As I continue to contemplate how important the success of this year's 10th San Diego Asian Film Festival is to cinematic diversity and in fulfilling our mission, the last quarterly screening of the year, TOKYO SONATA proved to continue where the 10th fest left off.
Playing to a full audience at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas, the film served to be a huge draw for San Diegans who wanted an alternative to the offerings of the big U.S. studios. We also took the opportunity to welcome our new Board Chairman, Stephen Chin and introduce him to our loyal members and patrons.
There was also a texting contest winner, Michelle Caaway who won a copy of the film RAN by Akira Kurosawa as part of the upcoming AK 100 DVD release from The Criterion Collection.
The film itself was a beautiful and compelling portrait of a Japanese family trying to maintain normalcy in a very chaotic and unforgiving economic time. The film, directed by the talented Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira) was beautifully and
efficiently photographed and the tempo and fantastic performances of the cast forced the audience to surrender their notion of what is normal in today's globalized and overworked family.
The film also examines Japanese society with a skillful and curious eye, where the human condition is wonderfully complex and cannot be packaged neatly into any conventional "Hollywood" ending. This film was the perfect choice to end the year for the San Diego Asian Film Foundation; a year where we did connect audiences to the human experience through the Pan Asian media arts.