Thursday, April 23, 2009

62nd Cannes Film Festival goes light on Japanese films

by Chris MaGee

The line-up for the 62nd Annual Cannes International Film Festival has been announced and the good news is that Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Kuuki Ningyou (Air Doll)", the story of an inflatable sex doll (played by Korean actress Bae Doo-na) who comes to life and begins experiencing emotions, will be screening in the Une Certain Regard programme, but the bad news is that there won't be a hell of a lot more Japanese cinema presented at this year's fest. The only other official selection with some kind of Japanese content this year will be Isabel Coixet's "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo" starring Rinko Kikuchi as an assassin in the Japanese capital. (You can read our original report on the film here.)

The rather sparse representation from Japan this year comes on the heels of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's win last year in the Une Certain Regard category for his exquisite family drama "Tokyo Sonata". While Kore-eda's film is quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated for Japanese cinema fans and cinema fans in general this year I'm beginning to wonder if we'll see the same bumper crop of amazing films from Japan that we saw in 2008. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks to Wildgrounds for the heads up on this.

UPDATE: I've had a few emails coming in reminding me of being a forgetful dope. There is another Japan-themed film in this year's Cannes line-up, that being "Irreversible" director Gaspar Noe"s latest film "Enter the Void", a psychedelic trip into the urban underbelly of Tokyo.

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