Melbourne opening with ‘Japanese Story’

Fest to screen over 400 films

MELBOURNE — Australian preems of Sue Brooks’ “Japanese Story” and Gregor Jordan’s “Buffalo Soldiers” will bookend the 52nd Melbourne Intl. Film Festival, which will run July 25– Aug.10.

More than 400 films will unspool at the event, whose primary venue is the Forum Theater. Special guest will be Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.

In addition to “Japanese Story,” fest will feature two other films that screened in Un Certain Regard at last month’s Cannes fest –“American Splendor” and “A Story that Begins at the End” — plus Cannes competition entry “Swimming Pool.” Also in the line-up is docu “Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin,” which had a special screening in Cannes, and “Oasis,” which played during Cannes’ Intl. Critics Week.

Opening night at Melbourne’s Concert Hall will feature the Oz preem of Melbourne filmmaker Adam Elliot’s 22-minbute claymation film, “Harvie Krumpet,” whimsical tale of a man cursed with perpetual bad luck, narrated by Geoffrey Rush.

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Among themes spotlighted will be new genre-busting cinema from Japan; emerging femme directors from Asia and the Middle East; martial arts pics; indie films from India; contempo Russian cinema; and uncompromising French films dealing in sexuality, fantasy, neo-libertines and other fringes. Program will also include new animated features and shorts; new media/digital/interactive works; and music docus.