As Cinetalk has mentioned during the last few events we’ve covered, the pandemic has changed the face of festivals this year. Some taking place in countries less strained by Covid19 have continued to stage physical events in cinemas (with all the precautions in place). The Tokyo International Film Festival has done the same, with the addition of certain online activities. As we follow along remotely from Canada, we are able to showcase a selection of films many of our readers won’t be able to attend in person. However, if anything piques the interest, stay tuned for upcoming regular releases in local theatres or perhaps somewhere online.

That said, you’ll WANT to see Slate, by South Korean rookie, Jo Ba-Reun. A little bit silly, it reminds us of Korean films from the late 90s like Attack the Gas Station. (1999, Kim Sang-jin) that only used to be visible outside Korea in festivals such as Montreal’s Fantasia. The sense of humor throughout keeps things light even when blood starts to fly.

The action-comedy centers around Cha Yeon-hee, who insists that only the Heroine matters in life. Everything else is useless. On her way to a film set, the aspiring actress finds herself in a parallel universe where technology and the ol’ Wild West mingle anachronistically.

Without spoiling the plot, expect nods to films like The Matrix, Kill Bill, Oldboy, Star Wars, and even the Korean drama series, Goblin. And of course, the greats of Japanese samurai films and Italian spaghetti Westerns are there too. If it sounds kooky, it kind of is, but in a very lovable way. Character development is well done, and almost all cast members play dual roles.

A very fun way to start our 2020 TIFF coverage!


Slate 10:20 AM JST, November 6th, 2020 (Please note, screening times are in Japan Standard Time)

Also: Online event – 8 PM with Jo Ba-Reun (tentatively). For physical ticketholders only (must register for the online Zoom presentation).