The 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is just around the corner. We are pleased to announce that two Japanese films, A Beloved Wife and Tezuka’s Barbara, have been selected for the 32nd TIFF Competition Section.
This year, a total of 1,804 titles from 115 countries and regions were submitted to TIFF.
Comments about these films from Yoshi Yatabe, TIFF Competition Programming Director:
Tezuka’s Barbara is directed by Macoto Tezka, who turns his father, Osamu Tezuka’s, heralded novel into a film, bringing it to life with powerful actors Goro Inagaki and Fumi Nikaido, and the vivid cinematography of Christopher Doyle. It is extremely luxurious and fortunate filmmaking. The originality of the aesthetic, and the fantastical, magical, erotic worldview, stand out among recent Japanese films. This is a milestone work for Tezka, and I hope that this selection to the Competition section will be a blessing for the film.
A Beloved Wife is the second work by director Shin Adachi, and I was extremely impressed by his ability to transform his own self-torment during his early career as a screenwriter into laughter. I’m in awe of the powerful performances by Asami Mizukawa and Gaku Hamada. I believe that this comedy can be a typhoon among the many serious films in the Competition lineup.
A Beloved Wife - World Premiere
Struggling scriptwriter Gota Yanagida and his wife Chika have been married for ten years and live with their daughter Aki. Gota suffers in his sexless marriage and tries to make his wife happy every day, but Chika is cold to him because he earns no money. One day, Gota is approached by a film producer about his story of “a high school girl who makes udon noodles at a tremendous speed.” He needs to go to Kagawa to write the screenplay and proposes a family trip there, and Chika reluctantly joins. However, a different film project has already been decided. Director: Shin Adachi Cast: Gaku Hamada, Asami Mizukawa, Chise Niitsu. The film will be released by BANDAI NAMCO Arts/ Q-TEC in 2020 (Japan).
Shin Adachi, who won numerous screenplay awards for the movie 100 Yen Love (2014), directed this film, based on his autobiographical novel, about a struggling screenwriter and his nagging wife, who is the family breadwinner. Screenwriter Gota, based on the director, is played by Gaku Hamada. Asami Mizukawa is comical and enthusiastic as his wife Chika. Produced by Aoi Pro, whose works include Shoplifters, Long Excuse and Cheer Boys!!.
Profile of director Shin Adachi:
Born in 1972. After graduating from the Japan Academy of Moving Images, he studied under director Shinji Somai. He began writing screenplays after theater activity and work as an assistant director. Catch Ball Shop and 100 Yen Love, featuring his screenplays, were screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival. 100 Yen Love won the Ryuzo Kikushima Award and the Japan Academy Prize Best Screenplay Award.
Tezuka's Barbara - World Premiere
The story is set in modern-day Tokyo. Famous novelist Yosuke Mikura encounters a young woman in the subway station and brings her home to his condominium. The woman’s name is Barbara. For all her bad manners and constant state of drunkenness, she has a certain charm that is hard to put one’s finger on. Much like a stray cat claiming her territory, Barbara settles into Mikura’s apartment. This propels the creatively congested Mikura to write again. His life takes a dramatic turn for the better. Is Barbara a muse? An artist’s savior? Or is she a spell-casting sorceress? Director: Macoto Tezka Cast: Goro Inagaki, Fumi Nikaido, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Shizuka Ishibashi
Barbara is an adult-oriented fantasy tale filled with love and the occult, from Osamu Tezuka’s reimagining of “The Tales of Hoffmann.” The story deals with the erotic and bizarre experiences of a famous novelist called Yosuke Mikura whose life is turned upside down by a mysterious girl named Barbara. The controversial story, dealing with various taboos such as forbidden love, mystery, art, eros, scandal and occultism, was said to have been impossible to cinematize at the time of its original publication but was made for the 90th Anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s birth.
The film will be released in 2020 (Japan).
Comments from director Macoto Tezka
I am honored to be part of the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival. It’s a miracle that the muse of art smiled on the 90th anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s birth. “Barbara” was said to be a very unique piece of work from Osamu Tezuka, but for me it was perfect. A devilish story that, while it isn’t straightforward, has been transformed into a fascinating dream with the beautiful aesthetics of Christopher Doyle intermingled with the beautiful performances of Goro Inagaki and Fumi Nikaido. This movie aims to fuse the boundaries between art and entertainment. Please enjoy the allegory of aesthetic love and madness.
Profile of director Macoto Tezka:
At the age of 17, Tezka won a prize for his debut 8mm film and was praised by acclaimed director Nagisa Oshima. His feature debut was The Legend of the Stardust Brothers. Tezka spent ten years cinematizing Hakuchi, and the film received the Digital Award in Venice. His animated feature film Black Jack won the Outstanding Performance award at the Tokyo Animation Award.
32nd Tokyo International Film Festival
Dates: October 28 (Mon) – November 5 (Tue), 2019
Venues: Roppongi Hills, EX Theater Roppongi, Hibiya Step Square and other theaters in Tokyo Market: TIFFCOM 2019 (Japan Content Showcase 2019) October 22 (Tue) – 24 (Thu)
Official Web: www.tiff-jp.net/en/