Film fest puts comedy on bill


Staff Writer

Asakusa was the capital’s main entertainment district during the Edo Period (1603-1867) and the charm of old Tokyo still remains there.

This weekend, Asakusa and close-by Ueno will host the sixth annual Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival, which is abbreviated in Japanese to Shitacome, and will feature works by Asian, European and American filmmakers.

Though it’s billed as a comedic festival, the movies screened at Shitacome represent different genres and have been selected from various eras to satisfy fans of all ages.

Among the movies representing Japan is “Jigoku de Naze Warui (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?)” by filmmaker Sion Sono. It will be screened at the opening ceremony on Sept. 14. This yakuza action-comedy was screened in August at the Venice Film Festival. The film has been recognized as a salute to old-fashion filmmaking, drawing some comparisons to U.S. director Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” films.

This year’s program also includes a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Indian films, a presentation of family movies and a lecture on Swedish comedy by Japanese-Swedish TV personality LiLiCo. Who do you think will get the last laugh?

Old Town Taito International Comedy Film Festival, aka Shitacome, will take place in various locations in Taito-ku, Tokyo, from Sept. 13-16. Free shuttle bus service between screening sites will be available. Start times vary. Tickets, which range from ¥1,000 to ¥1,800 for a standard session, can be purchased in advance or at the venue. For more information about tickets, call 0570-02-9111. For more details about the festival, email shitacome_toiawase@shitacome.jp or visit www.shitacome.jp.