Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hitoshi Matsumoto's "Symbol" to get it's premiere at TIFF's Midnight Madness

by Chris MaGee

Genre fans across the city, country and some around North America have been waiting for weeks to find out what programmer Colin Geddes had assembled for this year's Midnight Madness programme at the Toronto International Film Festival; and as of yesterday their wait came to an end when the full line-up for TIFF's midnight screening series was announced. Geddes, a long time fixture of the Asian and martial arts film scene here in the city, usually has a strong Asian presence at Midnight Madness, plus at least one Japanese film per year and this year is no different. This September Toronto movie audiences will be the first to see Hitoshi Matsumoto's sophomore film "Symbol" at the festival!

The plot of symbol is still shrouded in mystery, but the details for the film at the Midnight Madness page of the Toronto International Film Festival website reveal a few more enticing details. We've all seen the teaser trailer in which Matsumoto wakes up in a featureless white room, but apparently he ends up using some unique items to tray and escape "a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi" to be precise. What we didn't know is that this man's fate is somehow tied to a Mexican-style wrestler named Escargot Man... Somehow.

As many of you know Matsumoto's directorial debut "Big Man Japan (Dainipponjin)" premiered at the Midnight Madness programme at TIFF in 2007, so this screening of "Symbol" is a bit of a homecoming for the phenomenally successful comedian and filmmaker.

Click here to check out the full line-up for this year's Midnight Madness programme at the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 10th to September 19th.

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