The story of When Marnie Was There is set in a little town by the name of Little Overton, a fictional town inspired by a real place – Burnham Overy Staithe on the Norfolk coast. Although Studio Ghibli announced that this setting was going to be changed to a village in Hokkaido in their adaptation, some friends and I still wanted to seek out Marnie’s original home base – just because we are dedicated enough Ghibli fans and because it is more fun to explore the UK by traveling to random places instead of completing the usual checklist of famous sights for foreigners. Continue reading
Cat cafés are the sort of thing that seems bonkers when you think about it but that make so much sense when you actually try it out. Despite popular belief that cat cafés are a Japanese invention, the first one apparently was in Taipei, Taiwan, back in 1998. It drew many visitors, including from Japan, who took the concept back home, opening their first, own Café Neko in Osaka in 2004. Now there are some 30-something in Tokyo alone and more than 150 all over the country.
Fortunately, other parts of the world are catching on the trend too. While we can still count all the cat cafés in Europe on a single hand, it won’t be like that much longer I think. The first, Café Neko, opened in Vienna, Austria, in 2012, Le café des chats in Paris, France, followed in 2013, as did one in Totnes, UK (which has, sadly, since closed). Il Neko just started serving cat lovers in Turin, Italy, and Koneko in Brighton, UK, is in the planning. And then there is Lady Dinah’s, or, rather Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, in London, a success story long before it started welcoming human visitors this year in March.
Another「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There) update: in addition to the sparkling new trailer (which by now has been watched more than 18,000 times – up from the 500 yesterday morning), we also now have a music video for “Fine on the Outside”, the theme song of the latest Studio Ghibli film. It’s a video of the full song, something which is a little surprising. Continue reading
It’s July and Studio Ghibli’s「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There, Japan, 2014) is opening in Japan later this month. A few days ago some more some new images were released, which I held off posting, thinking more would soon follow. Quite right I was – today we have a first trailer for the film: Continue reading
If there was ever a special reason needed to plan a trip to Paris, here’s one now: Art Ludique – Le Musée is holding an exhibition of 1300 original Studio Ghibli layouts from October 4th 2014 to March 1st 2015. Continue reading
Studio Ghibli has been gearing up for the release of its next film, Omoide no Mani, a story about the friendship between a lonely orphan, Anna, and the rather otherworldly Marnie. With less than two months to wait – the film is due out in Japan on July 19 – a few more images have been revealed.
Alternative English title: Whatcha Wearin’?
Country: South Korea
Director: Byun Sung-hyun
Screenplay: Byun Sung-yun, Kim Min-soo
Cinematography: Choe Sang-ho
Cast: Ji Sung, Kim Ah-joong, Kang Kyeong-jun, Shin So-yul, Kim Bo-yeon, Kim Sung-oh
Runtime: 114 min
Distribution: CJ Entertainment
Note: The film came with an 19+ rating in South Korea as it contains coarse language as well as some nudity and sex.
When Naui P.S. Pateuneo released in Korean cinemas in 2012, it hit the one-million admissions mark within ten days – faster than any other adult rom-com that had come before. It sold itself with a veiled but racy title (P.S. stands for Phone Sex), enticing viewers with a titillating trailer (watch above) and plenty promise of naughty. Continue reading
Language: Japanese, some German and Italian
Director: Miyazaki Hayao
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Screenplay: Miyazaki Hayao
Art Direction: Takeshige Youji
Animation Direction: Kousaka Kitaro
Soundscore: Hisaishi Joe
Theme Song: ひこうき雲 (“Hikōki Gumo”/”Contrail”) by Yumi Matsutoya
Cast: Anno Hideaki, Takimoto Miori, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Nishimura Masahiko, Steve Alpert, Kazama Morio, Takeshita Keiko, Shida Mirai, Kunimura Jun, Otake Shinobu, Mansai Nomura
Runtime: 126 min
Distribution: Studio Canal (UK)
Film’s official website: http://www.kazetachinu.jp (日本語),
Special thanks to Studio Canal for an invite to a press screening of Kaze Tachinu prior to its UK release. I also attended the BFI Preview Screening of the film on April 23. Both screenings were subtitled, I have not seen (nor do I intend to) the dubbed version. The film is now showing in select UK cinemas (from May 9, 2014).
Kaze Tachinu, Miyazaki Hayao’s apparent swan song, comes with a certain kind of echo of「長州ファイブ」(Chōshū faibu/Chosyu Five), in which a group of young, ambitious men – who later become the founding fathers of modern Japan – seek technological knowledge and progress abroad but soon realise that they, and their nation, are years and years behind. Like these men, Horikoshi Jiro (Anno Hideaki), the hero of Miyazaki’s film, desires to know and create for the sake of knowing and creating, although, several decades on from the Choysu Five, he now envies the Germans, not the English, for their advanced know-how. Continue reading
A few bits and bobs have been trickling in about Studio Ghibli’s next film,「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/Memories of Marnie, 2014), which is due to be released in Japan this summer – on July 19 to be exact (mark your calendars!).
This comes a bit late, as I just don’t have much time to blog at the moment. I’ll keep trying but won’t make any promises, at least not for the next half year or so (I’m in the final stretch of my studies and have a lot to write over the next few months).
April comes with all kinds of film related events – there’s plenty to choose from, but it’s quiet compared to what is awaiting us in May. Continue reading
Director: Ogigami Naoko
Screenplay: Ogigami Naoko
Cinematography: Abe Kazutaka
Cast: Ichikawa Mikako, Kusamura Reiko, Mitsuishi Ken, Yamada Maho, Tanaka Kei, Kobayashi Katsuya
Runtime: 110 min
Film’s official website: N/a
Sayoko (Ichikawa Mikako) is a crazy cat lady in the making: although she is a little too young to be called a spinster (as per stereotype), she is an unmarried woman with a house full of cats and nothing much else. Continue reading
…also known as the Vegetarian Festival.
It’s an annual festival during the 9th lunar month that is celebrated in a number of South East Asian countries, including Thailand, where it means all kinds of things, but in Bangkok’s Chinatown especially a galore of veg food. Continue reading
Alternative title (Chinese): 黒四角
Language: Mandarin, some Japanese
Director: Okuhara Hiroshi
Studio: Black Square Film
Screenplay: Okuhara Hiroshi
Cinematography: Maki Kenji
Cast: Nakaizumi Hideo, Hong Dan, Xixu Chen, Suzuki Miki
Runtime: 144 min
Film’s official website: N/a
Special thanks to Raindance, which provided me with a preview screener of this film. Kuroi shikaku showed at the 21st Raindance Film Festival on September 28, 2013. I previously featured the film on Trailer Weekly #79/80.
When Japanese film director Okuhara Hiroshi travelled to Bejing in 2008 and visited the Song Zhuang Artist Village he spoke no Chinese. The place – the experience – seemed surreal to him, or, as he explained, “the whole atmosphere felt like science fiction, including the surroundings. I felt I could shoot a Tarkovsky-like movie in this place. [...] That’s how it all began.” (quote) Continue reading
As we go into the final stretch for the Kickstarter of Katabuchi Sunao’s 「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」 (Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009), I thought, why not collect the words of some of those who have already seen the film in one post? Mai Mai Miracle has had so few screenings that for most people the film is a complete unknown, enough perhaps to keep them from supporting this crowdfunding campaign. So, if you are toying with the question of whether to contribute to this Kickstarter, here’s a post to convince you that it’s very, very much worth it:
Anime director Shinkai Makoto has collaborated with Z-Kai, a Japanese company that runs cram schools and correspondence classes, to produce a 1:59 min long commercial. It’s a mini-story – titled 「クロスロード」(Korosuroudo/Crossroad) – of two students cramming for their entrance exams, simple but illustrated in Shinkai’s usual style – in other words, a colourful and light-filled feast for the eyes.
Because the company name doesn’t pop up until the very end (and without any explanation of what they do), it doesn’t feel like a commercial at all, but just a tiny snapshot of the life of two people.
Subtitles in both English and Chinese (simplified) are available, you can select them from the captions menu.
Today I received my monthly BFI Guide in the post, which contained details for the first half of the Studio Ghibli Retrospective. The information isn’t available on the BFI website just yet, so I have listed the screenings (plus trailers) below.
Note that all films, except the Funday screening of 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away, 2001), will be shown subtitled.
Booking: Priority booking for BFI Champions opens on 3 March, for BFI Members on 4 March. Public booking opens on 11 March.
Although we already knew a Ghibli season was coming – thanks to a mini-announcement in the BFI’s February booklet –, now it’s official: the British Film Institute published a full announcement on their website yesterday, revealing that it would be screening the complete set of Studio Ghibli films over the course of two months. Continue reading
All the Anime’s kickstarter for the English-language release of「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) has hit its first stretch goal by crossing the US$60,000 barrier. This means that not just subtitles, but a dub – specifically a US dub – will be made for the release. Continue reading
It’s a clear sign that people want this English-language release to happen, for All the Anime’s crowdfunding campaign for Katabuchi Sunao’s magical「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) reached its US$30,000 goal within less than a day of the Kickstarter having been announced. Continue reading
There have been some tweets and blog post mumblings over the past few days, but it’s official now: All the Anime’s Kickstarter campaign for a UK and US release of Katabuchi Sunao’s absolutely delightful「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) has gone live today.
February may be a short month, but it’s not lacking in South East Asian film events. The Glasgow Youth Film Festival hits the jackpot with the UK premiere of Studio Ghibli’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013). London and the rest of the UK wait on as the wider cinematic release of the film has apparently been postponed for later in the year.
Last updated: 4/2/2014
Note: As always, I will be updating this post if I hear of any more events. Let me know if you see anything missing!
Before the weekend is over, I thought I still send out wishes for the Year of the Horse – if only to share the image above.
Some photographs from a recent trip to Austria (over the winter holidays). I was hoping to also go to Budapest (where I have gone before) and/or Prague (where I have never visited previously), but in the end that didn’t happen. I did travel to both Vienna and Graz, plus some towns in the countryside of Austria.
Note: I posted a number of these on Tumblr already.
There are so many film festivals in London that it’s sometimes easy to forget about one, until they remind you with a programme release that they are still there and still screening lots of delightful stuff that you better not miss.
Next month, from February 26 to March 9, it’s the Pan-Asia Film Festival that rolls around for the umpteenth time (sorry, I lost count), with 7 UK premieres and 2 London ones featuring. Continue reading
Back in December I posted some concept art from Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata’s Isao’s Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking) adaptation, which they were working on back in 1971 but which never came to fruition in the end. I mentioned back then that more so than an animated Pippi, I would have loved an animated Ronja – as in Ronja Røverdatter (Ronia the Robber’s Daughter), another character created by the same Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. It seems now my wish has about to be fulfilled: the news is out that Miyazaki Goro will be directing a TV anime of Ronja. Continue reading
Wee bit late. I was only missing the Trailer Weekly main image last night, but as I’m staying at my sister’s one-bedroom flat for a couple of days, I decided to go to bed, since she had to get up 5 this morning. Which was for me, so she can finish work early and go for Vietnamese-French fusion food (much recommended) and vegan ice-cream (a place I’ve been wanting to try for a year – definitely having matcha) in downtown Vienna with me. In other words, I would have felt guilty leaving the lights on and typing away noisily for another half hour.
We’re 50% Japanese, 50% Taiwanese with trailers today. Hope there’s something for you!
This week’s episode of The Simpsons makes a tribute to Miyazaki in this wonderful animated sequence, apparently as a sort of ‘Thank You’ since the Japanese master of animation announced his retirement a few months back.
It’s a delightful little clip, with references to plenty of Miyazaki’s creations – see how many you can spot! (If you need help, Slate has been compiling a list.)
It’s the first day of 2014 and I’ll start with an Events post, after having to give December a miss. Not all that much is happening this month – in part, because no details have yet been released on a several possible screenings (Asian Movies Meet Up, Korean Film Nights, Terracotta Film Club, Films at the Embassy of Japan). The only one that I’m fairly sure that will happen is the Asian Movies Meet Up, as I recall the organisers skipped December but announced that the event would be back in January. No word meanwhile on what kind of film screenings the KCCUK will be organising this year. It’s probably unlikely that after the Year of 12 Directors (2012) and the Year of 4 Actors (2013), they will run a special, year-long event series with special guests again, but fingers crossed that we’ll at least be getting the bimonthly Korean Film Nights back. I’m not sure about the Terracotta Film Club either (it’s permanent link seems to have disappeared from the Prince Charles Cinema website) and the Films at the Embassy of Japan have always been rather irregular.
Fortunately, there are events that have been confirmed and we can already also look forward to February as the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will kick off at the last day of this month.
Last updated: 6/1/2014
It’s the last Trailer Weekly of the year and I am actually on time with it – much in contrast to the rest of the year. But I had a lot of films to choose from, which always gets me excited – and that particularly applies to the first film today.
Original Language: English
Author: Joan Robinson
Place of Publication: London
Genre: Children’s novel
Edition: Collins Modern Classics (2002 edition, second-hand copy)
Other Editions and Translations: No other editions are currently in print in English. The book has apparently been translated into several languages, although I can only confirm that there is a Japanese version (「思い出のマーニー」) as well as a German one (Damals mit Marnie).
Update: If you are UK-based, you can now purchase a Kindle version of When Marnie Was There on amazon.co.uk. Elsewhere, you’ll still have to seek out second-hand copies of the book.
When Studio Ghibli announced earlier this month that its next project was to be an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s When Marnie Was There, with Yonebayashi Hiromasa directing, I quickly – after reading unequivocally raving reviews – searched for a copy. First published in 1967 to “great success” (283) and even featuring in BBC children’s programme Jackanory in the 1970s, a few decades on When Marnie Was There had all but disappeared, remaining a precious memory for people who had loved the book as children but could no longer find it anywhere. Continue reading
I am a wee bit late with Trailer Weekly, but I was travelling, which included camping out overnight at Heathrow Airport thanks to a 6 am morning flight (hence I didn’t do much the day after). At least this time I didn’t forget to make a Trailer Weekly header…
The Japan Foundation is organising yet more film screenings. The announcement came in an email newsletter today, with four films (including two animations) being on the programme for January. Unlike the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, all these screenings are free, although an RSVP is required.
Well, that answers my question about 「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) maybe showing up on the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme in 2014. The answer is, no, it is not one of the screenings, so we will have to keep guessing if absence of the words “UK Premiere” on the Glasgow Film Festival website was accidental or is a hint at something…
Anyhow, even without Kaze Tachinu, the programme for the forthcoming Japan Foundation’s annual film tour looks fantastic – half of the titles are films that I have featured on past Trailer Weeklies, meaning I pretty much want to see everything! Let’s see how that works out time-wise, but it is a good thing I haven’t yet scheduled my weekend shifts for February yet as I am definitely going to have to keep the weekend of February 1st and 2nd free. Continue reading
Just fresh off the press: 「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) is set to screen at the Glasgow Youth Film Festival on Sunday, February 9, 2014 (news via animenewsnetwork). That’s the first screening for Miyazaki’s film in the UK I have heard of so far.
We are twiddling our thumbs here, because neither Miyazaki Hayao’s「風立ちぬ］（Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) nor Takahata Isao’s 「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/Princess Kaguya, Japan, 2013) have yet made it to UK shores, but there is already another Studio Ghibli project to look forward to: it has just been announced that「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There) is being adapted for the screen by Yonebayashi Hiromasa. Continue reading
Director: Vicki Zhao
Studio: Multiple involved, including China Film Group
Adaptation from: 2007 novel of the same title by Xin Yiwu
Screenplay: Li Qiang
Cinematography: Li Ran
Soundscore: Dou Peng
Cast: Mark Chao, Han Geng, Yang Zishan, Jiang Shuying
Runtime: 132 minutes
Distribution: China Film Group
Film’s official website: N/a
In the opening scene of《致我们终将逝去的青春》(Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchūn/To Our Youth That Is Fading Away aka So Young) the heroine, Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan), finds herself in a lush fantasy world, populated by fairy tale creatures both good and bad, only to awaken and find it was all a terrible dream. No more than a few minutes long, this opening reveals much of what is wrong with Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchū, for as luxuriantly beautiful that dream world is – the scene must have cost a good chunk of the film’s 30 million yuan (US$5 million) budget – it is also completely irrelevant, for nothing that happens is of any importance for the story that follows. Continue reading
Update: I still don’t have my computer back. I drafted this post previously, but wasn’t going to publish it for a while yet because I was planning to go back to Brick Lane for more photographs. However, since other posts aren’t really going to happen until I get my own computer back, I thought I might as well send this one out to the world in the meantime. (I actually have a film review ready too, but no pictures uploaded for it, as my picture folder is you-can-guess-where. And I don’t want to google for the same images again…)
When I moved to London in 2009, I didn’t know the city at all and, by pure chance, ended up living on a side street of Brick Lane, essentially sealing my fate to become an East Londoner (I have moved house twice since, but loyally stayed in the East, which is generally considered the ‘poorer’ and more ‘ethnically mixed’ part of the city. I think it’s young, alive and hip.). Brick Lane is known for its curry houses – thanks to a large number of Bangladeshi immigrants, it has been London’s ‘Banglatown’ for decades – but also its weekend market, where everything from vintage clothes to unique art is sold. Another highlight are the food stalls, which serve cheap and tasty treats from all around the world.
Note: Obviously the white corner of the header photo needs to be blackened out. I just don’t own an editing programme at the moment that lets me do that.
Occasionally Facebook is good for something, like today, when a link to an article at the Comics Alliance popped up, describing a Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao project that never happened: an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s famous children’s book series Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking). Continue reading
Marmaray – Pacific Rim Theme:
If only all commercials were as pretty…
Recently I came across a Tumblr post from rnedicinal about the Japanese folktale of かぐや姫 (Kaguya Hime/Princess Kaguya), which of course provided the basis for Studio Ghibli’s forthcoming film. Other than including two traditional paintings of Kaguya, the poster also shared the actual tale: Continue reading
Director: Tsao Jui-yuan
Screenplay: Chen Shih-chieh, Hsu Wei-ching, Zhou Yanzi, Hsu Li-Kong
Cinematography: Chin Ting-chang
Cast: Kenneth Tsang, Grace Kuei, Huo Siyan, Blue Lan, Jiang Mengjie.
Runtime: 107 min
Distribution: Tang Moon International
Film’s official website: N/a
Subtitled DVD and Bluray (All Region) are available via Yesasia.com.
Nearly twenty years ago there was Ang Lee’s 《饮食男女》 (Yǐnshí nánnǚ/Eat Drink Man Woman, Taiwan, 1994). It was one of those films that everyone watched (it was both a box office and a critical success) and that also travelled well – even people who don’t generally watch Asian cinema will often have seen it. Continue reading