by Chris MaGee
Many film festival program Japanese films, but few do it with such creativity and bravery as the folks at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Year after year I browse their Japanese line-up of films and year after year I always find myself discovering films and film-makers that I have never heard of before. Isn't that what good programming is about? I think so. The 2011 offering of the International Film Festival Rotterdam is scheduled to run January 26th to February 6th and the fest's website is just beginning to get updated with info on this year's line-up. For Japanese film fans two selections stand out... and point to more cinematic treats for this year's festival audience.
In amongst the Tiger Awards Competition programme we find a film that is already an award winner. Uchida Nobuteru's "Love Addiction", a fully improvised story of the relationships between a group of young men and women, won the top prize at last year's Tokyo Filmex. Now Nobuteru will be competing with thirteen other film-makers for Rotterdam's top prize. Meanwhile Daishi Matsunaga's insightful documentary "Pyuupiru 2001-2008" (above) is screening as part of the out-of-competition Signals: Out of Fashion programme which is showcasing fashion-related films from around the globe. Lastly Yosuke Okuda's gritty and blackly comedic crime film "Hot As Hell: The Deadbeat March" will be receiving its International Premiere as part of the Bright Future programme.
There will obviously be more films from Japan added to the line-up of the 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam in the days to come, but for now head over to the fest's official website to discover which films will be hitting the big screen later this month.