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Japanese Animation, Live Action Films Screen at EigaFest This Weekend

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We have a great way for Japanophiles and Japanese film fans to beat the heat this weekend. The fourth annual LA EigaFest begins today and runs through Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with a few additional screenings down the street at the TCL Chinese Theatres. This year, EigaFest ("eiga" meaning “film” in Japanese) is working with the Japan Film Society for a celebration of contemporary Japanese cinema (live-action, animation, features, shorts) and pop culture in Hollywood.

Things kick off tonight with the international premiere of Lupin the Third, a live-action adaption of a crime-thriller manga series written and drawn by artist Monkey Punch. There’s a Q&A following the 7:45 pm screening with director Ryuhei Kitamura, actress Meisa Kuroki and producer Mataichiro Yamamoto. Tickets for the opening night screening and party are $35.

At 11 am on Saturday, a Japanese Street Fair opens in Egyptian Courtyard with traditional festival games, Japanese street food and other vendors. Other weekend highlights include: A 60th anniversary double feature of Godzilla films on Saturday, beginning with the 1954 Japanese original version at 9 pm, followed by the 2014 film (tickets: $15); and a special screening of animation in A Merciless Life and Death: Ninja Anime Classics on Sunday at 2:30 pm (tickets: $5). The program, geared toward adults 18 and older, includes an introduction and Q&A by Pomona College Japanese film scholar Jonathan M. Hall.

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Other feature and short film programs are featured throughout the weekend—some for free—before the festival closes with the U.S. premiere of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, directed by Keishi Ōtomo. The sequel to the Japanese blockbuster Rurouni Kenshin (based on a manga series) features a reluctant assassin/warrior forced to pick up his sword again to save the country. Rurouni Kenshin screens at 8 pm on Sunday, and tickets are $25 (includes the closing party).

Tickets available now at www.LAEigaFest.com.