By the time this issue of Metropolis hits the streets, we hope that fall will finally have come to Tokyo, meaning that the Tokyo International Film Festival is just around the corner. The 27th edition of the fest offers over a hundred screenings for cinemaphiles.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn will head the jury that will vote on the 15 films in the competition. Contenders for the Sakura Grand Prix include The Connection (pictured), a French film starring Jean Dujardin and covering the ’70s French Connection drug ring from the European side, and an international co-production with the brutally honest title, Ruined Heart! Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore.
Special screenings present movies months before their release in Japan, or that may never be back in theaters. Highlights are The Nutcracker, a computer-animated film by fashion designer Sebastian Masuda, the food truck comedy Chef and the French deportation tale Samba, starring Omar Sy, whose Intouchables won in Tokyo back in 2011.
The Japanese Cinema Splash program is a chance to catch domestic fare with English subtitles, including the teen lesbian drama Starting Over and Walking with My Mother, a documentary about an elderly woman overcoming the death of her husband by growing closer to her sister. The Asian Future section unveils work by up-and-coming directors from Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey and elsewhere, and the Crosscut Asia program features new films from Thailand. The World Focus section includes works by established filmmakers that have not yet secured distribution in Japan, such as Peter Bogdanovich’s latest She’s Funny That Way, as well as Hungry Hearts, an Italian film about an international couple in New York struggling with very different views on how to raise their baby.
Other one-off events are the latest Doraemon film dubbed in English, winning works from the Japan Student Film Festival, and a 4K screening of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause restored by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation.
The National Film Center in Kyobashi presents the related event “Film Treasures from The Museum of Modern Art,” October 24 to November 9, screening 35mm prints from the New York museum’s collection, ranging from a 1905 silent to the 1971 blaxploitation pic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.
TIFF runs Oct 23-31 at Roppongi Hills and other venues. http://2014.tiff-jp.net/en/