Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taro Aso walks the green carpet at the opening of this year's Tokyo International Film Festival

by Chris MaGee

The 21st Annual Tokyo International Film Festival has opened today with a nod to the environment by replacing the traditional red carpet with a green carpet. I think they should have laid down some sod, but I guess all those high heels would have started aerating the lawn. Oh well...

Many stars were on hand to walk the green carpet: Julianne Moore, Yusuke Iseya and Yoshino Kimura for "Blindness", Satoshi Tsumabuki for "School Days with a Pig" and even the Brass Knuckle Boys themselves Koichi Sato, Tomorowo Taguchi, Yuichi Kimura along with Aoi Miyazaki for "Shonen Merkien Sakku", but by far the biggest star to attend the opening was Taro Aso. The newly elected Japanese prime minister (above center left) accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai (above center right) joined director John Woo, Takeshi Kaneshiro and the rest of the cast of "Red Cliff", this year's TIFF opening film. Click here to head over to Variety Japan for all the green carpet photos.

Along with "School Days with a Pig" and "Shonen Merkien Sakku" other notable Japanese films to premiere at this year's fest will be Tomoyuki Furumaya's "Homeless Chugakusei", Masahiko Makino's "Penguins in the Sky: Asahiyama Zoo", "Tony Takitani" director Jun Ichikawa's final film "buy a suit", and the omnibus film "Kiru=Kill" with contributions by Mamoru Oshii, Kenta Fukasaku, Takanori Tsujimoto, Minoru Tahara.

In keeping with the green theme of the festival a special programme entitled "Natural TIFF" will feature both classic and contemporary Japanese and International films that "that make the audience ponder on the 'symbiosis between nature and mankind'."

We'll be keeping an eye on news from the Tokyo International Film Festival until it closes on October 26th, but for now check out all the films in this year's line-up (including trailers) at the fest's official site. Thanks to The Associated Foreign Press for details on this story.

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