UPDATE: PJAM has just added Takashi Miike's Ninja Kids to its schedule! The absolutely gonzo family film from the king of the bizarre will make its Philadelphia premiere on Thursday, July 7th at 9:30pm following the 35mm presentation of Abraxas.
for advance tickets, go to https://www.ticketturtle.com/index.php?ticketing=pmt
On Friday, May 13th, Philadelphia went to hell for a good cause at the Philly Japan Arts Matsuri's major launch event. Ran in conjunction with Rue Morgue's Splatters Matters charity tour, PJAM hosted the area premiere of Yoshihiro Nishimura's HELLDRIVER with a post-film concert featuring J-rock all stars Uzuhi and High Teen Boogie, PJAM raised over $1500 at the door benefitting tsunami relief in Japan. It was a night of hyperkinetic cinema, electric wall-blasting rock, fantastic raffle prizes, cheap beer, and a whole lot of fun...and it was only the appetizer for this July's main course.
While Marc Walkow will soon be launching the Japan Cuts series as part of the now legendary New York Asian Film Festival this July, his programming presence will also be felt in Philadelphia at the same time.
PJAM returns to the beautiful Prince Music Theater Thursday, July 7th through Saturday, July 9th with three days of Japanese film, music, and much much more. That's exactly three weeks from today, so be sure to mark it on your calendar. This is an entirely nonprofit event with all proceeds benefitting the Philadelphia-Japan Disaster Relief Fund.
There has never been a festival quite like this in Philadelphia, and depending on the success, it hopefully will not be the last! It's up to you, dear readers, to help spread the word! This is a truly independent passion project lead by PJAM executive director, Eric Bresler of Tokyo No Records with support from Rob Buscher of Zipangu Fest, and yours truly. No major sponsors, no private donators, no rich spouses to fund this project, just three Japan-o-phile film nerds desperately trying to build something unique here in Philly while helping their friends and family in Japan.
But you may be wondering just what exactly a matsuri is. It is the Japanese term for a local community-based festival that celebrates the cultural arts. Matsuri combine an eclectic mix of food, song, performance, and art to honor the spirit of a specific locale. PJAM is Philly's first and only matsuri that marries East Coast attitude with Far East convention. It's the tastiest and most unique cultural fusion since the invention of the Philly roll.
For its opening night festivities, PJAM will host the Philadelphia Premiere of ABRAXAS. Straight from its inaugural screening at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, ABRAXAS is a profoundly moving chronicle of a punk rocker turned Zen Buddhist monk who grapples with the anarchic longings of his old self. .
On Friday, July 8th, PJAM will transform the Prince Music Theater's lobby space into a convention-like atmosphere complete with vendors, music, and arcade games straight from Japan. There will be live music provided Philly's hottest chip-tune acts including CHIPOCRITE, RO-BEAR, DJ CUTMAN and DATA PARADE. The night ends with a special midnight screening of YAZUKA WEAPON, the newest cult hit from the makers of VERSUS, with CAST AND CREW IN ATTENDANCE all the way from Tokyo!
Saturday, July 9th marks the Philadelphia Premieres of hit Japanese comedies 8000 MILES and 8000 MILES 2: GIRL RAPPERS. The original film chronicles the lives of five suburban Japanese M.C.s who struggle to make it out of obscurity in the non-existent Saitama Hip Hop scene; the sequel concerns a group of similarly inept female rappers in a neighboring prefecture. The lobby of the Prince Music Theater will also double as a concert hall that night where Philly's most popular D.J.'s and M.C.'s will perform live. CAN YOU DIG IT?!
Make sure to friend PJAM on facebook and be sure to check out the full schedule at www.phillyjam.org