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Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

Focus on arty Asian marvels at Tokyo's FILMeX festival

Staff writer

Tokyo FILMeX is increasing its load from 39 films to 61 this year, to celebrate its 10th year.

The flicks will be screened with English subtitles and the festival includes a newly added Korean film showcase.

Solely selected for its creativity and originality, the lineup is full of arty marvels and focuses on Asian films.

The nine-day event kicks off Nov. 21 with a special symposium featuring Japanese auteurs Takeshi Kitano, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hirokazu Kore-eda. It's a rare chance to watch and listen to the filmmakers talk about their works and thoughts on films.

The competition features 10 films by emerging Asian filmmakers — two from Iran and one each from Israel, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan — including Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats," a drama about Tehran's underground rock musicians that won a Special Jury Prize at this year's Cannes; and Hong Kong director Soi Cheang's slick psychological thriller "Accident," which is about a hit man suffering from paranoia.

Ten films, mostly by established directors, will be showcased in the Special Screenings section, including Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River."

Tokyo FILMeX 2009 takes places Nov. 21-29 at various places. Tickets cost from ¥1,000-¥1,700 at the door. The symposium takes place at Meiji University Academy Hall from 1-6 p.m. Tickets cost ¥3,000-¥3,500. For more information, visit www.filmex.net

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