC” SUMMER WEEKENDS: Kwaidan|
|Friday, 8/26 @ 7pm||J-POP SUMMIT: GANTZ DVD & BLU-RAY Release Event|
|Saturday, 8/27 @ 2:15pm||J-POP SUMMIT: Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal|
|Saturday, 8/27 @ 5:15pm||J-POP SUMMIT: K-ON! Anime Vol.3 Premiere and Mini-Concert|
|8/27 @ 11:15am & 8/28 @ 3:30pm||J-POP SUMMIT: GANTZ II: Perfect Answer-SF Premiere|
|Sunday, 8/28 @ 1pm||J-POP SUMMIT: DOCUMENTARY OF AKB48 to be continued-US Premiere|
|Sunday, 8/28 @ 6pm||J-POP SUMMIT: Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya|
Saturday, 8/6 @ 2pm
Twice Bombed; the Legacy of Yamaguchi Tsutomu
(2011, 68 min, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Survivors from the friends of Hibakusha will speak in Q &A after the screening.
★Part of the ticket sales will be directly donated to Friends of Hibakusha in Japantown. The U.S. does not currently offer free medical treatment programs for atomic bomb-affected individuals; Japan does.
Saturday, August 13 & Sunday, August 14
An Asian American Film Retrospective
(Directed by Burt Takeuchi, 90 min, English )
8/13 (Sat) & 8/14 (Sun) @ 2pm
“Valor With Honor” a new independent documentary feature on the last interviews of veterans that served in the WW2 Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd is the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the US Army. All Japanese American vets will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal this fall 2011. 30 min Q&A after the screening and dvds (25$ each) sold after the Q&A. www.valorwithhonor.com
(Directed by Emiko Omori, 1999, 85 min, English )
8/13 (Sat) @ 5:15 pm
This national Emmy award winner is the story of the incarceration of Japanese Americans, told through the experience of one family, touching on many issues: the trampling of civil rights, a generation’s loss of a lifetime’s work, the fissures created in a formerly strong, vital community, the drafting of young men from the camps, the racist loyalty questionnaire, and a hard look at the American system of law and the constitution. Q&A after the screening with Director Emiko Omori.
Watch Trailer >>
(Directed by Emiko Omori, 2010, 75 min, English )
8/13 (Sat) @ 7:30pm
The love affair began in a seedy Southern California beach town arcade in the 1950s. He was ten. The lurid, sexual, surreal and outsider reputation of tattoos were an instant draw for fifth grader Don Ed Hardy, a Lutheran white boy from a surfing town. He saw his calling in the mystical images of pierced hearts, flaming eyeballs and bloody skulls. After art school, he rejected a scholarship to Yale University to pursue his childhood obsession – tattoos. His art is a wild cross cultural “mash up” of traditional military and carnival imagery, and art from Japan, China, Latin America, and Polynesia. Part memoir, part tattoo history, Ed Hardy Tattoo the World chronicles his rise to cult status, his phenomenal influence on popular culture and, now, an immensely successful clothing brand. Q&A after the screening. www.edhardytattootheworld.com/ | Watch Trailer >>
(Directed by Curtis Choy, 1983, 57 min, English )
8/14 (Sun) @ 5:15 pm
This is the story of the ten year struggle to save the International Hotel, known as the I Hotel, home of elderly seniors, mostly elderly Philippinos. Community activists tried hard to ward off the wrecking ball but in the end, these people were brutally evicted and the hotel torn down. This is a powerful film of how corporate interests prevailed over an ethnic community and destroyed what had been the heart of Manilatown.
Q&A after the screening – to be announced Watch Trailer >>
(Directed by Linda Hattendorf, 2006, 84 min, English )
8/14 (Sun) @ 7:45 pm
What begins as a straightforward documentary on an elderly homeless artist in New York City becomes an indictment of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The artist, Jimmy Mirikitani, also endures the devastation of 9/11, and this film is a quirky, moving tale of losing “home” on many levels. Q&A after the screening – to be announced.
Weekends of 8/12 – 8/21 @ 2pm
“CLASSIC” SUMMER WEEKENDS: August
(Directored by Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1952, 143min, 35mm, B&W)
8/12 (Fri) @ 7:00pm
Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life.
(Directored by Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1955, 103mins, 35mm, B&W)
8/13 (Sat) @ 11:50am
Both the final film of this period in which Akira Kurosawa would directly wrestle with the demons of the Second World War and his most literal representation of living in an atomic age, the galvanizing I Live in Fear presents Toshiro Mifune as an elderly, stubborn businessman so fearful of a nuclear attack that he resolves to move his reluctant family to South America. With this mournful film, the director depicts a society emerging from the shadows but still terrorized by memories of the past and anxieties for the future.
(Directored by Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan,1953, 97mins, 35mm, B&W)
8/20 (Sat) @ 2:00pm
“Quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers,” said Jean-Luc Godard of Kenji Mizoguchi. And Ugetsu, a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director’s supreme achievement. Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, this haunting tale of love and loss—with its exquisite blending of the otherworldly and the real—is one of the most beautiful films ever made.
(Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, Japan, 1965, 161mins, B&W, 35mm)
8/21 (Sun) @ 2:00pm
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales in which terror thrives and demons lurk. Adapted from traditional Japanese ghost stories, this lavish, widescreen production drew extensively on Kobayashi’s own training as a student of painting and fine arts. Criterion is proud to present Kwaidan in a new ravishing color transfer.
Friday, 8/19 @ 7pm
Tsunami & Earthquake Relief For Japan Vol.6
(Directed by SORI, 2002, 114min, Digital, English subtitles)
**The admission is free with suggested donations from $10 that could be donated at VIZ Cinema or through our online box office ( For online purchases, online service fee will be charged. ) More donation could be made at VIZ Cinema on the day of show. Thank you!
100% of proceeds will be donated to EARTH DAY TOKYO TOWER of Japan. Earth Day Tokyo Tower Volunteer Center started its activities In response to the Northeastern Japan’s tsunami and earthquake devastation on March 11, 2011. The group sends volunteers into the devastated area to clean up, make food, hold events to cheer up children, setting up food courts, and more. The weekend volunteers are sent to the hard hit regions on buses running on used tempura oil.
Based on the bestselling comic. Table tennis to the extreme!
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.
J-POP SUMMIT Film Events: Friday, 8/26 @7pm
GANTZ DVD & BLU-RAY Release Event
(Directed by Shinsuke Sato, 2011, 128 min, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masaru Kato attempt to save a man who has fallen onto the train tracks but are run down by an oncoming train. However, rather than finding themselves dead, they are transported to a strange apartment in which they find a mysterious black orb known as ‘GANTZ’. Along with others there, they are provided weaponry and sent on missions to battle alien beings. Is this world, which tests your will to survive, a game or reality?
J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL Film Events: Saturday, 8/27 @ 2:15pm
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal
[ U.S. Premiere of Subtitled Version ]
( Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi, 125 min, English Subtitled)
“Trust & Betreyal” and “Reflection” will get the releases they deserve as they will be digitally re-mastered to High Definition Blu-Ray format. See more details the Blu-Ray release >>
Watch Trailer: Please wait for loading…
J-POP SUMMIT Film Events: 8/27 @ 11:15am & 8/28 @ 3:30pm
GANTZ II: Perfect Answer [ San Francisco Premiere ]
(Directed by Shinsuke Sato, 2011, 140 min, Japanese with English Subtitles)
How will we face the end? The two-part GANTZ film meets its conclusion in GANTZ 2 with an intensely gripping story-line yet to be known to the manga audience!
J-POP SUMMIT Film Events: 8/27 @ 5:15pm – 7:00pm
K-ON! Anime Vol.3 Premiere and Mini-Concert
(Directed by Naoko Yamada, 2011, 77 min, English Dubbed)
Reserve Seats here >>
When Yui Hirasawa enters high school, she wants to join a club but can’t decide which one is right for her. Fortunately, the Light Music Club is desperate to find another member or they’ll be disbanded! So, with the enticement of delicious snacks and assurance that no musical experience is necessary, Yui joins the Light Music Club. She becomes the guitarist in this all-girl high school rock band with Mio Akiyama on bass, Tsumugi Kotobuki on keyboard and Ritsu Tainaka on drums. Together, they’re going to rock the school and someday make it to the Budokan!
J-POP SUMMIT Film Events: Sunday, 8/28 @ 1pm
DOCUMENTARY OF AKB48 to be continued [ U.S. Premiere ]
(2011, 120 min, Japanese with English Subtitles)
This documentary follows the unstoppable all-female Japanese idol group AKB48 and gives you a glimpse into the girls’ struggle and growth that is behind their success and ever-growing popularity. Five years ago they started as a small Akihabara idol group with only seven people showing up to their shows. Now, they’ve topped Japan’s music chart with the top two best-selling singles of the year in 2010 as well as another two singles ranking in the top 10. With a complicated balance of competition and friendship among the members, their bond is strong. Throughout 2010 the camera captures AKB48’s history with scenes from their concerts, general elections, and activities abroad amounting to over 1000 hours of footage. The documentary also includes personal interviews with select members revealing each of the girls’ struggle, joy, growth, and dream.
J-POP SUMMIT Film Events: Sunday, 8/28 @ 6:30pm
Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
[ San Francisco Premiere of Dubbed Version ]
(Directed by Jun-ichi Mori, 2010, 163min, Englished DUBBED VERSION)
* All programming is subject to change. * Showtimes in ( ) indicates matinee price.Back to Top