Tokyo’s Worldwide Movie Pageant returned this night for its first utterly unrestricted, post-COVID-19 version with a well-attended screening of Wim Wenders’ Excellent Days.
Recent from an look at Thierry Frémaux’s Lumière Movie Pageant in Lyon, Wenders, who can be the pinnacle of the competitors jury at Tokyo this yr, was in attendance and launched the pic alongside most of his forged, together with main man Koji Yakusho. Yakusho received the perfect actor award at Cannes for his efficiency within the pic.
Throughout a comedic opening speech, Wenders instructed the viewers inside Tokyo’s Takarazuka Theatre that he had lengthy dreamt of finishing a function shot completely in Japan, with Yakusho because the lead actor, and a premiere screening on the Tokyo Worldwide Movie Pageant. Nevertheless, Wenders mentioned there was one milestone he by no means thought the movie would obtain.
“I didn’t dare dream that it was going to be the Japanese entry for the Oscar race,” he mentioned.
Again in September, Japan introduced Excellent Days as its choice for the perfect worldwide function race. The choice marked the primary time a non-Japanese filmmaker had been chosen to steer the nation’s Oscars push. The Tokyo-set pic is prone to have beat out Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron for the spot.
Wenders additionally obtained a shoutout from Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who despatched a video message as a part of the opening ceremony. Alongside Wenders, Kishida paid tribute to Yakusho for his win at Cannes and seminal Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ounces, who’s the middle of a large-scale pageant retrospective to mark the a hundred and twentieth anniversary of his beginning. Kishida additionally highlighted the pageant’s Highlight On Italy trade strand. The tribute to Italian cinema has been mounted to have a good time the affirmation of a brand new co-production treaty between Japan and Italy.
Proceedings on the night, nevertheless, started on a extra somber observe with a musical tribute to the late Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. A string band carried out a part of Sakamoto’s rating for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Final Emperor.
Elsewhere through the night, Chinese language filmmaker Zhang Yimou (The Nice Wall) obtained the pageant’s Lifetime Achievement award.
“This is sort of a new begin for me,” Zhang mentioned accepting the award. He continued so as to add that he has traveled to the Tokyo movie pageant twice earlier than, and right this moment’s win felt like the start of a brand new chapter in his profession.
Later within the week, the pageant’s different tribute honor, the Kurosawa Akira Award, will likely be handed to filmmakers Gu Xiaogang and Mouly Surya. The pageant revived the Kurosawa honor final yr for the primary time in 14 years.
Competitors titles set to display screen at Tokyo this yr embody (Ab)regular Want by Kishi Yoshiyuki, The Persian Model by Maryam Keshavarz, and The Settlers from Felipe Gálvez. Titles like Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Issues, All of Us Strangers by Andrew Haigh, and David Gordon Inexperienced’s remake The Exorcist: Believer make up the gala screenings.
Addressing the night’s crowd, pageant chairman Hiroyasu Ando mentioned the variety of titles screening at Tokyo had elevated by 25% on the final yr. Ando added that this yr the pageant is welcoming round 2,000 worldwide company.
“Final yr as a result of numerous restrictions the variety of overseas company was solely 100,” he mentioned.
Worldwide delegates set to attend the pageant embody outgoing Berlin head Carlo Chatrian, San Sebastian head Jose Luis Rebordinos, and Toronto director Cameron Bailey. Filmmakers and actors set for Tokyo embody Tran Ah Hung, Tony Leung, and Wu Lei.
The Tokyo Movie Pageant runs till November 1. The closing movie is Toho’s Godzilla Minus One from director Yamazaki Takashi.