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Friday, Nov. 14, 2008

OEFF marks 15th year

Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jarre to appear at fest

Staff writer

The Osaka European Film Festival, running until Dec. 5, is one of the largest film events of its kind in Asia, and will offer a special opportunity for movie enthusiasts in the Kansai region next weekend to enjoy some premium European movies.

News photo
Maestro: A scene from the documentary film "Bandes Originales Maurice Jarre" (2008); Jarre (right) with director David Lean ("Lawrence of Arabia").

Since its launch in 1994, OEFF has grown to become the best showcase of such productions. This year, it celebrates its 15th anniversary with three-time Academy Award-winning French composer Maurice Jarre, who is now visiting Japan, as the honorary chairman.

The highlights begin Nov. 21 at the Recital Hall in Kita Ward, Osaka, with screenings of director David Lean's enduring masterpiece "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) in a pristine new print, for which Jarre won an Oscar for original music score, and of a documentary film tracing Jarre's career.

The maestro will make appearances for discussions following both screenings.

From Nov. 22 to 24, 10 films fresh from European studios will be premiered, also at the Recital Hall, with directors, actors and writers to appear for Q&A and autograph sessions.

Irish film "Garage" (2007), directed by Dublin-born Lenny Abrahamson, won the Confederation Internationale des Cinemas d'Art et d'Essai Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The comical and affecting story tells of a misfit gas-station mechanic in an Irish town coming out of his shell and reaching out to connect with others.

Other films explore such subjects as a youth trapped in a virtual-reality world ("Ben X," Netherlands), an aspiring girl trying to succeed in Moscow's fashion industry ("Glyanets," Russia), and fascist ideas that still thrive in today's society ("Die Welle," Germany).

Advance tickets for "Lawrence of Arabia" are available for ¥1,800. The premiere screenings cost ¥1,500 per film, with tickets available from Pia and E+ ticket agencies and Lawson convenience stores. For the full schedule and further information, visit the festival's Web site at www.oeff.jp/program.english

News photo
Attack: The 1962 classic "Lawrence of Arabia" will be screened in a pristine new print at the Osaka European Film Festival, which runs until Dec. 5.

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