Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[TIFF 2008 Day Four]

The festival continues to leave solid impressions on how well run it is, and its pulling off all stops to ensure that the public too can enjoy and partake in the festivities this week.

But first, I had a little luck with the public screening tickets too, given that I had to be turned away empty handed for The Shonen Merikensack, a movie that I had wanted to watch when I first earmarked a selection of must-watch from the festival lineup. So probably as a form of compensation, I managed to get tickets for today's public screening of Taiwanese movie Beautiful Crazy, and by the time the movie was screened, it was already a full house. I didn't really enjoy it that much (you can refer too my review) though.

It's also my first live event coverage after the Opening Ceremony on Saturday. Not knowing what to expect because this was only confirmed last night / earlier today, I thought this event was one of the most fun, since it had mostly a public audience in attendance out in the open, and the cast came in full costumes per their roles in The Cherry Orchard – Blossoming. It was done talk show based, and the unexpected confetti at the finale was something of a crowd pleaser. When the sun set over Roppongi Hills, the entire Arena area was decked in the pink colors of the Sakura.

After spending the last couple of screenings at the first level of the Toho cinemas at Roppongi Hill, I finally get to move up to the larger halls since it's a public screening (of aforementioned Beautiful Crazy), and the ads that play before the movie begins are hilarious. During the Q&A session after the movie, no less than 3 interpreters were on hand to facilitate and translate the proceedings, switching between English, Mandarin (since it's a Taiwanese film), and Japanese effortlessly. I guess the army of volunteers extend to the translating team as well, given that one of them is dedicated to translate for the guests who were not directly asked any questions, so that they can understand what's going on, rather than to just sit and smile.

And if I'm correct, film fans who want to catch a glimpse of their favourite cast, crew and stars could do so after every Teach In Session, where they would be at the foyer of the cinema gamely posing for photos and signing autographs on anything such as tickets, programme booklets, posters and even postcards. I guess in those precious few minutes, it would provide some means to connect with their fans, and naturally, it goes without saying who would have added skip in their steps when they make their way home after the screening.

The Press Center was full today, or at least during the times when I popped in, and overheard something that was food for thought – does reviewing ony good movies, elevate one's status to premium level? Then again, isn't “good” movies strictly speaking, subjective?

This is Day Four from the Tokyo International Film Festival, which began with a 3 hour very early morning round trip to Tsukiji Fish Market for a sushi breakfast at Sushi Dai!

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