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Tokyo Fest to Open With ‘Fragments of the Last Will,’ Close With ‘Living’  

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will open on Oct. 24 with Takahisa Zeze’s postwar drama Fragments of the Last Will, while Oliver Bill Hermanus’s Living, a reinterpretation of an Akira Kurosawa classic, will bring proceedings to a close on Nov. 2.

Takahisa’s film, based on real events, tells the story of a Japanese prisoner of war played by who battles to keep hope alive for himself and his fellow inmates in a Siberian gulag after his nation’s defeat in 1945. Fragments of the Last Will stars Kazunari Ninomiya, former member of boyband Arashi.

Living is set in Britain in 1952, the same year Kurosawa’s Ikiru, on which it is based, was released. Bill Nighy plays a staid bureaucrat who is inspired to change his life after receiving shocking news.

“Living is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful — into one he can say has been lived to the full,” said TIFF programming director Shozo Ichiyama.

With a screenplay by British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, the film premiered at Sundance this year and was picked up Sony Pictures Classics. Japanese distribution will be handled by Toho, which released the original, itself inspired by Leo Tolstoy novel.

TIFF moved last year from its long-time base at the Roppongi Hills Complex to the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Ginza area, where it will unspool again this year. The fest is adding two more theatres in the nearby Marunouchi district and working more closely with the local authorities and business organizations to deepen ties to its new home.

The TIFFCOM content market will run in an online format again this year from Oct. 25 to 27.

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