Press Releases

October 29, 2003

News for Anime: A Celebration 2003:

The University of California, Berkeley Presents an Anime Film Program

From UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

Saturday, November 1, 2003 - Sunday, November 2, 2003

Cosponsored by the Consulate General of Japan, San Francisco, the Japan Society of Northern California, and the Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the inception of relations between Japan and the United States. Initiated by the arrival in Japan of Commodore Matthew Perry's “Black Ships” in 1853 and the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Amity in 1854, this remarkable bilateral association has grown into one of the closest political, cultural, and economic relationships of our time.

A vital aspect of this relationship has been the long tradition of cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. Today, pop culture has replaced tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and Zen as Japan's primary cultural export to the United States. Anime stands at the forefront of this globalization of Japan's pop culture. Together with manga, it has permeated the consciousness of the English-speaking world through films, music, and art, icons such as Pokemon and Power Rangers, and home video games. Yet as with any cultural import, there is more than meets the eye, for anime presents a unique perspective on the reality of contemporary Japan and the psychological world of the Japanese.

The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and the Japan Society of Northern California are proud to mark this most auspicious anniversary celebration of the relationship between the United States and Japan with the presentation of this special series of Japanese anime.

Our showcase features two studios that have shaped the history of Japanese animation through their vision and artistic virtuosity, Studio Ghibli and Tezuka Productions.

Studio Ghibli, founded in 1984 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, has won worldwide respect for its graceful balancing of soaring imagination and real-life social issues. We are pleased to present the Northern California premiere of Ghibli's latest, The Cat Returns, with producer Nozomu Takahashi in person.

Osamu Tezuka (1928–1989) may be best known in the U.S. as the creator of the beloved Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu), whose birthday is being celebrated this year, and Kimba the White Lion. Tezuka's innovative short animation has been widely shown in international festivals.

SAT NOV 1 2003
4:00 Space Firebird 2772
"God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka's tale of love between a young pilot and his robot caretaker is a "surprisingly seamless blend of Star Wars, Dr. Seuss, and Tezuka's own Astro Boy."--Village Voice

SAT NOV 1 2003
7:00 Only Yesterday
Nozomu Takahashi in Person. Isao Takahata uses Studio Ghibli's jewel-like color and superb command of technique to show the value of an ordinary life lived in ordinary times.

SAT NOV 1 2003
9:45 Black Jack
Based on Tezuka's famous manga, the adventures of a mysterious outlaw surgeon are directed with characteristic visual flair by Osamu Dezaki.

SUN NOV 2 2003
3:30 The Cat Returns
Premiere! Followed by Panel Discussion with Nozomu Takahashi. A schoolgirl finds herself in a feline kingdom in Studio Ghibli's latest.

SUN NOV 2 2003
7:00 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nozomu Takahashi in Person. Hayao Miyazaki's powerful ecological allegory is an acknowledged masterwork of animation.

Presented with support from The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office.

We wish to express our deep appreciation to Stephen Alpert, Nao Amisaki, Dennis Bartok, Ben Foster, Christopher Frey, Marvin Gleicher, Steven Goldman, Karen Hartquist, Carl Gustav Horn, Takashi Imai, Elyse Klaidman, Jennifer Lang, Ann Mather, Russell Merritt, Kaoru Mfaume, Ken Nakamura, T. J. Pempel, Kaja Sehrt, Kaori Shoji, Chris Sigur, Julian Soler, Tetsushi Sudo, Mikiko Takeda, and Mary Tallungan.