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By the rate I’m going, I might have to rename this Trailer Monthly, but… I’ll keep trying.

Doing a mix of Japan and Korea today, plus a Russian wildcard from the 1970s.

  • 「ジャッジ!」(Jajji!/Judge, Japan, 2014)

Dir. by Nagai Akira.

It’s a comedy about a young guy who begins working at an advertising agency and, in order to keep his job, ends up participating in the world’s biggest TV Advertising Festival. He has to do all kinds of bizarre things, including pretend to be married to a co-worker with the same surname.

Will it be good? No idea, but Tsumabuki Satoshi plays the lead, so I’ll definitely give this one a try.

  •  「ほとりの朔子」(Au revoir l’été/Hotori no Sakako, Japan, 2013)

Dir. by Fukada Koji.

I like the synopsis for this one (18-year old Sakuko goes to stay with her aunt in a seaside town, where she meets Takashi, a Fukushima refugee and high school dropout) simply because coming-of-age stories are among my favourite genres anyhow, but the fact that Nikaido Fumi – the award-winning actress of 「ヒミズ」(Himizu, Japan, 2011) – has the lead role, seals the deal.

  • 사이비 (Saibi/The Fake, South Korea, 2013) 

Dir. by  Yeun Sang-Ho.

The latest animation by Yeon Sang-ho, the director of 돼지의 왕 (Daegieui wang/The King of Pigs, South Korea, 2011). It’s bound to be another bleak story about society: the pastor of a village is well-respected, but a drunk knows of the man’s dark past as a conman.

  • 코알라 (Koala/Koala, South Korea, 2013)

Directed by Kim Joo-hwan.

Koala screened at the Busan International Film Festival recently and received some encouraging reviews. The indie, which Pierce Conran described as “straightforward and endearing”, is about two Dong-Bin and Jong-ik, who are failing in their jobs and so decide to open up a burger restaurant together. They are full of enthusiasm, but their new venture is soon faced with all kinds of difficulties.

  • 한공주 (Han Gong-ju, South Korea, 2013)

Dir. by Lee Su-jin.

Another one from the Busan International Film Festival – this one being a bleak indie about a teenage girl whose troubled past comes to the surface when she transfers to a new school. Again, it was Pierce Conran who drew my attention to Han Gong-ju, labelling it as that kind of “devastating” gem that hits you completely out of the left field. Very keen to see it, even if it sounds like it’ll be a harrowing experience.

  • Андре́й Рублёв (Andrei Rublev, Russia, 1971) 

Dir. by Andrei Tarkovsky.

The Guardian published an article on the Top 10 Arthouse Movies recently. While such lists are dubious (and usually rather one-sided), you can often find at least something on them that catches your interest. In this case, the film at the very top of the list: Andrei Rublev, an oldie from 1971. I’m not going to try and explain it, I’ll let the writer of the original article do the job for me:

Viewers and critics always have their personal favourites, but some films achieve a masterpiece status that becomes unanimously agreed upon – something that’s undoubtedly true of Andrei Rublev, even though it’s a film that people often feel they don’t, or won’t, get. It is 205 minutes long (in its fullest version), in Russian, and in black and white. Few characters are clearly identified, little actually happens, and what does happen isn’t necessarily in chronological order. Its subject is a 15th-century icon painter and national hero, yet we never see him paint, nor does he do anything heroic. In many of the film’s episodes, he is not present at all, and in the latter stages, he takes a vow of silence. But in a sense, there is nothing to “get” about Andrei Rublev. It is not a film that needs to be processed or even understood, only experienced and wondered at. (quote source)

It’s probably not a film for everyone, but I’m certainly intrigued. (Note: The Guardian also has a full review for Andrei Rublev available.)

Bonus Bits

  • And the award for the most pointless teaser trailer of the week (month?) goes to:「魔女の宅急便」(Majo no takkyubin/Kiki’s Delivery Service, Japan, 2013)

Dir. by Shimizu Takashi.

Seriously, why did they release this?

The film poster is nearly as bland. I guess we’ll see better promotional material in due time, but why tease us with such dull, not-revealing-anything teasers?

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