Tokyo Film Festival opening ceremony kicks off with Isabelle Huppert – The Hollywood Reporter
The 34th Tokyo International Film Festival kicked off on Sunday evening in the Japanese capital on a distinctly optimistic note, as jury president Isabelle Huppert walked the red carpet alongside a slew of local stars. It was the glitzy first red carpet occasion in Japan for an international film premiere since the start of the pandemic – and it came at a time of widespread relief among Japanese audiences as the rate of Covid-19 infections of the country fell to new lows.
âThis year again, we are opening the festival during the pandemic and we wondered again if we could really organize this event,â Tokyo festival president Hiroyasu Ando said from the stage during the opening ceremony. âBut the number of infections has gone down and we can accommodate such a large number of guests here today. I’m just full of emotion.
Huppert added in his own appearance: âCreating a great festival is always a challenge, but achieving it in these difficult times is truly a victory. We’re all here together to watch movies together, and that’s what we missed. We need cinema and cinema needs us.
The festival officially opened with the Japanese premiere of Clint Eastwood’s Neo-Western film crying macho. Eastwood sent a letter of appreciation to Tokyo, which was read by the MC at the opening ceremony.
âI am very honored to know that my last film crying macho was selected as the opening film of the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival, âEastwood wrote. âI wish I could have been there in person to attend the festival. Through this film, I want to deliver my interpretation of âreal strengthâ. crying macho was filmed during the pandemic, and hopefully this will be one of the films that brings courage and strength to the film industry.
Japan lifted its last pandemic state of emergency in early October and infection rates across the country have plummeted in recent weeks. The national vaccination rate, meanwhile, has exceeded 70 percent. Tokyo recorded just 24 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the 13th day in a row that confirmed the infections recorded less than 50. Restaurants and cinemas in the capital are now allowed to operate at full capacity, while the Wearing the mask remains ubiquitous among the famous conscientious population of Japan.
The Japanese government has maintained strict barriers on the entry of foreign tourists, however ensuring that the 2021 Tokyo International Film Festival will remain primarily a domestic affair. Festival organizers said Hollywood journalist that they had been granted entry exemptions for just under 10 international guests just over a week before the event opened. In addition to jury chairman Huppert, industry guests on the ground in Japan include FrÃ©dÃ©ric Boyer, artistic director of the Tribeca Film Festival; Berlin artistic director Carlo Chatrian; and Christian Jeune, director of the cinema department of the Cannes Film Festival. The three bigwigs of the festival walked the Tokyo carpet on Saturday evening and will participate in a roundtable on Sunday on the future of festivals and theatrical cinema.
Tokyo is set to show just over 100 films this year, including gala screenings by Wes Anderson French expedition, by Paolo Sorrentino God’s hand, Edgar Wright Last night in Soho, winner of the award for Best Director of Venice by Jane Campion The power of the dog, Tilda Swinton-starrer of Apichatpong Weerasethakul Memory and the Chinese blockbuster of the late Benny Chan Raging fire, among others.
The main competition section of the festival, which will be judged by Huppert’s jury, includes 15 competition titles. Among them: two world premieres expected from the Philippines, the last from Brillante Mendoza, Refund, and the revenge film of 29-year-old talent Mikhail Red Arisaka; Lucky third time by Japanese director Tadashi Nohara, who co-wrote Kiyoshi Kurasawa’s latest feature film The wife of a spy, who won the award for best director in Venice in 2020; and three feature films by directors, including Korean director Shin Su-won’s latest feature Tribute, with Lee Jeong-eun from Parasite celebrity, and the Cannes candidate Un Certain Regard by Romanian director Teodora Ana Mihai Civilian, which was produced by the Dardenne brothers.
A highlight of the Tokyo festival this year will once again be the Asia Lounge program, created and hosted by Japanese Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda. Taking place over eight consecutive days (October 31 to November 7) and streamed on the festival’s YouTube channel, the program will feature Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) in conversation with Japanese anime veteran Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai), Huppert and the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi (winner of the best screenplay award at Cannes 2021 for his latest feature film Drive My car), Thai Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong and Japanese star Hidetoshi Nishijima, along with five other inspired couples.
The Tokyo International Film Festival will close on November 8 with the screening of Stephen Chbosky’s film Dear Evan Hansen.