The internet was all the rage at the kick-off to the 23rd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). Neil Jordan, who heads this year’s competition jury, blasted the world wide web at the festival, citing it as the reason a vast number of directors are currently unemployed. Fittingly, David Fincher’s Facebook saga, “The Social Network,” served as the opening night film.
“There’s a real crisis in filmmaking right now, and that’s evidenced to me by the fact that every director I know is unemployed,” said Jordan in a statement to Reuters. “I think the crisis in cinema-going is caused by the Internet. Like every other industry — music, publishing, film. The Internet is absolutely changing peoples’ habits and so everything is in a state of flux.”
“Network” actor Jesse Eisenberg and writer Aaron Sorkin were on hand for the opening screening that attracted over 3,200 cheering Japanese fans and 333 official guests according to The Hollywood Reporter. Other stars in attendance included Catherine Deneuve, and “Lost” actress Kim Yun-jin. In keeping with the festival’s eco-friendly theme adopted three years ago, invitees walked a green carpet made from recycled plastic bottles, and some tuxedoed guests sported green bow ties.
This year sees 15 competitors vying for the $50,000 Grand Sakura Prize for best film, selected from over 80 countries and regions across the world. Among them are three films from the Middle East, including Hamid Reza Aligholian’s “Flamingo No. 13,” two from China, including Li Yu’s “Buddha Mountain,” and four from Europe, including Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s “Sarah’s Key,” and Rowan Joffe’s “Brighton Rock.” TIFF’s one American competition entry is “Beautiful Boy,” from director Shawn Ku.
TIFF runs to October 31, and includes a tribute to Bruce Lee.