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Friday, October 29, 2010

The 1st screening of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY in Tokyo International Film Festival

26th of Oct. The 1st screening of INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY.

The day began with the TPG (Tokyo Project Gathering) reception. Just like two years ago, Ming Jin and I had a project called 'THE BOOK KEEPER' in the TPG. Some changes were made since then, for example, the opening reception was held on the TIFF Movie Cafe instead of the ballroom in the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills, and that meetings of TPG had been integrated into TIFFCOM (at the 40th floor) instead of being in a separate space at the 49th floor. I elaborated a lot more about the TPG in this blog two years ago.

Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang has a new project called Headshot.

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang has a new project

Last year in Pusan, I shot a video of Pen-ek demonstrating how to roll a tobacco and uploaded it on Youtube.

Video page

THE HOST 2 was also there.

The Host 2!!!

Dustin Nguyen also has a project that he wants to direct. I last saw him in the film FLOATING LIVES at the Pusan International Film Festival. The film had some insanely beautiful visuals, and his broody performance was very manly.

Dustin Nguyen has a project too!

There was also a Latvian project that Kaori Momoi was attached to. I was quite excited to see her. Though I remember first seeing her in J-dramas, I remember her most for her badass role in SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO. And also recently at the SKIP CITY Film Fest, I also recently saw her in a digitally-restored version of the 1977 film by Yoji Yamada, YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF.

Kaori Momoi speaks!

In evening we went through numerous interviews, one of them with the Mainichi newspapers.

We were then invited to visit the festival office in the 49th floor. When Ming Jin and I walked in, the staffers gave us a rousing standing ovation. And then we were asked to autograph their poster. Quite a wonderful experience.

The view from the 49th floor of Roppongi Hills was nice.

Here's me with Qian Qian (left), a new member of Prof. Ando's lab who was serving as my translator/assistant in the TPG meetings. Right is Yukiko, a volunteer.

With Qian Qian and Yukiko the Volunteer

Qian Qian, Ming Jin, Yukiko the Volunteer and me, atop Tokyo

I also pulled out my Nyan Nyan pose!

Nyan nyan pose forever!

INHALATION and THE TIGER FACTORY started screening at 9:30pm and ended around 11:15pm. As we entered for the Q and A session, I was a little surprised to see such a huge amount of people staying around for the session (film was screened in one of the bigger halls in the cinema)

Ming Jin enters for the Q and A of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY

I enter for the Q and A of INHALATION + THE TIGER FACTORY

So we were asked numerous questions about how we came up with the titles of our films, what was our inspiration, describing the shooting process etc.


Professor Ando, our exec producer, also came out to give a brief speech. Standing next to him is Ishizaka-san, the programmer.

Prof. Ando speaks during Q and A session

Here's me, contemplating in a smoldering fashion.

I contemplate during the Q and A session

And Ming Jin was saying something serious that I cannot remember.

Ming Jin speaks

I also said something insightful and philosophical, which I also cannot remember.

I speak

Before wrapping up the event, Ishizaka-san, who was the moderator of the event, mentioned how I seemed to take a lot of photos with beautiful Taiwanese actresses in the festival...

With Vivian Hsu, before the Green Carpet event 2

Meeting Lin Zaizai again in Tokyo

I agreed, saying that as a serious artist entirely committed to his craft, I am always on a lookout for acting talents whom I can collaborate creatively with, while at the same time having existential or philosophical discourses with if they were free. And since the Tokyo Film Fest was having a special focus on cinema, Ishizaka-san asked me to recommend some Taiwanese films in the festival for audiences.

I plugged TAIPEI EXCHANGES. (not only because of my appreciation for Guey Lun Mei and Lin Zai Zai's performances... but also because, sadly, that was the only film I saw in the focus, in its entirety)

Photo session!

Photoshoot session

Photoshoot session 2

When we exited the cinema, Japanese director Isao Yukisada ('GO', "CRYING FOR LOVE IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD', ', 'SPRING SNOW', 'CLOSED NOTE' etc.) and his screenwriter Chihiro Ito (she co-wrote 'CRYING FOR LOVE', 'SPRI SNOW' and also Yukisada's segment in the omnibus CAMELLIA etc). dropped by to say hi. They came for the screening, Yukisada-san enjoyed the films. (I met them earlier at the Narita Airport when we came back to Tokyo from Pusan ten days ago).


Then we had Yakitori.

Here's me with Singaporean filmmaker Liao Jiekai (RED DRAGONFLIES). And also Korean filmmaker Shin Su-Won (PASSERBY #3)

With Singaporean filmmaker Liao Jiekai

With Juke (Aditya Assarat) and Naoko Ogigami.

With Juke (Aditya Assarat) and Naoko Ogigami