Now’s your chance to catch up on Japanese cinema
Non-Japanese residents in Tokyo who want to see new and classic Japanese films but are frustrated by the small number of subtitled screenings can catch up — and move ahead — at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct. 22-30).
Eleven of the 23 films in the Special Screenings section devoted to upcoming releases are Japanese, as are eight of nine in the Japanese Eyes section that showcases independent titles. (The one exception, family drama “The First Rains of Spring,” is a Japan-Kazakhstan coproduction directed by Shinju Sano and Erlan Nurmuhambetov.)
There is also a scattering of local films in the Competition, Natural TIFF and other sections, plus tributes to Golden Age star Kyoko Kagawa and iconoclastic director Juzo Itami. All Japanese films will have English subs.
Given the nearly 400 Japanese films released annually, this is only a sampling, but TIFF will present a wide range of what is being made here, from TV network-produced crowd-pleasers to zero-budget passion projects from an indie sector that has retained its vitality, despite a drying up of venues and funding.