Thursday, August 13, 2009

Montreal World Film Festival 2009

In a press conference held on August 11, the Montreal World Film Festival revealed the programmation for its 33rd edition. The festival will be held from August 27 to September 7 and will offer over 450 movies from 78 countries, including 240 feature-length films and 130 world premieres!

Unfortunately, this year is a slim pick for the Japanese movie aficionado as there are (so far) only seven movies and two documentaries being shown at the festival.

First of all, and most importantly, there are two movies in the “World Competition” category (COMP):

  • Dia Dokuta (Dear Doctor) directed by NISHIKAWA Miwa, 127 min. A much loved small town physician mysteriously disappears one day. It’s only while searching for him that his colleagues, friends and the townsfolk begin to discover exactly who their doctor is. (COMP) 9/2 9:00 CI.02.1; 9/2 21:30 TM.02.2; 9/3 13:40 CI.03.3. ( IMDb / Official website / Trailer )
  • Viyon no Tsuma (Villon's Wife) directed by NEGISHI Kichitaro, 114 min. When her husband runs into financial trouble, Sachi obligingly goes to work in a restaurant to pay off his debt and discovers that she has value beyond being a housewife; she is now an independent woman. (COMP) 9/6 9:00 CI.06.1; 9/6 21:30 TM.06.2; 9/7 14:00 CI.07.2. ( IMDb / Official website )

There is one movie in the “First Films World Competition” category (PRE):
  • Nisesatsu (Counterfeit) directed by KIMURA Yuichi, 96 min. In 1950, in the chaos of postwar Japan, a young hustler has a plan to solve his school’s — and the village’s — financial problems: make fake 1,000 yen notes. (PRE) 9/5 13:00 L12.05.2; 9/5 19:20 L12.05.5; 9/6 14:40 L12.06.3; 9/7 21:30 L15.07.6. ( IMDb / AsianMediaWiki )

There is one movie in the “World Great” (Out of Competition / Hors Concours) category (HC):
  • 60 sai no Love Letter (Dear My Love) directed by FUKAGAWA Yoshihiro, 129 min. 86,441 love letters — mostly messages written by one spouse to another voicing unspoken appreciation for lives shared over the years — DEAR MY LOVE, examines the different situations of three particular couples. (HC) 9/1 18:40 L15.01.4; 9/2 12:10 L15.02.2; 9/3 14:40 L15.03.3. ( IMDb / Official website )

There are three movies in the “Focus on World Cinema” category (REG):
  • Chanto Tsutaeru (Be Sure to Share) directed by Sion Sono, 108 min. Shiro’s struggle with his father’s cancer and impending death leads to a realization that he must communicate his love and admiration for the man before it is too late. (REG) 8/28 19:20 L15.28.5; 8/29 11:40 L15.29.1; 8/30 10:00 L15.30.1; 8/31 19:30 L15.31.5. ( IMDb / Official website / Trailer )
  • Kouryo-Shibounin (The Faceless Dead) directed by Kishu Izuchi, 112 min. When a 24-year-old wannabe writer gets a call one day informing her that “Ms. Misaki Takigawa” has been hospitalized, she is puzzled: she is Misaki Takigawa. Why would anyone be using her name? (REG) 8/28 12:40 L10.28.2; 8/30 19:00 L10.30.5; 9/7 10:20 L10.07.1. ( Official website )
  • Samayou Yaiba (The Hovering Blade) directed by MASHIKO Shoichi, 122 min. When his only daughter is raped and killed by two youths, widower Hideki Nagamine is bitter and inconsolable. He knows they will be tried as juveniles and he is determined to exact revenge. (REG) 8/28 21:30 L15.28.6; 8/30 12:00 L13.30.2; 9/1 19:00 L11.01.2; 9/2 16:30 L11.02.3. ( IMDb / Official website / Trailer )

And there are two documentaries (DOC):
  • Eatrip directed by NOMURA Yuri, 78 min. For Yuri Nomura, who studied cooking, developed menus for restaurants and writes for culinary magazines, the way to people’s feelings is through their stomachs. (DOC) 8/29 12:10 L11.29.1; 8/29 19:20 L11.29.4; 8/30 14:30 L11.30.3. ( Official website / Trailer )
  • Grandmother, a short directed by KAWAMURA Yuki, 34 min. Masa, an 83-year-old Japanese grandmother, has just spent 50 days in a coma. Her family gathers to be with her through this difficult period. Her death is an opportunity to reflect on nature and the meaning of life. (DOC) 8/28 14:30 L16.28.3; 8/29 14:40 L10.29.3; 8/30 21:30 L10.30.6. ( Official website )

Unfortunately, I was so busy with work, various projects and the covering of other festivals that I missed the programmation press conference itself. So, I don't have any pictures or video footage to show you. However, as usual (we've been covering the MWFF for ten years now!), we will do our best to screen all those movies and report on them (whether in the magazine — in print or digital edition — or on the web page or on my personal blog or a combination of those). We will also attend all the movie press conferences that we can.

In any case, as soon as we have new information I will update this entry (updated: 8/15, 8/21, 8/22, 8/23, 8/25, 8/26) or make new ones.

This calendar shows the schedule of the Japanese movies' screenings.

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