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Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006
Stars come out as Tokyo film fest gets under way
By MARTIN WEBB
Stars of the Japanese movie world were out in force Saturday gracing the red carpet at Roppongi Hills for the opening of the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Among the glitterati gracing the red carpet were Hiroshi Abe and Nao Matsushita, stars of "Adiantum Blue," a love story making its world premiere at the festival, along with 19 other movies.
Hundreds of female onlookers, some of whom had been waiting since dawn, lined Keyakizaka Street in anticipation of catching a glimpse of their idols. The loudest shrieks and squeals came for Korean actor Lee Joon Ki, star of "King and the Clown," one of 10 movies from South Korea at the festival.
The nine-day festival opened with the Japan premiere of Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers," a film about the bloody Battle of Iwojima during World War II, an event dampened by the conspicuous absence of the steely faced filmmaker himself.
Veteran Japanese director Yoji Yamada, whose "Love and Honor," starring heartthrob Takuya Kimura, had its world premiere in a special preopening screening and said he was "very happy and thankful" that the festival had singled out his movie for special treatment.
The celebration of cinema is being held at Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills, Bunkamura in Shibuya and other venues across Tokyo. It is divided into four main sections: the Competition, Special Screenings, Japanese Eyes and Winds of Asia, which is comprised of 37 films from all over the region.
The festival will close with the world premiere of 91-year-old director Kon Ichikawa's "Murder of the Inugami Clan," a murder mystery based on the novel by Seishi Yokomizo.