Spotlight Japan brings Japanese films to Toronto
Starting today and running through April 6th fans of all things Japanese must check out Spotlight Japan at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. This is a collaboration of the Japan Foundation, TIFF, Canadian Stage, the Japan Cultural Centre and Soundstreams. My favourite part of this festival is the three film series presented by TIFF Cinematheque. Here's a look at what to check out at the festival.
Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years of Nikkatsu
January 19 - April 6 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Pillage the infamous Nikkatsu studio vault for incredible gems like: Massacre Gun, Intimidation, Retaliation, Rusty Knife, The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate, The Woman from the Sea, Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill, A Colt is My Passport, Suzaki Paradise: Red Light District, Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, and The Warped Ones. Only have time for one? My pick would be the brilliant noir, Intimidation.
Japanese Divas: The Great Actresses of Japanese Cinema's Golden Age
January 24 - March 31 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
An incredible 30 film series which pays tribute to the leading ladies of Japanese cinema, including Setsuko Hara, Kinuyo Tanaka, Machiko Kyo, Isuzu Yamada and Hideko Takamine. Your best bet here might be the Oscar nominated Rashomon featuring the stunning Machiko Kyo.
The Catch: Japanese Cinema of the Eighties
March 5 - April 6 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
The Kawakita Memorial Film Institute in Tokyo has organized an eleven film spotlight on what some consider to be "the last great era of Japanese cinema". Featuring rare classics, some with brand new 35mm prints. The standout here for me is the odd black comedy The Man Who Stole the Sun, about a high-school teacher who builds an atomic bomb and holds Japan randsom.