Tokyo Film Festivals

Film festival time is coming up in Tokyo, and I still can’t understand why they put all the big film festivals in the same month (November) every year, which means that I can’t really afford to go to all of them. First up is the Tokyo International Film Festival (November 1-9), which is the one I care the least for as the movies shown are usually not that interesting (a lot of American films that were released earlier in the year in North America but haven’t come out in Japan yet). Thursday’s DAILY YOMIURI had an article on some of this year’s selections (I would like to see the festival opener, Yoshimitsu Morita’s LIKE ASURA). The TIFF does have some interesting special programs (like cult films and such), but unfortunately they never show these with English subtitles. Then comes the much more interesting Tokyo FILMeX film festival (November 22-30), which concentrates on Asian films (something I have a great interest in, as you an tell from the posts on this site). And of note is the fact that every film is shown with English subtitles, something you don’t often get in Japan. Only problem is that this happens at the same time as the Resfest (November 21-24), which is especially hard on me considering my current financial situation (let’s just say it ain’t rosy, and it’s the reason you don’t see me writing a lot about interesting outings of late). I tend to favor the Resfest as there I’ll get to see things that I normally would have a hard time seeing anywhere else (short films don’t often get DVD releases). I’ll probably try to get a day-pass and see one day’s worth of programs. I hope the ones I want to see end up being shown on the same day, as last year wasn’t so good for that.

Since I’m on the subject of film festivals, I’ll also mention this interesting article from this week’s issue of TIME ASIA covering some Asian films of note shown at this year’s edition of the Toronto Film Festival (which is one of the better showcases of Asia films in North America). I’ve taken notes on a few films that I’ll need to keep my eye out for.

And lastly, the same issue also has a short piece (couldn’t find it online) on where Wong Kar-Wai is at with his long awaited (it was initially supposed to get released in 2000) film 2046. Basically, no one has any idea when the film will get done. Nicole Kidman has recently announced that she’s keeping 6 months open next year to work with Wong on his next film. Wong made the comment that 6 months might not be long enough…