Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) at Carnegie Museum of Art, December 1.

For this month's Cinematheque event as part of the Carnegie International exhibition, the Carnegie Museum of Art will present the 2013 Studio Ghibli film The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語) on December 1. A 2014 A.V. Club review provides a summary:
A humble bamboo cutter named Okina (translation: “old man”) happens upon a glowing stalk in the grove near his house. When he investigates, the shimmering tree blossoms reveal a baby nested inside. Believing this discovery to be a gift from the heavens, Okina brings her home to his wife Ouna (“old woman”), with whom he begins to raise the child as their own. Dubbing her “Princess” Kaguya, Ouna and Okina marvel at how rapidly the girl begins to grow, racing from infancy to pre-adolescence in a matter of days.

While Kaguya busies herself with a normal childhood, making friends with the local kids and bonding with an older boy named Sutemaru, her adopted father becomes distracted by Kaguya’s value to him—the bamboo shoot from which she was born begins producing gold. As Kaguya transforms into a teenager, Okina relocates their family to the capital city, where the girl receives lessons on how to be a proper woman, and is celebrated as a rare beauty. When five aggressive suitors come calling—followed by the emperor himself—Kaguya begins to feel trapped, things falling apart as she imagines a different life for herself.
It goes on to say the film has "some of the most beautifully expressive animation that Ghibli (or anyone else) has ever produced".

The movie runs from 1:00 to 3:15 pm. The museum is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map), accessible by buses 28X, 58, 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 67, 69, 71B, 71D, 75, and P3.

2018 Japanese animated anthology film Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theater, Volume 1 (ちいさな英雄-カニとタマゴと透明人間-) in Pittsburgh, January 10 and 12.

A 2018 collection of three short films, titled Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theater, Volume 1 (ちいさな英雄-カニとタマゴと透明人間-), will play in Pittsburgh on January 10 and 12.
Studio Ponoc, the new animation studio founded by two-time Academy Award®-nominee Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There) and featuring many artists from the venerable Studio Ghibli, made an immediate splash last year with its acclaimed debut film Mary and The Witch’s Flower. The studio returns this year with Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre Vol. 1, an ambitious collection of three thrilling tales created by some of the greatest talents working in Japanese animation today.

In Kanini & Kanino, directed by Academy Award®-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, Mary and The Witch’s Flower), two crab brothers embark on a grand underwater adventure to find their father, after an accident carries him far downstream. Depicted as tiny beings in a large and merciless natural world, the brothers must evade a series of freshwater predators if they are ever to reunite with their family again.

In Life Ain’t Gonna Lose, acclaimed animator Yoshiyuki Momose (key animator on Isao Takahata’s films at Studio Ghibli, and animation director of the video game Ni No Kuni) makes his directorial debut with a very different kind of story. Eight-year-old Shun loves baseball and to run. Only eggs defeat him. With the love of his strong-willed mother (Maggie Q), Shun faces the challenge of an everyday life threatened by a deadly allergy.

Lastly, in Invisible (the directing debut of Akihiko Yamashita, a talented key animator on many of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s best-known films) a man wakes up one morning and goes through his day in a world where no one can see him. But just when he seems to have reached his limit, a momentous decision gives him the chance to reclaim his humanity.

Together, the stories explore ideas of heroism large and small, and the infinite potential of the short film format allows the directors and Studio Ponoc to experiment with breathtaking, action-packed visuals, concise human drama, and gorgeous fantasy worlds, in this unforgettable short film anthology that is further demonstration of the studio’s exciting future.
It will play at the Southside Works on January 10, and at the Cinemark in Monroeville on the 10th (subtitled) and 12th (dubbed). Tickets are available online.

Japanese Coming-of-Age Ceremony (成人の日) at Pitt for students turning 20, January 10.

Kasai does 成人の日 in 2010.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and English Language Institute will host the second annual Coming-of-Age Ceremony (成人の日) on January 10, 2019. A large cohort of students from Yasuda Women's University is studying at Pitt's English Language Institute this fall and will miss the traditional ceremony in Hiroshima next month, so Pitt will hold its own event. Pittwire covered last year's ceremony:
About 25 students from Yasuda Women’s University in Hiroshima, who were at the University of Pittsburgh for five months learning English, were away from home in January, missing out on the annual Coming of Age ceremony, a national holiday in Japan.

So, Pitt’s Asian Studies Center threw a party — kimonos included.

A banner that reads “University of Pittsburgh Coming of Age Day Ceremony” in Japanese greeted student Nika Tanimoto and other participants.

“This Coming of Age ceremony seems like the perfect confluence of the University, our Japanese students and the community to celebrate together,” said Lynn Kawaratani, the center’s acting associate director. Members of the Pittsburgh community, the Japanese Nationality Room Committee and the Japan America Society of Pennsylvania all loaned kimonos for the students to wear. The Asian Studies Center has been partnering with Pitt’s English Language Institute for about a year, developing programming for these international students as well as Pitt students.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城), Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便), My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), and Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (風の谷のナウシカ) at Row House Cinema, from November 30.

This year's annual Miyazaki Week at the Row House Cinema will feature four movies this year from November 30: Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城), Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便), My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), and Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (風の谷のナウシカ). The series runs through December 6, and tickets and showtime information is available online. Movies after 6:00 pm will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles, while daytime movies will be dubbed in English. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

New Pokemon movie The Power of Us (劇場版ポケットモンスター みんなの物語) opens November 24.

The latest animated Pokemon movie The Power of Us (劇場版ポケットモンスター みんなの物語) will play in the Pittsburgh area from November 24. The distributor provides a summary:
A young athlete whose running days might be behind her, a compulsive liar, a shy researcher, a bitter old woman, and a little girl with a big secret—the only thing they have in common is the annual Wind Festival in Fula City.

The festival celebrates the Legendary Pokémon Lugia, who brings the wind that powers this seaside city. When a series of threats endangers not just the festival, but all the people and Pokémon of Fula City, it’ll take more than just Ash and Pikachu to save the day! Can everyone put aside their differences and work together—or will it all end in destruction?
The movie plays in English on November 24, 26, 28, and December 1 at Southside Works, AMC Loews Waterfront, and the Cinemark Theaters in Monroeville, Pittsburgh Mills, and Robinson. Tickets are available online.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Japanese movie Shoplifters (万引き家族) coming soon to Pittsburgh.

The 2018 Japanese movie and Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters (万引き家族) is coming soon to the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill and the Regent Square Theater in Regent Square.
After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold.

At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces.

Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them...
It opens on December 21 in Regent Square, though showtimes are not yet available. Ticket and showtime information has not yet been announced for the Manor Theater.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pitt still hiring Assistant Instructor of Korean for Fall 2019 start.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures has reposted for a second time its advertisement for an Assistant Instructor of Korean position that begins in Fall 2019.
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh (http://www.deall.pitt.edu) invites applications for an Assistant Instructor position in Korea studies, pending budgetary approval, beginning September 1, 2019. The position is non-tenure stream with the possibility of renewal for a multi-year contract. The successful candidate is expected to contribute significantly to the Korean language program and teach language courses on all levels. The successful candidate should hold an MA in teaching Korean as a foreign language or in an allied field, possess native or near-native competence in all skill areas of Korean and English, and have at least one year of teaching experience at a North American institution of higher education.

The new hire should be prepared to teach classes for both undergraduate and graduate students. Instruction to graduate students may involve PhD and MA students whose focus may be on literature, history, art history, religion, anthropology, etc. Preference will be given to candidates who possess linguistic knowledge of the Korean language, and who demonstrate familiarity with theories in second language acquisition and current practices in Korean pedagogy in North American higher education settings. Any expertise in non-language areas such as film, popular culture, literature, etc. will be a plus. Duties include teaching both recitations and lectures of language courses as well as working closely with the language coordinator to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Korean language program. The appointee should expect to collaborate with Asianists in other units (e. g., the Asian Studies Center) to promote Korea studies.
The new application deadline is December 10; additional application details and requirements are available on the job posting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"The Art of Noh: Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo," through December 15 at Pitt's Hillman Library.

The University of Pittsburgh's University Library System will host an exhibit of woodblock prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo through December 15.
Noh, a theater form that originated in the fourteenth century, was associated historically with the ruling warrior class, who made up about 5% of Japan’s pre-modern population in the late feudal period between 1600 and 1868. Kōgyo’s paintings and prints are more than reproductions of what he saw and sketched in the noh theater. He tried to capture what he saw as the essence of a play, which led him to make additions, subtractions, and various other changes to the actual performance in his prints. He even went so far as to put his ideas of the real-life facial expressions of the characters he depicted on the masks the actors in his prints wore. And he added to his prints scenes and texts from the stories of the play that were not portrayed in the play on stage. In one print he showed the play’s primary character performing under water, even though he obviously did not do so on stage. Kōgyo was not a camera; he was an artist.
The exhibit is located on the ground floor of Hillman Library (map) and is open to the public during the library's hours.

"Instead of Disaster: Cinema After '311'" at Pitt, November 30.

The University of Pittsburgh's Film and Media Studies Program will host Akira Mizuta Lippit and his talk "Instead of Disaster: Cinema After '311'" on November 30.
Akira Mizuta Lippit is Vice Dean of Faculty in the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and the T.C. Wang Family Endowed Chair in Cinematic Arts in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies. He is also Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures in the USC Dornsife College. His interests are in world cinemas, critical theory, Japanese film and culture, experimental film and video, and visual studies.

Lippit’s published work reflects these areas and includes four books, Ex-Cinema: From a Theory of Experimental Film and Video (2012); Atomic Light (Shadow Optics)(2005); Electric Animal: Toward a Rhetoric of Wildlife (2000); and his most recent book, Cinema without Reflection: Jacques Derrida's Echopoiesis and Narcissism Adrift (2016). At present, Lippit is completing a book on contemporary Japanese cinema, which explores the physical and metaphysical dimensions of the "world," and another on David Lynch’s baroque alphabetics.
The talk will start at 3:00 pm in 501 Cathedral of Learning (map) and is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Taste Makers: Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American identity," November 26 at City of Asylum.

via Saveur.

The City of Asylum will host a conversation on Chinese restaurants and the Asian American identity on November 26.
How is the growth of the Chinese community shaping Pittsburgh? Why has the Asian community grown so quickly among Pittsburgh’s universities, and what opportunities come with this growth? And how do the Trump Administration’s changes in immigration policies affect local businesses such as restaurants?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Melissa McCart follows up her Pulitzer Center research with a panel exploring how those originally from Taiwan and China are contributing to the changing dynamic of Pittsburgh.

On Nov. 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at City of Asylum, please join restaurateur Mike Chen of Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill; community crusader Marian Lien, executive director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and commissioner on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania; and Chris Briem, a University of Pittsburgh regional economist and analyst of population trends for a discussion.

There will be beer, wine and Chinese snacks.
The event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required. The City of Asylum's Alphabet City is located at 40 N. West Ave. on the North Side (map).