Japanese Films at Toronto
Thu Sep 2 22:58:21 EDT 1999
Thanks (x2) for posting the Toronto lineup. I'm biting my tongue trying not
to criticise it. (I should have learnt my lesson by now.) Following the
death of their longtime Asian programmer, David Overbey, I've been curious
for months as to how it would shape up this year.
I expected Montreal - now on I guess - to "take advantage" and take the rich
pickings from this year's Asian films. I'm not sure exactly what they're
showing but they do have the premiere of Kimizuka Takumi's new film which is
the only thing he's proud of since his debut "Mourning Work". (He's his
biggest critic in every sense.)
I was one of the people disappointed by last year's "New Beat of Japan"
lineup in Toronto which seemed to actually celebrate the established beat
(Kurosawa, Iwai, Sakamoto, etc) and, with the odd exception, hugely
disappointing debuts (and second films) from Hagiuda Koji, Saito Hisashi,
Yamakawa Gen, etc. (I guess I'm one of the few people who liked Isaka's
"Detective Riko", although Suzuki Kazuma's Toyoetsu impression gets on the
nerves once again.)
Most of this year's lineup wouldn't be amiss in Colin's Midnight Madness
slot: ADRENALINE DRIVE, GAMERA 3, GEMINI, PRINCESS MONONOKE & KUROSAWA
KIYOSHI RETRO. But Fantasia already had the pick of the bunch with a huge
Asian lineup including the variations of "Ring" and the international
premiere of "Swiri". Anyway, I'm sure Colin has some interesting work in
his slot, judging by his recent programming at Bloor.
And some real dogs in Toronto's co-production lineup. What were the other
Asian films out of curiosity? Interesting to contextualise them among the
Japanese work since its the same programmer (if that doesn't bother the
list). And David's strong point in previous year's was the strength of his
SE Asian programming.
Anyway, anybody in the Toronto area should ignore this post and hang out at
the festival because Toronto has always had one hell of an atmosphere,
speaking as a paying audience member in 1993. I guess I'm just peeved that
Tony Rayns' Vancouver lineup for October - to be announced next week - will
just seem undeservedly fresh in comparison...
Asian Film Library
PS: Come on, Colin, email me privately with some gossip!
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