Thursday, October 13, 2011

12th annual Tokyo Filmex full line-up includes Tsukamoto, Toyoda and much more

by Chris MaGee

Very soon Tokyo will be in the midst of the galas and famous green carpet's of the 24th annual Tokyo International Film Festival. Japan's capital has another major film festival though. That's Tokyo Filmex, which this year is enjoying its 12th offering between November 19ths and 27th at Tokyo's Yurakucho Asahi Hall. We've already reported on how Filmex would be bringing us a full retrospective of the films of director Shinji Somai, but now the festival has announced their full 2012 line-up, and there are (once again) a great batch of films from Japan on tap.

Japanese entries into official competition at Filmex will include the documentary "No-Man's Zone" about the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the Fukushima area after the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear accident this past March. Joining "No-Man's Zone" will be the blackly comic crime film "Tokyo Playboy Club" by Yosuke Okuda. As many of you will remember, 24-year-old Okuda has already made a name for himself in Japan's indie film scene with his "Hot as Hell" series. "Tokyo Playboy Club" is his debut major budget feature and stars Nao Omori, Ken Mitsuishi and Asami Usuda.

There are even more Japanese titles in the Special Screenings section of Filmex. These include Japanese premiere's of Shinya Tsukamoto's superb psychological drama "Kotoko", Toshiaki Toyoda's art house protest film "Monsters Club" (above) and "River" , the latest film from "Vibrator" and "It's Only Talk" director Ryuichi Hiroki. Also in the Special Screenings programme will be the Japanese premiere of Amir Naderi's shot in Tokyo drama "Cut". Naderi will also be serving as the jury head at this year's Tokyo Filmex.

Along with the aforementioned Shinji Somai retrospective Tokyo Filmex, in conjunction with Shochiku, will be holding a programme of films by Golden Age director Yuzo Kawashima. These include 1952's "Our Doctor, Our Chief", 1954's "Between Yesterday and Tomorrow", 1955's "Burden of Love" and 1956's Suzaki Paradise: Red Light".

You can check out all of what the 12th Tokyo Filmex will have on hand by visiting their website here. You can also check here at The J-Film Pow-Wow during the festival as we will be there to provide news and reviews.

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