On the movie scene, Gaga Communications went all-out on their promotion of Quentin Tarantino‘s fourth film, “Kill Bill:’ In addition to the big screen trailers shown at pop spots in Roppongi, Harajuku and Shinjuku, there’s been lots of ads and editorial coverage on TV and in the print media. I’m sure you’ve seen those long, illuminated billboards with the gorgeous Uma Thurman and her samurai sword all over our city.
Gaga brought in producer Lawrence Bender, director Tarantino and stars Thurman, Julie Dreyfus and my favorite actress, Lucy Liu, who did a whirlwind promo tour. As always, there were TV appearances, back-to-back interviews, a huge press conference (more than 200 media people) and personal appearances at a Sunday evening premiere. With a schedule like that, plus a bit of jetlag, none of the visitors had any time to do anything but promote “Kill Bill:’ a film they’re all proud of. And that, after all, is why they came here.
Congratulations to Sri Lankan Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama the Sri Lankan community here on the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Business Council of Japan.
It was ten days of “Malaysia, Truly Asia” here in Tokyo, with all kinds of special happenings focusing on that marvelous country. This column I’d like to feature Malaysia’s truly grand National Day celebration, which was held in the Kiku Ballroom at the Hilton Tokyo. The huge venue was colorfully decorated with long banners highlighting a few of Malaysia’s marvelous tourist attractions. There was a large ice carving of Kuala Lumpur’s Twin Towers, and the flower arrangements, which were everywhere, were exceptional. Several top chefs who had been flown in from Kuala Lumpur for the festival had, along with the Hilton Tokyo’s Food and Beverage staff, prepared a lavish buffet of Malaysian food. Eleven knock-out gorgeous Malaysian models were at the party, and in their Malaysianinspired fashion did, as you can imagine, attract a lot of attention. The girls partied at the Lex several nights while they were here. Really a nice bunch of beautiful people. Our sincere congratulations to Ambassador Dato Mohd Noor Marzuki, his wife Datin Nora, and the Malaysian people on that special occasion.
It was fun with the Finns and friends when Finnish Ambassador Eero Salovaara and his wife Liisa hosted a special evening at their home on the occasion of the opening of “Feel Finland.” The special promotion presented Finnish music, design, visual art, photography and sciences in numerous events all over Japan. Liisa wore national costume for the event and, as you can see by the photos, looked great. There was a live (and lively) musical presentation, and the Finnish buffet was, as they say, “to die for:’ Several of the more enterprising (and fast) guests were able to enjoy their food in a model Finnish house that had been set up in the garden. Congratulations to Eero, Liisa, Katja Valaskivi, director of the Finnish Institute in Japan, the Finland Tourist Office, Finnair and the many Finns and Japanese friends of Finland who worked so hard to make “Feel Finland” the popular, exciting and interesting fun schedule of events it was.
Seemed like everyone was at the grand opening parties Oct. 16 and 17 for the Mori Art Museum on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. I heard about 7,000 people were there. The center is huge, with many galleries of all sizes. With a wide variety of excellent exhibits, there was certainly something for everyone. David Elliot, who has a very impressive background and really knows what he’s doing, is the director of MAM. Roppongi Hills developer Minoru Mori’s wife Yoshiko is chairperson the museum board. They’ll work closely with leading museums, galleries and others all over the world to “make MAM one of the most important in the world’.’
In addition to all this, had some fun evenings at the Lex, with several of the Formula One drivers here for the Grand Prix, and a dozen or so bands. A5 the Sonny and Cher classic says, “The Beat Goes On:’
Grace Saito, the founder and president of Tokyo Grace Kai Charity, will hold a special violin, soprano, baritone and piano charity concert at Sogetsu Hall on Aoyarna Dori from 6 p.m. on Nov. 10. Proceeds go to a polio eradication program. For reservations call 3497-0111, ext. 1225. Grace’s charity concerts always give one an evening of classic music at its best.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender