Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Montreal World Film Festival 2011

In a press conference today, the Montreal World Film Festival announced the programming of its 35th edition, which will be held from August 18 to August 28. During the eleven days of its duration, the festival will present 383 films from 70 countries, including 230 feature-length and medium-length movies as well as 153 short films. 107 of those features will be world or international premieres and 51 will be North American premieres! We must also note that the poster was designed by Claude Robinson, the jury is presided over by Spanish director Vicente Aranda, the opening film will be André Forcier's Coteau Rouge, there will be a special tribute to Catherine Deneuve, a master class by Claude Lelouche and Bertand Tavernier will presents his personal favourites. Quite a program in perspective.

Unfortunately, the festival is presenting this year only seven Japanese movies (plus a Japanese-related Brazilian movie): four in World Competition (including an animated short co-produced with Canada and the above-mentioned Brazilian movie), three in the Focus on World Cinema category and one documentary.

The World Competition
  • Antoki no Inochi (Life back then): Japan, 2011, 131 min.; Dir.: Takahisa Zeze; Scr.: Tanaka Sachiko, Takahisa Zeze (Based on the novel by Masashi Sada); Phot.: Atsuhiro Nabeshima; Ed.: Junichi Kikuchi; Cast: Masaki Okada, Nana Eikura, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Akira Emoto, Rei Dan,Yoshiko Miyazaki, Kanji Tsuda.
    Kyohei, who has retreated into himself after several psychological wounds, finally begins to appreciate the preciousness of life, ironically through dealing with death.
    Schedule: 8/18, 21:30, TM.18.2; 8/19, 11:00, CI.19.2; 8/20, 16:30, CI.20.4.
    Read our commentary on this movie.
  • Muybridge's Strings: Canada/Japan, 2011, 13 min.; Dir./Scr./Ed.: Koji Yamamura; Original Music, Sound Design: Normand Roger, Pierre Yves Drapeau, Denis Chartrand; Ex. Prod.: David Verrall (NFB), Kenji Saito (NHK), Shuzo John Shiota (Polygon); Prod.: Michael Fukushima (NFB), Keisuke Tsuchihashi (NHK), Shuzo John Shiota (Polygon). Animation co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada, NHK and Polygon Pictures.
    Can time be made to stand still? Can it be reversed? A meditation on this theme, contrasting the worlds of the photographer Eadweard Muybridge -- who in 1878 successfully photographed consecutive phases in the movement of a galloping horse -- and a mother who, watching her daughter grow up, realizes she is slipping away from her.
    Schedule: 8/21, 11:20, CI.21.2; 8/21, 21:30, TM.21.2; 8/22, 16:30, CI.22.4.
    Read our commentary on this movie.
  • Waga haha no ki (Chronicle of my mother): Japan, 2011, 119 min., Dir./Scr.: Masato Harada (based on a novel by Yasushi Inoue; Phot.: Akiko Shizawa; Ed.: Eugene Harada; Cast: Koji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Kikikirin.
    An aging mother clings to fading memories of her son and the maternal love which she always had for him but was never able to express because of the complex history of the family. It had always been hidden under layers of feelings.
    Schedule: 8/27, 11:20, CI.27.2; 8/27, 21:30, TM.27.2; 8/28, 16:00, CI.28.3.
  • Corações sujos (Dirty Hearts): Brazil, 2011, 107 min., Dir.: Vicente Amorim; Scr.: David França Mendes (based on a novel by Fernando Morais); Phot.: Rodrigo Monte; Ed.: Diana Vasconcellos; Cast: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Takako Tokiwa, Eiji Okuda, Kimiko Yo, Shun Sugata, Eduardo Moscovis.
    In Brazil after WWII, the large population of Japanese immigrants, already oppressed by the state, refused to believe that Japan has lost the war and a private war was begun against the “defeatists”. The story of one man caught up in this war and his wife’s struggle to extricate him.
    Schedule: 8/21, 11:20, CI.21.2; 8/21, 21:30, TM.21.2; 8/22, 16:30, CI.22.4.

Focus on World Cinema
  • Gekko no kamen (Moonlight mask): Japan, 2011, 102 min.; dir.: Itsuji Itao; Scr.: Itsuji Itao, Shoichiro Masumoto; Phot.: Masakazu Oka; Ed.: Ken Memita; Cast: Itsuji Itao, Tadanobu Asano, Satomi Ishihara.
    When Usagi, a WWII veteran, returns to Tokyo everyone is surprised to learn that he survived. Usagi hopes for a revival of his prewar theatrical career but his efforts quickly hit a snag when another “Usagi” turns up.
    Schedule: 8/19, 11:40, L10.19.1; 8/19, 21:30, L10.19.5; 8/20, 12:20, L10.20.2; 8/21, 19:00, L10.21.5.
    Read our commentary on this movie.
  • Kureizizum (Crazy-ism): Japan, 2010, 90 min.; Dir./Scr./Ed.: Shoji Kubota; Phot.: Aya Matsubayashi; Cast: Ryoba Baba, Akiko An, Makoto Uenobori, Enoku Shimegi, Kurumi Hijikata, Hikaru Shida.
    Five social misfits commit a successful murder-robbery, but, stuck in their hideout, they soon fight over the money
    Schedule: 8/21, 10:00, L10.21.1; 8/22, 21:40, L10.22.6; 8/24, 17:20, L10.24.3.
    Read our commentary on this movie.
  • Shiniyuku tsuma tono tabiji (My Wife): Japan, 2010, 113 min.; Dir.: Yukinari Hanawa; Scr.: Kohta Yamada; Phot.: Kenji Takama; Ed.: Nobuko Tomita; Cast : Aki Nashihara, REiko Tajima, Baiken Jukkaniji, Makoto Kaketa, Nikichi Kondo, Hiromi Kuronuma.
    In December, 1999, a middle-aged man was arrested and charged with “negligence as a guardian, resulting in death”, a charge normally levelled against a person responsible for an elderly person or a child. How did it come to be levelled in this case?
    Schedule: 8/26, 14:40, L17.26.3; 8/27, 12:40, L9.27.2; 8/27, 19:20, L9.27.5; 8/28, 16:00, L17.28.3.

  • Heisei Jirenma (The Heisei Dilemma): Japan, 2010, 98 min.; Dir.: Junichi Saito; Phot.: Nobutaka Murata; Ed.: Tetsuji Yamamoto.
    In the 1980s, after unexplained deaths at his boating school, its principal, Totsuka, was sent to jail. Physical punishment was banned in all Japanese schools. But now Totsuka is back at work.
    Schedule: 8/27, 9h50, L17.27.1; 8/27, 19h10, L17.27.5; 8/28, 18h40, L17.28.4.

Updates: While waiting for our own commentaries on those movies, you can always check the excellent commentaries by Claude Blouin on Shomingeki (9/15/2011). Added a few links (8/19/2012).

No comments: