Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two major Japanese titles announced for the 61st annual Berlin International Film Festival

by Chris MaGee

The 61st Berlin International Film Festival is just around the corner and it was late last week that two key Japanese titles were announced as part of this year's line-up. First up is Yoshihiro Fukagawa's big screen adaptation of author Keigo Higashino's novel "Byakuyakou" (above), the story of a young man and women who share a terrible secret - the fact that they both murdered their parents when they were children. We say "big screen adaptation" because "Byakuyakou" was already turned into a TV drama for TBS back in 2006 with Haruka Ayase and Takayuki Yamada in the lead roles. This time out Kengo Kora (Snakes and Earrings) and Maki Horikita (Densha Otoko The Series) will play the two murderous protagonists. "Byakuyakou" will screen in the Panorama section of the fest.

Meanwhile in the festival's Forum section Takahisa Zeze's 4-hour and 38-minute drama "Heaven's Story" will be screened. The improvised feature follows the intersecting lives and relationship of a group of young men and women. The Berlinale already tested audiences' limits back in 2009 when they screened Siono Sono's "Love Addiction" which clocked in at 3-hours and 57-minutes, so we'll see how Berliners cope with yet another marathon length film. Check out the trailer for "Heaven's Story" below.

The 61st annual Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 10to to 20th. For more on all the films the fest's programmer's have in store visit the BIFF website here.

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