Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tokyo Filmex 2008 brings Japanese cinema home

by Chris MaGee

Things have been so hectic between my day job and covering this year's Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival that I've let the news that the annual Tokyo Filmex fest has announced this year's line-up, so I apologize now for the delay posting this.

As reported by Variety Asia Online and fellow blogger Jason Gray this year's line-up includes some real nuggets for Japanese film fans. First up the fest will feature the debut film from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi titled simply "Passion", the story of a dinner party that goes wrong after the secret infidelities of the couple hosting the event come to light. Next there's "Nonko", the latest release from "Kichiku" director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, about a failed actress who returns to her hometown to take a job at a local Shinto shrine.

The real news for us classic film fans though is the 10 film retrospective of the films of Koreyoshi Kurahara. The veteran filmmaker who passed away in 2002 had the singular distinction of being the man who helmed the biggest box office success in Japanese history with his 1983 film "Antarctica"... well that is until it was surpassed in 1997 by a little film called "Princess Mononoke". This retrospective will focus on Kurahara's 1950s and 60s films that he directed for Nikkatsu.

One last, but very interesting footnote for this year's Tokyo Filmex: longtime script supervisor and friend of Akira Kurosawa, Teruyo Nogami, will be sitting as a member of the jury.

Check out the official Tokyo Filmex site (in Japanese) here. And also, thanks to Cinema is Dope for the above image from "Passion".

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