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Blog // Thoughts
November 4, 2014

Tokyo International Film Festival

Last week I had a lot of fun attending the Tokyo International Film Festival. This year the festival screened over 200 films, with a strong focus on World Cinema, emerging Asian directors and Japanese Animated films. I managed to catch 15 films, all of which I reviewed over on The Society For Film website. The […]

Tokyo Film Press Pass
Last week I had a lot of fun attending the Tokyo International Film Festival. This year the festival screened over 200 films, with a strong focus on World Cinema, emerging Asian directors and Japanese Animated films. I managed to catch 15 films, all of which I reviewed over on The Society For Film website.

The Photographic Why Of Cinema-Going

While I love watching films, there is a professional, creative side to my cinema going. A lot of the way I approach making photos is informed by ideas I’ve learnt from cinema. Photography books, magazines and websites certainly helped me learn how to operate a camera and how to develop photos in post-processing. But, most of the ideas I bring to my photography, what I’m trying to do in a photo, really come from cinema and fashion magazines (and to a lesser extent, comics and paintings).

That’s why film festivals are such a treat. Not only do we get to see lots of good films in a short space of time, we often see films from all around the world, in a variety of styles and from a range of artistic schools. Some of the 15 films I saw at this festival were shot like glossy Hollywood blockbusters, others in much more low key, almost classical styles. There was also plenty of new techniques, with two films especially (The Mighty Angel and Ruined Heart) featuring lost of point of view shots from handheld GoPro cameras.

The 15 Films Ranked

It’s hard to rank films that are so different. To be honest, all these movies have at least something appealing about them. I’d added some brief comments below, or follow the link for a full (mostly spoiler free) review.

15. Force Majeure – Intensely dark, Scandinavian family drama, as couple confronts their broken relationship while on a ski holiday.

14. Dhoom 3 – The latest instalment in a huge, gig budget Bollywood action franchise, saved by a compelling lead performance and some incredibly lush indoor scenes.

13. Late Spring – Winsome, beautifully shot and unapologetically romantic Korean drama about an artist, in the twilight of his creative career.

12. Ice Forest (La Foresta di Ghiaccio) – Tense and frosty thriller set in the Italian Alps.

11. The 50 Year Argument – Martin Scorsese’s documentary homage to The New York Review of Books.

10. Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between A Criminal & A Whore – An audacious visual poem from the underbelly of Manilla.

9. The Days Come (Les Jours Venus) – Fiction and reality merge in this French film about a director looking for his next project.

8. A Courtesan With Flowered Skin (Hanayoi dôchû) – Visually splendid Japanese period drama.

7. Parasyte (Kiseijû) – An exciting, fresh, Japanese take on the alien invasion via body-snatching idea.

6. River Road – Thoughtful and vivid ecological parable from Western China.

5. The Mighty Angel (Pod Mocnym Aniolem) – Dark and harrowing tale of a Polish writer struggling with alcoholism.

4. The Lesson (Urok) – A patient, brilliantly pieced together, many layered moral saga from Bulgaria.

3. Reality (Réalité) – A surreal, dark, very funny French take on Hollywood and the film industry.

2. Los Hongos – Carefully observed story of two young artists and their friendship on the streets in Colombia.

1. Melbourne – An Iranian couple face challenges on their last day before moving to a new country.

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