Magazine article Screen International

Tokyo International Film Festival Opens with Strong Focus on Japan

Magazine article Screen International

Tokyo International Film Festival Opens with Strong Focus on Japan

Article excerpt

Jury president Zhang Ziyi said the festival would be a “very special prenatal education” for her unborn baby.

The 32nd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) got underway on Monday night (October 28) with the focus firmly on Japanese cinema and culture.

Despite the challenges of Typhoon Hagibis and subsequent heavy rain, Tokyo is currently awash with international visitors for the Rugby World Cup and is also gearing up for next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Last week, the city hosted international dignatories for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito and the start of the Reiwa Era.

Amidst all these events, this year’s TIFF has put Japanese cinema in the spotlight – opening with a Japanese feature, Yoji Yamada’s Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, while last year’s edition opened with US studio title A Star Is Born. This year’s TIFF is also featuring Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi as the ‘Director in Focus’, and screened samurai comedy The 47 Ronin In Debt as the opening eve film.

The local focus was also evident at the opening ceremony, which kicked off with a performance of classical Japanese music from an all-female band and also featured stage appearances from local talent such as festival muse, actress Alice Hirose.

But star of the show was the 88-year-old Yamada and six members of the cast of his long-running Tora-san series, which ended more than 20 years ago with the death of its star Kiyoshi Atsumi, but has been resurrected with the 50th installment, Tora-san, Wish You Were Here. …

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