Feb 1

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Mr. Big Farewell, ‘Paprika’ in 4K, ‘Stardew Valley’ in Concert

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Stay warm this winter with some hot local events, from live showcases that will transport you to another time and place, some new film screenings, and a rock performance you won’t want to miss.

This month’s highlights include:

Shout! Factory in association with Resurgence Media Group

Feb. 2-3

Point Break

Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street

$17, $10 members

From Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Point Break stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes undercover among the beach bums in order to investigate a hunch about surfers who are possibly moonlighting as bank robbers, in the film that cemented Reeves as a new, very California cool kind of action star. With Patrick Swayze as the group’s guru and kingpin, Point Break is the kind of smart, fun, sexy, exciting action film desperately lacking in today’s Hollywood. This all-new 4K restoration is courtesy of Shout! Factory in association with Resurgence Media Group.

Stephen van Baalen

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Big: The Big Finish 2024

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street

$45 standing room only, $85 VIP reserved seating

One of the most successful American exports to rock Japan, Mr. Big is putting on their signature top hats and old shoes one last time for a worldwide tour, aptly titled “The Big Finish.” Since the band’s original drummer and co-founder, Pat Torpey, lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, joining Mr. Big on drums for this special final world tour will be longtime friend of the band Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train). Of note for this final run is the band’s decision to perform the entirety of their breakthrough platinum-selling 1991 album Lean Into It from start to finish as a featured highlight of the live setlist, along with other tunes from Mr. Big’s entire career. Lean Into It is the perfect litmus testament to the band’s inherent dexterity at blending a variety of styles together, whether it’s the heady rocking brew of “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind,” the power-drilled and power-chorded identity checklist “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy,” or the truly heartfelt sentiments found within “To Be With You,” Mr. Big’s chart-topping, worldwide #1 smash hit single.

© MadHouse Inc.

Feb. 7, 8, 11

Paprika — Satoshi Kon Fest

Various theaters

Various prices

Anime Expo Cinema Nights presents the final film ever made by visionary director Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers) with his mind-bending thriller Paprika, which has been restored in 4K for the first time ever! When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients’ dreams is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it. Dreams become reality and vice versa in this psychological fantasy you won’t want to miss! Featuring the voice talents of Megumi Hayashibara, Kōichi Yamadera, and Tôru Furuya.

© 2008 “Still Walking” Production Committee

Feb. 15-24

Family Portrait: Japanese Family in Flux

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

Various prices

The latest ACA Cinema Project series Family Portrait: Japanese Family in Flux examines the shifting dynamics and struggles of the Japanese household in contemporary cinema. Showcasing 10 features, including premieres and revivals, Family Portrait confronts the complexities of familial bonds in the face of adversity—from intergenerational gaps to changing mores and traditions—bringing to question what truly defines a family and its values in a modern world.

Series highlights include the U.S. premiere of Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s Yoko, starring international star Rinko Kikuchi in a bravura performance as a woman hitchhiking over 400 miles to her father’s funeral; the U.S. Premiere of Keiko Tsuruoka’s Tsugaru Lacquer Girl, the heart-tugging story of a family lacquerware business on the brink of collapse run by Kaoru Kobayashi of Midnight Diner fame and the daughter who strives to carry on its legacy despite deeply-held traditional gender beliefs; and a Classics slate featuring a rare 35mm presentation of Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Twilight.

The complete Family Portrait schedule and ticket information will be coming later in January and will be listed at japansociety.org/film and aca-cinema-japan.com.

© Kimikat Productions

Opens Feb. 16

Onlookers

Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St

$17, $12 seniors/disabled, $10 members

U.S. theatrical premiere! In her third feature, Kimi Takesue turns her camera on tourists and travellers in Laos, observing how they react and respond to the local populations while also providing the opportunity for viewers to reflect on our own roles as observers in everyday life. A rich, meditative film about looking at people who have come to look, made up of painterly, precisely composed tableaux that both reveal the picturesque beauty of the local landscape and question the concept of the “picturesque,” all while revealing the persistence of colonial assumptions in contemporary package tourism.

© Square Enix

Feb. 21-22

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete

Various theaters

Various prices

Continuing the storyline based on the hit PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII, two years have passed since the ruins of Midgar stand as a testament to the sacrifices made in order to bring peace. However, the world will soon face a new menace. A mysterious illness is spreading fast. Old enemies are astir. And Cloud, who walked away from the life of a hero to live in solitude, must step forward yet again! Additionally, arrive early for a short film featuring new interviews with the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth development team and Advent Children creators alongside action-packed gameplay from the Rebirth game, which launches exclusively for PlayStation 5 on Feb. 29.

Courtesy of Thetownhall.org

Feb. 27, 29

Stardew Valley: Festival of Seasons

Town Hall

$45-$75

Stardew Valley: Festival of Seasons is the official live concert of the hit farming game, making its NYC debut across two special nights! Produced by SOHO Live and curated by the game’s creator and composer ConcernedApe, the tour will take fans on a musical journey through the four seasons of the valley, its unforgettable festivals, and its beloved villagers. Festival of Seasons will perform a total of 64 shows across 13 countries, making it one of the largest video game music tours ever produced.

For more JQ articles, click here.


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