Tag Archives: funimation

Secret Movie Club Hosts an Anime Buffet in 2020 and We’ve Got an Exclusive First Look at Two New Posters

In 2020, the Los Angeles-based Secret Movie Club is hosting screenings of some of the most beloved anime of all time, as part of their Anime Buffet programming slate, which will run from January through April 2020. The Anime Buffet slate is scheduled to include such films as Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Paprika, Millennium Actress, Metropolis (2001), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Vampire Hunter D, Grave of the Fireflies, and Tokyo Godfathers. Screenings will alternate between two different locations: the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, the historic single screen theater built in 1922, and the Club, Secret Movie Club’s new downtown location. 

Attendees can purchase limited edition SECRET MOVIE CLUB posters for every screening at all events, which feature new art by contemporary illustrators. Each film is preceded by a brief talk from Secret Movie Club founder Craig Hammill and a trivia question for the audience.

Secret Movie Club

COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE 

(2001, Sony, dir by Shinichiro Watanabe, 35mm, 115mns) 

Friday, January 10, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista

In 2071, earth has been ravaged by catastrophe. Humans have colonized other planets and the universe is a new Wild West. A group of Bounty Hunters travel on the spaceship BeBop in search of quarry and rewards. When a contagion gets released in a truck disaster on Mars, our heroes-Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein (a dog with human-grade smarts due to artificial enhancement) go off in search of the culprit and the reward that goes with it. 

“One of the great things with Japanese anime, as with all cinema and art, is how each set of creators imbue the genre with their own personal style and stamp,” said Craig Hammill. “Cowboy Be Bop, as its title itself implies, is a mashup of sci-fi, westerns, Hong Kong action movies, and an improvisatory iconoclastic jazz rhythm that make the viewing experience a total blast and totally singular.”

Secret Movie Club Cowboy Bebop

VAMPIRE HUNTER D

(1985, Sentai Filmworks, dir by Toyoo Ashida, 80mns) 

Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 7:30p, The Club, 1917 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, LA, CA 90021

The movie centers on Doris Lang, the daughter of a werewolf hunter, who gets bitten by 10,000 year old Count Magnus Lee one night. She then meets a strange vampire hunter, who only goes by the name D, and employs him to take on the long-lost vampire lord and try to help her from becoming a vampire herself.

Vampire Hunter D is one of the earliest examples of Japanese anime that was made explicitly with teenagers and adults more in mind than children,” said Hammill. “Made for the then emerging direct to video market, Vampire Hunter D had a smaller budget than its feature film peers. But in a strange way, this freed up director Toyoo Ashida to make a more exciting, violent, sensual animation. Ashida has gone on the record as saying his intent with the movie was to make something thrilling that tired students could enjoy during study breaks rather than make an anime that further exhausted them. Full of genre mash-ups, amazing art and design, and storytelling, Vampire Hunter D definitely serves as a prototype and torch in the darkness for future directors like Satoshi Kon, who will take anime into ever more complex, adult, shadowy realms.” 


GHOST IN THE SHELL 

(1995, Lionsgate, dir by Mamoru Oshii, 85mns) 

Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:

Often the cyberpunk genre, which would come to full flourish here in the United States with the Wachowski’s The Matrix, can be traced most directly to two Japanese anime parents: 1988’s Akira and 1995’s Ghost in the Shell. Often considered one of the greatest Japanese anime movies of all time, Ghost in the Shell, dives head first into the darker, deeper waters of more adult sci-fi.

It’s 2029 and the human body can be augmented with “smart” prosthetic cybernetics. The most recent innovation, and the most terrifying, is a cyberbrain, which allows humans to now go online/get hooked into the internet, straight through their neural pathways. Our hero, Motoko Kusanagi, is part of an elite squad that fights crime in “New Port City” in Japan. Currently, they are kept busy by an arch criminal known as “The Puppet Master” who appears to have the ability to hack into these “cyberbrains” and get folks to assassinate, kill, commit crimes. As Motoko further explores what’s going on with both the Puppet Master and the innovations in cybernetics, she stumbles across a revelation that goes to the very heart of our philosophical understanding of what makes us unique individuals: what constitutes our “soul”. 

Secret Movie Club Ghost in the Shell

PAPRIKA

(2006, Sony Pictures Classics, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 90mns) 

Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:

If Hayao Miyazaki is synonymous with a kind of all-ages wildly imaginative Japanese anime, then director Satoshi Kon is synonymous with a Japanese anime that dares to go to the very limits of what any kind of cinema can explore in terms of human psychology, fear, desire, imagination. And he does it in the most creative and miraculous of artistic ways.

Paprika is one of his wildest mind-bending creations of all. In the near-future, there is a device called the “DC Mini” which allows Dr. Atsuko Chiba to enter the dreams of her patients (using her alter-ego “Paprika”) to help try to discover the root of their fears, anxieties, and hang ups. But the problem is that the “DC Mini” is still in prototype mode with no restrictions or safety barriers whatsoever. And if it gets into the wrong hands (which of course it does), it allows the thieves to enter dreams for more sinister and nefarious reasons. 


METROPOLIS

(2001, Sony, dir by Rintaro, 113mns total, 35mm, Japanese with English subtitles) 

Saturday, February 1, 2020 @ 10:45p, The Club

Written by Katsohiro Otomo (writer/director of the classic anime Akira), Metropolis shares much of its DNA with that seminal anime classic including a central character who is rocked to their psychological core by the realization of their “super human” abilities and an impending apocalypse that threatens the entire foundations of a huge city.


MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

(2002, 11 Arts, dir by Satoshi Kon, 82mns, Japanese with English subtitles) 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 8p, The Club

Millennium Actress tells the emotional story (in a decidedly surreal and modernist way) of famous actor Chiyoko Fujiwara, who tells her life story to documentarians and explains she only ever became an actress in the hopes of being recognized by an artist/political rebel she fell in love with as a teenager and never saw again. As Chiyoko tells her story, it becomes hard to tell what’s her real life, what are movie scenes she starred in, and where fiction/reality meet and diverge. 

Special Note: There will be three originally written 3-4 minute monologues performed by three actresses ahead of the screening running a total of 10-12 minutes. 


PERFECT BLUE

(1997, GKIDS, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 81mns) 

Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista

Kon fully commits to an anime that is as rich, dark, and complex as any Scorsese, Kubrick, Lynch, or Bergman movie. But with the added benefit of being able to cinematically represent psychological states of mind in a way that is often impossible in live-action cinema.

“If you want to see anime that absolutely succeeds in expanding the playing field of what cinema can do, come join us for Perfect Blue,” said Hammill.


THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME

(2006, Funimation, directed by Mamoru Hosoda, 98mns; English dubbed version)

Saturday, March 14, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells the story of young teenager Makoto Konno who discovers a magical object in her high school that allows her to leap through time and prevent situations that caused her great embarrassment. This premise, as with all good premises fully explored, deepens into a meditation on wish fulfillment versus reality. Makoto, first using the device for frivolous things, comes to realize that the device has its price. And that she is not the only one using it. . . 


GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES

(1988, GKids, directed by Isao Takahata, 90mns; Japanese with English subtitles) 

Saturday, April 4, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista

One of the absolute greatest animes ever made, Grave of the Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata, deals with siblings Seita and Satsuko, who have to rely on each other to survive after they’re separated from their parents during the American fire-bombing of Tokyo in the late stages of World War II.


Tickets can be purchased now.


Secret Movie Club is a group project among the founders and the audience. Audience suggestions are taken and often used. Secret Movie Club aims to celebrate the wonderful experience that comes from watching the world’s greatest movies in great movie theaters with great audiences.

SDCC 2019: Come Set the World’s Largest Kamehameha!

Guinness World Records attempt on Opening Day of the tour.

Toei Animation Inc. Funimation and Bluefin have revealed their complete details for the launch of the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con including a history-making Guinness World Records attempt on Opening Day of the tour.

Co-sponsored and presented jointly by Bandai and Toei Animation, the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure opens on Wednesday, July 17 at an expansive installation on the Marriott Marina Terrace at the Marriot Marquis San Diego. The tour will continue throughout San Diego Comic-Con 2019 from July 18 – July 21 and will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Following San Diego Comic-Con, the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure will travel to seven additional locations around the world including stops in New York City, Mexico City Mexico, Cologne Germany, Barcelona Spain, Shanghai China, Hong Kong China, and Tokyo Japan.


Dragon Ball Guinness World Records Attempt

Come be a part of Dragon Ball and Guinness World Records history! The 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure will open with a special Guinness World Records attempt to become the largest gathering of people simultaneously performing the iconic Kamehameha super energy attack move.

Fans will gather on Wednesday, July 17 at 3:30 p.m. at the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure on the Marriott Marina Terrace at the Marriot Marquis San Diego. The first 1,000 participants to arrive will receive a free Dragon Ball Scouter accessory to wear during the Guinness World Records attempt. The Kamehameha super energy attack move will be led by actor Sean Schemmel, the English voice of Dragon Ball character Goku. Guinness World Records will be onsite to supervise and validate the record attempt.


Dragon Ball World Adventure Displays

Dive into the world of Dragon Ball with an expansive collection of multi-faceted interactive installations will delight fans and attendees. Catch interactive kiosks featuring the latest Dragon Ball video game titles from Bandai Namco Entertainment, including Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, Dragon Ball Z Fighter, Dragon Ball Legends, and Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle.


Dragon Ball Animated GIF Photo Booth

Capture your visit to 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure with a unique and shareable complimentary memento.  Head to the Dragon Ball Animated GIF Photo Booth, select your favorite background and pose for a series of photos that will be stitched together and delivered to you as a looping animated gif that can be shared directly with friends and family and/or posted to a variety of social media channels.


Dragon Ball Collectibles & Exclusives

On display will be a wide array of S.H.Figuarts event exclusives and special Dragon Ball products from leading Bandai brands including Tamashii Nations, Shokugan, and Banpresto. Event exclusives will be available to purchase at the Tamashii Nations Booth #3545 inside the Comic-Con Main Hall and require an exclusive merchandise time slot issued by San Diego Comic-Con to purchase.


Dragon Ball Sticker Rally

Join the Dragon Ball Sticker Rally and collect stickers at each attraction inside the Dragon Ball World Adventure. Stickers may be redeemed for free premiums including Dragon Ball wristbands, posters, lanyards, stickers, fans and Saiyan Hair Set headbands. In addition, all tour guests will receive an exclusive 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure oversized swag bag to use to carry all of their Comic-Con purchases.