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Covering a film festival can turn anyone into a stickler for scheduling. Key screenings and Q&A sessions always seem to overlap and priorities collide. Do you stick with the stodgy Japanese biopic that you’re supposed to be writing about, or sneak out halfway through to go watch something more entertaining? Is it wrong to skip that new Frederick Wiseman documentary simply because it’s three hours long?

Time preoccupied a number of the features showing at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, which wraps up on Saturday. In multiple movies, on-screen text kept viewers abreast of the day, date and even the exact hour when the action is occurring — as if the film itself was continually glancing at the clock on its iPhone.

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