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A little bit of everything from everywhere.

  • レンタネコ (Rentaneko/Rent-a-Neko, Japan, 2012) – This is one of the films screening at Udine’s Far East Film Festival next week and is due to be released in Japanese cinemas in May. As the title already suggests, the film is about a young woman who rents out cats to lonely people. I expect quirky humour Japanese-style, but also lots of heart through the stories of lonely people. Ichikawa Mikako (市川実日子), from  嫌われ松子の一生 (Kiraware Matsuko no isshô/Memories of Matsuko, 2006) has the lead role.
  • 無聲風鈴 (Wúshēng fēng líng/Soundless Windchime, China/Switzerland, 2009) – Ricky leaves his native Hong Kong to search for his lover Pascal in Switzerland. There he encounters a man, Ueli, who exactly looks like Pascal but is radically different from his former boyfriend. The film, which won awards at different Lesbian & Gay film festivals, layers past and present, memories and current realities. The trailer invokes poetic melancholy.
  • Happy Together (Hong Kong, 1997) – I have to confess that except for My Blueberry Nights (2007) I have not yet watched anything by Hong Kong film great Wong Kar Wai – something I should remedy sooner rather than later. This is one film of his that I would like to see, especially since japancinema.net, which included the film on their “Top 10 Asian Gay/Lesbian movies” list, writes that Wong Kar Wai “often aims for the heart and, with the possible exception of In the Mood for Love, he’s never been closer to his target”.
  • Ufo in Her Eyes  (China, 2011) – This was one of the films I unfortunately had to miss at this year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Ufo in Her Eyes is the latest creation of the writer/filmmaker Guo Xiaolu (郭小櫓) and is based on a 2009 book by Guo with the same title. Ufo in Her Eyes is a “biting and hilarious political satire” (quote taken from the Terracotta booklet), in which a woman from a small village in China makes a UFO sighting one day. The event is used by the villagers to stimulate the local tourist industry and strengthen ties with the USA – something that cannot be without consequences in communist China. Trailers are scarce for this film, there are various German-dubbed ones on YouTube, but nothing in English. I did find a trailer in the original language, with German and French subtitles. Guo’s 中国姑娘 (She, A Chinese, 2009), by the way, will have a one-off screening with a director’s Q&A in London on May 31st (free, but must reserve).
  • 有一天 (Yū ichi ten/One Day, Taiwan, 2010) – This is one of the films that didn’t quite make it onto last week’s Taiwanese-themed Trailer Weekly – not for lack of interest, but because I don’t want to overload Trailer Weeklies with too many recommendations. Described as “a visual love poem of magical realism” in which dream and reality overlap, Yū ichi ten tells the wondrous story of Singing, who has a recurrent dream of a boy shouting at her but whose words she cannot hear. Then, one day she meets a soldier, who claims he will be her lover in the future… I’m a total sucker for the film’s amazingly simple but utterly gorgeous poster.
  • Here (USA, 2012) – An American map-maker and an Armenian photographer, both geographically and emotionally displaced souls, cross paths as they travel through Armenia. Lubna Azabal (wonderful in Incendies, 2010) and Ben Foster (whom I am not familiar with) star. The film screened at Sundance and reviews suggest it’s a mixed boat, but I would still give it a try.
  • Little Birds (USA, 2212) – Another Sundance film, apparently one that created a lot of buzz (both of the good and bad kind). It’s a grim indie about two teen girls, the increasingly off-the-rails Lily and good girl Alison, who struggle with growing up in Salton Sea, California – once a flourishing town for the rich and famous that has now become all but a ghost town. Kinda wishing though that this film didn’t contain any famous faces…

And the trailerless…

  • Nicholas Vroman’s praise for Takehiro Kano’s Rumination caught my interest in this round-up of Tokyo’s PIA Film Festival (scroll down to read the bit on Rumination), but I can’t find either a trailer, nor any further information about the film and its director. A pity, because I’m already intrigued just by Vroman’s description.