Tokyo Film Festival 2004
Just got back from the Tokyo Film Festival, where Tomo and I watched the latest Spielberg movie (sic) “Terminal” starring Tom Hanks
I won’t spoil the movie for you by telling you the plot, except to say that you should take along a large spoonful of salt, and also some thick rope and a bag of nails to suspend your disbelief with. It’s a funny enough story, made watchable by the eminent talents of Tom Hanks. I’m not sure whether or not his Eastern European accent was kosher or not, but he made the part of the main refugee character very easy to swallow.
A break from Spielberg’s norms? Yes. An excellently entertaining movie? Perhaps. A classic? Nope.
Still, before the showing, I did get to see Tom Hanks in the flesh! What a guy. He is larger than life: A very, very big man. Especially when surrounded by Japanese people!
The funny thing about his chat was realising that he sounds exactly the same in real life as he does in his movies. I’m not sure exactly why I found that so surprising…
So what kind of life do these Hollywood Types lead anyway? Well, if tonight was anything to go by, I’d have to say pretty dull. Why? I (imigine I) hear you say. Well, Let’s look at T.Hanks’ schedule for the evening of the 31st of October 2004.
- Arrives at Narita Airport after a 13 hour flight.
- Gets whisked, not by the wonderful train system, but instead by limousine to Tokyo: Another 2 hours.
- He arrives at the venue.
- He’s whisked on to stage by an usher who guides his every move and tells him to look at the cameras
to the left, wave at the audience, look up and right. Wave again. Strike a pose. Of course, the usher
only speaks Japanese, so he has to wait for the iffy translation from the woman standing at the podium
of to the left.
- For the whole 10 minutes that this painfully laborious process takes, there’s a babble of photographers
filling card after card with photos. It was as if a hundered welders had set up shop in front of the stage
and were proceeding to join every chair and table together: The flashing from the cameras was enough to
give me retina burns. And that was just the reflection from the curtain. It was pretty surreal, to say the
- He makes an impressive speech about the movie and Spielberg’s inspirations laced with humour which only
myself, Tomo and the other twenty English speakers in the audience could understand.
- He then has to suffer the indignity of answering inane quetsions posed by a 12 year old girl, that
were obviously made by someone else. When you could see that all she wanted to do was faint.
- Then he’s whisked away, “Lost in Translation” style to another event somewhere else in the world’s
largest metropolis, taking the cacophony of flash wielding paparazzi with him.
Who want’s to be a star after all?