Focus is on Japanese at film festival 

VIZ Cinema presents the New People Artist Series Festival this week. The  collection of six documentaries focuses on Japanese contemporary artists.

Running Saturday through Tuesday, the festival features the U.S. theatrical premiere of “Hisashi Tenmyouya: Samurai Nouveau,” about an acclaimed painter who combines traditional techniques with images from  tattoos and street culture (screens at 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday); and “Makoto Aida: Cynic in the Playground,” about an artist working in paint, video installation and manga (3 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday).

Another premiere is “Katsura Funakoshi: Whispering Gaze,” about a sculptor who makes human-like pieces (5 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Monday).

Showing in encore runs are “Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara,” about a trip the artist took during the creation of an exhibit in his hometown of Hirosaki, Japan (7 p.m. Sunday, 5 p.m. Tuesday); as well as “Yayoi Kusama: I Love ME,” about an avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist whose visual style is characterized by a liberal use of polka dots and nets; the film screens at
1 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo” unveils mysteries behind a long-admired fine-art photographer who makes his first media appearances; the film screens at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Monday.

Tickets are $10 each or $30 for a pass. The theater is at 1746 Post St., San Francisco. For more information, visit www.vizcinema.com.

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