UPDATED 9/6/2012 – BFI links fixed!
A great range of events this month. Lots of fabulous films. The ICA in particular is showing plenty of love for Korean cinema and then there is of course the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which has all kind of gems on offer.
- Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozabura Yoshimura (all of June and July), London, UK
June 1-30 (continues in July): The BFI is holding a two-month tribute to two masters of Japanese cinema. Shindo, as you may know, recently passed away at the glorious age of 100. The programme for June is available on the BFI website and includes a lot rare gems. I’ll probably be going for 「原爆の子」 (Genbaku no ko/Children of Hiroshima, 1952) and 「裸の島」 (Hadaka no shima/The Naked Island, 1960, which is listed as The Island by the BFI).
June 2: 「蜘蛛巣城」 (Kumonosu-jō/Throne of Blood, Japan, 1957) – A classic and must-see film of the great Kurosawa Akira. Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in feudal Japan. The one-off screening on June 2nd is followed by a screen talk with Ninagawa Yukio. Details here.
June 8-10: The BFI’s biennial event for fans of Japanese anime. Like me! I already posted all the details about this event and will be seeing 「ももへの手紙」 (Momo e no Tegami/A Letter to Momo, Japan, 2011), 「ホッタラケの島 〜遥と魔法の鏡〜」(Hottarake no Shima: Haruka to Mahō no Kagami/Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, Japan, 2009) and「アキラ」 (Akira/Akira, Japan, 1988), with reviews to follow in due course.
Lee Jun-ik (이준익) is the director of the month of June at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, with four of his films showing:
June 7th: 왕의 남자 (Wangeui Namja/The King and the Clown, 2005)
June 14th: 즐거운 인생 (Jeulgeowoon Insaeng/The Happy Life, 2007)
June 21st: 님은 먼곳에 (Nimeun Meongote/Sunny, 2008)
June 28th: 평양성 (Pyeongyangseong/Battlefield Heroes, 2010) + Q&A with director
You can find out more about the director and the films (including trailers and short synopses) in the Lee Jun-ik post on Otherwhere.
June 13: Japan: Children of the Tsunami (UK, China, Denmark, Netherlands, Canada, 2011).
June 13 and 16: 津波そして桜 (Tsunami soshite sakura/The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, USA, 2011, 39 min.)
June 14: 달팽이의 별 (Dalpaengieui Byeol/Planet of Snail, Korea, 2010)
As I said, lots of love for Korean cinema. First, there is a sort of Kim Ki-duk mini-retrospective:
June 8-14: 아리랑 (Arirang, 2011). Details are available here. This is Kim Ki-duk’s autobiographical documentary, which came after a 3-year withdrawal from the world. Arirang had its UK premiere at the Terracotta Film Festival in April, but this is its first wider release on the island. Hangul Celluloid has a review.
But we also get another wonderful offering:
June 22-28: 달팽이의 별 (Dalpaengieui Byeol/Planet of Snail, Korea, 2010). Dalpaengieui Byeol took the top prize at the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. It is about a physically handicapped couple that communicates by touch. I featured the film in Trailer Weekly #11, so click through for the trailer. Tickets are available here. I can’t wait to see it!
Sono Sion’s latest film is opening in cinemas across the UK today. It will screen in London, including at the ICA, Curzon (Renoir) and Prince Charles and at Riverside Studios next month. Elsewhere, you can see it in Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Brighton (Duke of York) and Inverness (Eden Court). In Ireland, the Irish Film Institute will be showing Himizu in Dublin. Do note that screening dates vary (some are in July and August even). You can also check the Himizu page of Third Windows Films, which will be releasing the film on DVD on August 6, 2012.
I still haven’t quite finished my review of Himizu, but don’t wait for it – go see the film this weekend! UPDATE 5/6/2012: Review added on Otherwhere.
June 13 – July 11: As a complement to the BFI and Japan Foundation’s Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura (listed above), Japanese Cinema for Busy People is a lecture series on Japanese film. Attendance is free and open to all but booking is required.
Lectures scheduled for June:
June 13: “Beyond Rashomon: A Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, But for Whom?”. Details on the website of the Japan Foundation. Jasper Sharp, who founded and curates the Zipangu Fest, will be speaking.
June 20: ”Fidelity, High and Low: Japanese Cinema and Literary Adaptation”. Details on the website of the Japan Foundation.
June 27: “The Meaning of Independence in Japanese Cinema: Production, Distribution and Exhibition”. Details on the website of the Japan Foundation.
June 20 – July 3: India comes to London! And it’s not just Bollywood… There are too many films to list individually, but you can find the complete programme on the official website. I am eyeing Gattu (2011), Dekh Indian Circus (Watch Indian Circus, 2011), Cannes winner Tareque Masud’s রানওয়ে (Runway, 2011) and Delhi in a Day (2011) – the last one featured in Trailer Weekly #25.
Apologies, I can’t find the film titles in the original script/language but I will google more extensively later to see what I can dig up!
I’m really tempted to go up north… but this film festival crept up on me unexpectedly, so I doubt I will be able to make time for it. Lucky for you Scottish readers though, as there is lots of great stuff to be watched, from Japan (including a Somai Shinji retrospective and a spotlight on Tsukamoto Shinya) as well as South Korea, plus a plethora of film treats from the world round. The strands on Danish cinema and the Philippine New Wave cinema should be worth checking out.
The complete Japanese offering is here and includes both new releases as well as older features. There are too many for me to list, but a few highlights:
June 22 + 24: 「レンタネコ」 (Rentaneko/Rent-a-Neko, 2012). I featured this on Trailer Weekly #29 and want to see it oh-so-badly!
June 23: 「お引越し」 (Ohikkoshi/Moving, 1993). Nakai Kiichi, who was wonderful in the dorama「スマイル」 (Sumairu/Smile, 2009), is one of the actors.
June 25 + 26: 「生きてるものはいないのか」 (Ikiteru Mono Wa Inai No Ka/Isn’t Anyone Alive, 2011). This one was included in Trailer Weekly #14.
June 27 + 28: 「トーキョードリフター」 (Tōkyōdorifutā/Tokyo Drifter, 2011).
June 30: 「あ、春」 (Ah, haru/Wait and See, 1998).
The complete Korean offering is listed here.
June 21 + 26: 밀월도 가는 길 (Milwoldo Ganeun Gil/Mirage 2011)
June 21 + 22: 잠 못 드는 밤 (Jammot Deuneun Bam/Sleepless Night, 2012).
June 23: 변신 (Byeonsin/The Metamorphosis, 2012) screens as part of Short Films 2: Dream Machine. It’s 15 minutes long.
June 23 + 24: 돼지의 왕 (Dwaejiui Wang/The King of Pigs, 2011)
June 30: Kim Kang-ming’s 38–39°C (USA/South Korea, 2011) screens as part of International Animation (shorts). It’s less than a minute long though, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Love the festival’s poster too – it’s simple, but playful and, with those reels in an age of increasingly digital film, has a sweet sort retro-vibe:
June 25: 福本耕平かく走りき (Fukumoto Kōhei kaku hashiriki/Kohei’s Race, 1992). Email to reserve a free ticket. Book early to avoid disappointment (spaces tend to fill up quickly).
First held in 2011, the Chinese Visual Festival is all about showcasing the best of Chinese art and film culture. For us film fanatics, there is a choice of ten different screenings (including some documentary features). The film programme is available here.