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Surfing, Godzilla, Anime, and more Japanese Art: Viz Cinema in May

And this May, I dare say, they’re ambitiously launching a diverse program of movies depicting a Japan both known and unknown.

Look, it’s no secret that Viz Cinema in San Francisco is a beacon of contemporary Japanese culture. And this May, I dare say, they’re ambitiously launching a diverse program of movies depicting a Japan both known and unknown.

Here is the current schedule as sent to me:

Aida Mokoto

Aida Mokoto

Makato Aida: Cynic in the Playground, One-Night-Only! Tuesday, May 4th

Come celebrate the VIZ Pictures NEW PEOPLE Artist Series DVD release of Makoto Aida: Cynic in the Playground, which captures the controversial artist he creates his “Human Project” and “Shinjuku Castle,” as well as various moments in his personal life. Aida is internationally known for his diverse and provocative works in various media such as painting, art installations and Japanese manga, and his unique character surfaces through an intense creative process

Kaiju Shakedown: Godzillathon!, May 8th - May 13th

Catch a 5-day marathon of screenings of the Big G’s 4 most-loved films on 35mm prints  with English overdubbing, including Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). Details and screening times at:


TokyoScope Talk Vol.3: War of the Giant Monsters Don’t miss the Editor-in-Chief of Otaku USA, Patrick Macias’ 3rd volume of TokyoScope TalkWar of the Giant Monsters as he welcomes two experts on Japanese monster films and also enter the giveaway raffle for DVD Gamera: The Giant Monster (1965)’s new release! Donated by Shout! Factory.  


The BIG SURF Weekend Saturday & Sunday, May 14th – 15th

Coinciding with our new art exhibit, VIZ Cinema is taken over by wave shredding surf movies for the exhibition’s opening weekend! Join the carefree and thrilling surf life and feel the breeze rushing over the rolling waves.

David Brown Special: A Double Feature **With appearance of Director and Co-Producer!

Surfing for Life, May 14th, 7:00pm This is a vibrant and award-winning documentary about inspiring well-spent lives and offers a totally fresh look at successful aging. Narrated by Beau Bridges, it profiles ten legendary surfers who model healthy aging by staying active and engaged into their 70s, 80s, and even 90s.

Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown, May 14th, 8:30pm Nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Documentary, Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown is a new documentary by the Director of Surfing for Life and profiles a legend in the worlds of surfing, sailing and soaring. The film won the “Inspiration Award” at Mountain Film in Telluride, “Best Surfing Film” at the Byron Bay Film Festival in Australia, and over 20 other international awards.

THE SURF SHOP Short Films (3 in a row), May 15th, 12:00pm 3 short films in conjunction with THE SURF SHOP exhibition of SUPERFROG Gallery capture the styles of Japanese surfers.

Monster Wave In Cape Ashizuri A monster lives off the shore of Cape Ashizuri of Kochi, Japan. This short documentary film captures career surfers challenging the legendary monster waves.


Through the stunning sound and visuals of this short film, Director Keiichiro Mukai sends his wish to the next generation: co-existence with nature. A heart-felt piece.

Glacier Diary Not quite a surfing film, Glacier Diary uses similar film techniques used to capture waves for a visceral trip down iced slopes! As part of THE SURF SHOP exhibition, filmmaker Takatoshi Okura tells an amazing story of a glacier photographer’s’ challenge and triumph in Patagonia.

Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer 1 & 2

The Endless Summer, 2:00pm Surfing documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown’s most acclaimed and cherished piece follows two young surfers in search of the perfect wave, as they meet interesting characters around the world. The ultimate surfing classic!

The Endless Summer 2, 4:10pm A timeless journey continues as Bruce Brown, the king of surfing documentaries, returns after nearly thirty years to trace the steps of the same two surfers as they travel to top surfing spots around the world. A precious film that also documents surfing becoming an influential fashionable subculture through time


Sci-fi Anime Madness, Saturday, May 15th – Thursday, May 20th

Royal Space Force, Monday, May 17th & Tuesday, May 18th  

Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Saturday, 5/15 & Monday, 5/17 & Tuesday, 5/18 

Gundam Movie Madness, Sunday, May 16th Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs to the Stars, 1:00pm Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam II: Lovers, 3:00pm

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam III: Love is the Pulse of the Stars, 5:00pm

Ghost in the Shell Special, Wednesday, May 19th 

You can experience Ghost in the Shell in the original version and/or in CGI enhanced!

Ghost in the Shell (Original version) 5:00pm Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (3D-CGI version) 7:00pm (*The 3D CGI version is not in 3D; 2.0 is the visually enhanced version, not the second movie)

20th Century Boys 3: Redemption, One-Night-Only! Thursday, May 20th, 7:00pm Based on the manga by Naoki Urasawa. The final chapter of the smash hit sci-fi action trilogy has arrived. As World President, Friend tells everyone that mankind will soon be destroyed and only those who believe in him will be saved. As a familiar song plays from the radio, is it proof that Kenji is still alive? Everyone is ready to make their final stand as all mysteries are soon revealed. Ticket price: $25 including movie ticket, DVD, poster & more! Regular Admission: $10. No discounts apply.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Friday, May 21st – Saturday June 5th

Don’t miss the exclusive U.S. Premiere of the mega hit anime movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, presented in association with Bandai Entertainment! Ten days before Christmas, Haruhi came up with another one of her crazy ideas to hold a Christmas party in the club room. The next day, however, Kyon woke up to a world in which Haruhi didn’t exist and no one besides him had any memory of her. How can someone like Haruhi Suzumiya who’s supposed to be the center of the universe just vanish?