by Chris MaGee
With the wealth of film festivals in North America this month (Fantasia, Japan Cuts, NYAFF, Shinsedai) its amazing to realize that not only are there more great fests coming this summer, but that us Canucks and Yankees aren't ruling the film fest field. Between August 3rd and 13th Switzerland will play host to the 64th annual Locarno Film Festival.
Locarno has been a festival that really goes out on a limb with their Japanese film programming and this year is no different, pitting two indie film-makers against each other in competition for the fest's coveted Golden Leopard Prize. This year Locarno audiences will get to the the international premiere of Shinji Aoyama's “Tokyo Kouen” (above). We haven't seen Aoyama on the film fest scene since 2007's "Sad Vacation", so it will be interesting to see how this tale of an amateur photographer named Koji who is hired to follow the girlfriend of a colleague will fare. Competing with "Tokyo Kouen" will be Katsuya Tomita 's new film "Saudade" which tells the story of a clash of cultures between foreigners and Japanese in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Remember that we also mentioned back in June that Locarno would also be mounting a full retrospective of the feature films of Hitoshi Matsumoto. Should be a great fest! Check out the full line-up for the 64th annual Locarno Film Festival Tokyograph for this news.