If you’re upset that you couldn’t make it up to Toronto for TIFF this year, Los Angeles has the answer: LA Eigafest 2014, a three-day film festival presented by the Japanese Film Society that will display the sheer breadth and depth of Japan’s wonderful and exciting movie-making scene. Whether you want a sampling of classic Japanese thrills and horror (Bilocation), a live-action adaptation of one of Japan’s biggest manga heroes (Lupin The Third), a coming-of-age comedy (Wood Job!), a Little Miss Sunshine-like drama (Blossoms Bloom) or merely want to see the king of all Kaiju, Godzilla, on the big screen in all its glory, it’s all available for you, from September 12th to 14th.
The festival kicks off this Friday at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028), with the international premiere of Lupin the Third (trailer), a live-action adaptation of the classic crime-thriller manga series. The film’s director Ryuhei Kitamura, actress Meisa Kuroki and producer Mataichiro Yamamoto will be in attendance for the special screening at 7:45, that follows with a Q&A and Opening Night Reception. The festivities will kick off when Kenichi Ebina, America’s Got Talent’s Season 8 winner, performs.
On Saturday, films will be screening at the Rigler Theatre and Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, with a Japanese Street Fair occurring in the Egyptian Courtyard from 11-8 PM, which will include authentic food, games and oodles of fun. Perhaps the most interesting event on Saturday the 13th is the special annual Japanese Business Panel, that will be taking place from 1:30 to 3 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel (1755 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028). The discussion will include director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Swingers, The Bourne Identity), author Hiroshi Sakurazaka (All You Need Is Kill), entertainment attorney Masahisa Mitsunaga, and a special guest, who will partake in a panel on adapting Japanese properties for American audiences. Japan Film Society president and LA EigaFest Festival Director Hayato Mitsuishi will act as moderator.
Then there’s the awesome Godzilla 60th Anniversary Screening at 9 PM, which will book-end the original Gojira from 1954, a rightful classic, and probably the most important movie in Japan’s history, with WB and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla from this past summer.
The festival continues through Sunday, closing with the U.S. premiere of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (trailer), the #1 film at the Japanese box office, a sequel to Rurouni Kenshin that leaves the fate of the world in Kenshin Himura’s able hands (which will likely be holding a sword). What’s not to like?
To pore over the schedule, go here. Or marvel at the diverse film lineup. For more information, check out the festival’s website. Most importantly: buy tickets, and say hi to PopInsomniacs, who will be in attendance all three days!