Guests walk out on Tokyo festival opener

Screenings of 'Red Cliff' marred by lack of English subtitles

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso joined international guests on the "green carpet" at the opening of the ecologically themed Tokyo International Film Festival on Saturday, but many then walked out of the first screenings.

Only one theater showing John Woo's war epic "Red Cliff" was furnished with English subtitles and guests were seen walking out, unwilling to sit through 2 1/2 hours of a Chinese film with Japanese subtitles.

This is not the first time the problem has occurred at the festival, but it came as a surprise as organizers this year emphasized a more international event.

"Red Cliff" opened in China in July and leads that country's boxoffice for a local-language film so far this year. It will open in Japan on Nov. 1.
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