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I promised it for last Sunday, which didn’t quite happen. I’ll keep trying (I’m still kinda busy, with uni and some last-minute, additional exam marking), so fingers crossed that #86 will be timely.

Anyhow, so here’s the first Trailer Weekly in quite a few weeks. Anyone missed them? I do wonder, since these posts include a rather random and eclectic mix of films – not the week’s current box office releases, not the latests trailers for forthcoming projects – but rather my own, personal and sometimes indeed rather idiosyncratic to-watch list. I don’t really intend to change that, but do feel free to voice your suggestions and/or complaints. :-)

Trailers

  • 「ドコニモイケナイ」 (Doko ni mo ikenai/Nowhere to Go, Japan, 2011) 

Dir. by Shimada Ryuichi. Doko ni mo ikenai is one of the film’s that screened at this year’s Nippon Connection. It documents the life of a young woman by the name of Yoshimura Hisato, first introducing her in 2001 when she works on the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, as a musician and then reconnects with her in 2009, several years after she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

  • 「愛のゆくえ(仮)」 (Ai no yukue kari/Where Does Love Go?, Japan, 2012)

Dir. by Kimura Bunyo.

This isn’t really much of a trailer yet, but I like synopsis from yet another Nippon Connection film, which was inspired by the 2011 arrest of a leading member of the Aum Shinrikyo sect: An ordinary couple shares an apartment and lives an ordinary life – but only seemingly, as their past holds a dark secret. I admit, that’s not much more detail either, but I can see it go intriguing places.

  • 「ユートピアサウンズ」 (Uutopa Saunzu/Utopia Sounds, Japan, 2012)

Dir. by Mima Akihiro.

Fitting for the film’s title even the trailer is already a kaleidoscopic soundscape. The synopsis from the Nippon Connection reads as follows: the film “tells the stories of a veteran recordist going on a journey to the places of his past and of a group of school girl [sic] spending a weekend without their parents. Elegantly moving back and forth between past and present as well as between reality and illusion, UTOPIA SOUNDS marks an astonishing film debut.” I could see this one pop up at Raindance…. fingers crossed, because I’m definitely keen to watch this.

  • 「江ノ島プリズム」 (Enoshima Purizumu/Enoshima Prism, Japan, 2013)

Dir. by Yoshida Yasuhiro.

Having known each other since childhood, Shuta, Saku and Michiru are still best friends now that they are in high school – until the day that Saku dies of a heart attack. The death creates a distances between Shuta and Michiru, until several years later something rather incredible happens: Shuta somehow travels back in time, to the days when Saku was still alive. Although Shuta struggles to understand what has happened, he realises it’s a chance to save his friend. Okay, that last bit sounds a little cheesy, but the trailer does not give me that vibe: rather, it looks like it could be a sensitive exploration of those days of youth when you are faced with growing up and the harsher realities of life. I generally rather like coming of age high school movies (if they are well done, that is), and I think the time travel adds an interesting twist – though not necessarily a guarantee for any happy ending. Indeed, I doubt the film will go there but I’d expect it to be more of an opportunity to overcome regrets that Shuta and Michiru may have had. I’m purely speculating here of course.

  • 집으로 (Jibeuro/The Way Home, South Korea, 2002)

Dir. by Lee Jeong-Hyang

Jibeuro came up on a recent “Name that drama” post on Dramabeans. It caught my attention because everyone seemed to love it. Apparently it’s a heartbreaking story about a little boy from the city that comes to live with his grandma in the countryside and is, at first, all uppity about the too-simple life there. It was the second-highest grossing film of 2002 and, from what I hear, has a place in the heart of many Koreans.

  • 《天注定》 (Tian Zhu Ding/A Touch of Sin, 2013, China)

Dir. by Zhangke Jia

There is finally a trailer for cine-auteur Zhangke Jia’s most recent film, which I mentioned previously when it had its world premiere in Cannes. Back then just about no information (other than the title) was available, now there is also a synopsis: “An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders. A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer. A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her. A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life. Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.” (quote source) I’ll confess that I’m still a Zhangke novice, despite having featured multiple of his films on past Trailer Weeklies already, but I’m nonetheless looking forward to this one (and all his other creations). The trailer, exquisitely scored, leaves me no doubt.

Bonus Bits

  • UK readers: the dates for Scotland Loves Anime have been finalised. The event runs from October 11-13 in Glasgow and October 18 to 20 in Edinburgh. Put it on your calendars!
  • Miyazaki Hayao’s「風立ちぬ]is coming on July 20, Takahata Isao’s 「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/The Story of Princess Kaguya) is aiming for an autumn release date, but there’s yet more to look forward to: apparently Miyazaki Goro is working on his third animated feature. No title and no details about the story, but apparently he plans to have it out in 2014. We shall not run out of Studio Ghibli films to watch! (News via Anime News Network UK)
  • And there’s one more anime related news bit: Yamamoto Nizo, who has worked as an art director for a number of Studio Ghibli productions, is creating an anime film entitled「希望の木」(Kibō no Ki/The Tree of Hope). The film will commemorate the 2011 earthquake and tsunami with a story about one particular pine tree that – in real life – was the only one left standing after disaster struck and thus became a symbol of hope. Kibō no Ki is crowdfunded, though I’m not sure where exactly you can contribute to the project.

Kibou no Ki

  • We’ll end with a music video today: the opening theme song from the 2006「輪舞曲」(Rondo). Just in case someone wants a dorama recommendations – because I recently watched and loved this one over one weekend (actually, in less than a day). It stars the ever-amazing Takenouchi Yutaka, perfectly matched with Choi Ji-woo in a dark, gripping tale with constant plot-twists about an undercover cop and a woman terrorised by the Shinku, a gangster organisation that threatens Japan. It comes with some fabulous cinematography and a great soundtrack too. Oh, if only there were more doramas like this!