Yep, we are back for the 2nd part of TIFF and without further ado, here is my journey.
After the red carpet, the festival proceed with film screening, stage appearance, and special event. Swank held a press conference You’re Not You in Academy Hills Tower. About her current film, Swank played an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient.
In order to perfect her role as the main character who was gradually being eaten away by a disease, Swank says that “many people shared some very personal stories with me, and I took on the role intending to represent the stories of these patients”. She also said that “this is the first time a movie has ever talk about the reality of ALS in such a detailed way, which I think makes it a very important work”, giving a glimpse that this film should make a difference to public knowledge about intractable diseases.
Mirren accompanied with Curtis also make stage appearance. Mirren said she enjoyed her walk down the red carpet at the festival’s opening on October 22, and told the audience of her respect for the masters of Japanese cinema. “My husband is a director, and he introduced me to many Japanese films. Thanks to him I’ve seen lots of films from Ozu (Yasujiro), Kurosawa (Akira), and Mizoguchi (Kenji). Japan has a really wonderful film culture.”
A rare treasure from acclaimed directors Akira Kurosawa, Shuji Terayama, and Orson Welles also were screened. Japan’s most favorite robot, Gundam, also have its own program called The World of Gundam. Its creator Yosikazu Yoshihiko and Yoshihuki Tomino were also present to answers question from audience.
The World of Gundam
After Hideaki Anno with his Evangelion, TIFF set another anime to have its own program. This year, TIFF select Gundam to have the spotlight. The total of 26 Gundam’s film were shown, starting with the memorable first theatrical-released film, Mobile Suit Gundam. I also was able to interview Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, one of Gundam creator, to talk about several theories on Gundam.
To mark 30 years since its original release, the 4K digital restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s RAN was presented on October 25 as part of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival’s Japan Classics section. Actors Tatsuya Nakadai and Mieko Harada were in attendance for a symposium after the screening.
Before the screening of Ghost Theater, TIFF collaborated with the acclaimed of haunted house producer, Hirofumi Gomi, to create a special night of Haunted House. As you would expect from Japanese Haunted House, this house has a strong concept. Before we went inside, we were told to find a right red shoe (it belong to the ghost). Inside, we saw a bunch of doll and human masquerading as bloody ghost, pretty terrifying if there were only two of you inside the haunted house.
Tokyo Cinema Cuisine
Another allied event with the festival is Tokyo Cinema Cuisine in which top 5 chef in Japan created a various food related to cinema with more reasonable price of course. One thing I love about the event was how the chefs really created such art with their food. Though, I must confess that some of the food served was not my cup of tea. But alas, they create such a lovely food and atmosphere.
This was the second time I went to Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza (for the same event) to watch a kabuki performance of Ame no Gorõ (Gorõ in the Rain.) After that, it was followed by a ceremony to present TIFF’s second annual SAMURAI Award to this year’s recipients, director John Woo and director Yoji Yamada. There followed a special screening of a new 35mm English-subtitled print of Akira KUROSAWA’s kabuki-set prewar masterpieceThey Who Step on the Tiger’s Tail. Another interesting point was, this year they also keep the tradition of serving the bento to the audience. Let me tell you something, this bento was amazing.
Crosscut Asia: The Heat of Philippine Cinema
The second chapter of the CROSSCUT ASIA series, launched by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and TIFF in 2014 to showcase Asian films, now turns its attention to recent cinema from the Philippines, with a special focus on Brillante MaMendoza, who made his debut in 2005 and won awards at three major festivals (Berlin, Cannes, and Venice). Among the film screened were Trap, Thy Womb, Balut Country, Invisible, Service, and others
I personally like the last year version better than this. The choice of the film screened I think were portraying certain image of the country. Such as Thy Womb tell a story of husband and wife who don’t have any child. As an obedient wife, she is determined to find the husband another wife to bear the child that he always wanted.
Then, the festival is closed with the awarding. Nise: The Heart of Madness by Roberto Berliner took home Best Picture Award and Best Actress. Nise: The Heart of Madness telling a story of psychiatrist Nise da Silveira handling a mentally disabled person in Brazil. Gloria Pires who play Silveira also brought home Best Actress Award.
And here is the complete winners list of the 28th TIFF:
Tokyo Grand Prix: Nise – The Heart of Madness(directed by Robert Berliner)
Special Jury Prize: All Three of Us (directed by Kheiron)
Award for Best Director: Mustafa Kara (Cold of Kalandar)
Award for Best Actress: Gloria Pires (Nise – The Heart of Madness)
Award for Best Actor: Roland Møller, Louis Hoffman(Land of Mine)
Award for Best Artistic Contribution: Family Film(directed by Olmo Omerzu)
WOWOW Viewer’s Choice Award: Cold of Kalandar(directed by Mustafa Kara)
The Audience Award: God Willing (directed by Edoardo Falcone)
Best Asian Future Film Award: The Island Funeral(directed by Pimpaka Towira)
The Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center: Director Degena Yun A Simple Goodbye
Japanese Cinema Splash
Best Picture Award: Ken and Kazu (directed by Hiroshi Shoji)
Samurai Award Director Yoji Yamada, Director John Woo
ARIGATO Award Kirin Kiki, Akihiro Hino, Suzu Hirose, Mamoru Hosoda, Lily Franky
Singer, President of Jury, mentioned his personal experience working as a driver of a bus for mentally disabled children when he was in college, about his autistic cousin, and spoke about how he was able to relate to the story depicted in Nise – The Heart of Madness. He also spoke about the challenge he faced in the selection process.
“I come from independent filmmaking so I understand the challenges. The conflict I had with Tran (Anh Hung), for example, was with Cold of Kalandar. As an American it was too slow. I wanted to be entertained like with works such as God Willing. But I remembered the challenges of filmmaking, and filming in the mountain side, I understood why Tran was so passionate about it. As a director, the achievement was truly superior and I felt good about the award.”
And that the wrap of this year festival, hopefully next year TIFF will get bigger and better.
Text: Tatu Hutami
Photo: Tatu Hutami & TIFF