Shinkai Makoto’s 「言の葉の庭」(Kotonoha no Niwa/Garden of Words, Japan, 2013) recently premiered at the Gold Coast Film Festival (Australia) and is now gearing up for its home release on May 31st. As part of the run-up to the Japanese premiere TV Tokyo aired the first five minutes of the film. While the clip is available on YouTube, it does not currently appear on the film’s official website, so the video may be removed in the near future. I am linking it below, but don’t be surprised if it does become unavailable. Continue reading »
Here it is… the much awaited line-up for this year’s Terracotta Film Festival, bigger and better than ever. It’s divided into four sections (Current Films, Terror Cotta, Spotlight on Indonesia and In Memoriam of Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui), all screening at the Prince Charles Cinema (June 6–9), except for the Indonesia section, which will be held at the ICA (June 11-15). Further festival highlights include masterclasses and a short film competition (with a trip to Hong Kong as top prize).
Because it’s such a lengthy list of films, I’ve limited myself to one-sentence synopses. If it grabs your interest, watch the trailer and/or hop over to the official festival website, where longer summaries are featured.
The official website has just gone live, although links for booking (which is meant to open today) don’t yet work. I would expect booking to be available some time later this afternoon.
May brings Cannes with many exciting film premieres. With the English Channel in our way, we’ll however have to make do with events on this island instead. Luckily, a whole lot is on offer this month, in all corners of the UK – Derby, London, Leicester and even Inverness. You can get a taste of Hong Kong cinema as well as watch quite a number of Japanese olden goldies (directed by Ozu Yasushiro and Kurosawa Akira, among others) at various cinemas and festivals across the country. There is also the Chinese Visual Festival, but nothing Taiwanese this month. Korean films fare a bit better – though only because our beloved Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) is, as always, screening two films as part of its Year of 4 Actors Korean Film Nights for year. The good news, however, is that the KCCUK has just launched another film season, Women on Screen, which commences in May and will run until August, doubling the monthly offering of screenings.
For trailers, click on film titles (where available).
Note: As always, I’ll update this post if I hear about any other events.
Last updated: 6/5/2013
I’m kinda starving (it’s almost 4 p.m. and I haven’t had lunch yet), so I’ll give you this week’s trailers without any further ado and shall head to the kitchen to make myself some gyoza and bibimbap.
And one more, this one being country-themed: it’s all films from South Korea.
I am a bit behind with Trailer Weeklies, which has in part to do with the fact that I was prioritising the reviews for「ももいろそらを」 (Momoiro Sora wo/About the Pink Sky, Japan, 2011), due to its short re-lease in Japanese cinemas recently, and The Whole Hog Theatre’s「もののけ姫」(Princess Mononoke) Stage Adaptation, because of its upcoming Tokyo run. So today it’s catch-up time, two-fold, for the weeks I missed.
Note 1: Trailers are in no particular order (they never are, but I thought I’d remind you just so you make sure to read till the end and don’t to miss a gem!).
Note 2: A particularly weak offering of film posters – some I couldn’t find, most are rather small in size and too many are just terribly designed! Honestly, the Mushishi poster is the only one I actually like.
If you are following the Whole Hog Theatre on Twitter, you will know that the Leamington Spa based theatre group that is putting on the world’s first stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, 1997) has been making its way to Japan, where the play will have a run in Tokyo during Golden Week (April 29 to May 6, 2013).
As they touched down in Japan today, they were greeted by an article on their project in The Japan Times: Continue reading »
As May approaches, so does the Cannes, which is of course one of the highlights of the European film festival calendar. This morning the line-up was revealed, with a number of films from Asia to look foward to. I have listed them all below, with trailer and synopses as far as they are available.
Every year Sci-Fi-London comes to town and brings, as its title suggests, “all things science fiction” (quote) with it, meaning apocalypse and robot galore among other things.
The festival will be running from April 30 to May 6, 2013 this year, with a costume parade for “[c]osplayers, zombies, stormtroopers, steampunks, daywalkers, superheroes” or whichever other fantasy character tickles your fancy starting off the fun on April 28.
Director: Alexandra Rutter
Company: Whole Hog Theatre
Adaptation from:「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997)
Screenplay: not specified on programme or website
Concept arts and set design: Polly Clare Boon
Puppet design: Charlie Hoare
Soundscore: Hisaishi Joe, arranged by Kerrin Tatman for the play
Cast: James Blake-Butler, Lilith Brew, Adam Cridland, Oliver Davis, Andy Elkington, Jack Gyll, Jackie Lam, Amelie Leroy, Mei Mac, Miyake Yuriko, Jess Neale, Maximilian Troy Tyler, Victoria Watson, Samuel Wightman, Elizabeth Mary Williams
Runtime: approx. 130 min (including 20 min intermission)
Official website: http://www.wholehogtheatre.com (London performances),
http://www.princess-mononoke.jp (Tokyo performances – 日本語)
Teaser (16 sec, for Tokyo performances):
Seen during the play’s first run at the New Diorama Theatre in London. I attended the Friday evening performance. Further Princess Mononoke performances are scheduled for Tokyo (April 29 – May 6, 2013) and London (June 18-29, 2013). London tickets are sold out.
Note: I provide no synopsis of the story here – this review presumes you are familiar with Miyazaki Hayao’s film already and hence is also full of spoilers.
How does one even begin to imagine a stage adaptation of an animated film of the calibre of「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997), made by the masters of Studio Ghibli and well loved the world round? It is not a challenge that most – even those with plenty of experience and unlimited budgets – would want to take on, but the Whole Hog Theatre, a young performance company from Leamington Spa, England, with only a handful productions (Dangerous Liaisons, Constanzo and Five Kinds of Silence) to their name, was undaunted by the task and simply went ahead anyway. Continue reading »
Director: Kobayashi Keiichi
Screenplay: Kobayashi Keiichi
Cinematography: Kobayashi Keiichi
Soundscore: No soundscore.
Cast: Ikeda Ai, Koshino Ena, Fujiwara Reiko, Takayama Tsubasa, Togetsuan Hakuysu
Runtime: 117 min
Official webpage: http://www.momoirosora.jp (日本語/English)
Official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/thePinkSky?fref=ts
Seen at the Raindance Film Festival in London, where Momoira Sora wo had its UK premiere and screened twice.
The heroine of Momoiro Sora wo is called Kawashima Izumi (Ikeda Ai). Izumi has no superpowers – she is not that kind of heroine, but rather an ordinary seventeen year-old girl. Izumi is gutsy and frank. She reacts impulsively – whipping water with a fishing rod a gazillion times in a sudden and extended explosion of frustration – and gives a wide, sheepish smile when she is fibbing, which happens on a regular basis. Although she doesn’t always know what she actually wants, she stays true to herself even if her sense of fairness is a little warped, at least from the point of view of others. Continue reading »
It’s funny sometimes how things are right before your eyes, but some how you don’t see them. Like the fact that the title of Shinkai’s forthcoming film has Kanji strokes in the form of leaves. How could I only notice it now?
Well, this isn’t what I mean to be writing about today, but the real topics of this post are a) the world premiere of the film, b) further character descriptions and c) a new image gallery for Kotonoha no Niwa.
Director: Yoshida Daihachi
Studio: NTV, Showgate
Adaptation from: Asai Ryo’s 2010 novel of the same title
Screenplay: Kiyasu Kohei, Yoshida Daihachi
Cinematography: Kondo Ryoto
Soundscore: Kondo Tatsuro
Cast: Kamiki Ryunosuke, Hashimoto Ai, Higashide Masahiro, Ohgo Suzuka, Shimiza Kurumi, Yamamoto Kizuki, Matsuoka Mayu, Ochiai Motoki, Maeno Tomoya, Kurihara Goro & others
Runtime: 103 min
Film’s official website: http://www.kirishima-movie.com/index.html
Kirishima, the titular hero of the Japan Academy’s Best Picture of the Year, is rather like Godot: although everyone is waiting for him to appear, he never actually shows up. Different from Godot, however, we can be fairly certain that the character – a teenage boy and star athlete at his school – does exist, it’s just that he seems to have literally vanished off the face of the earth after suddenly quitting the volleyball team he previously captained. His resignation is, for a long time, pretty much the most eventful thing that happens in this tale, but takes place not just off-screen but also before the narrative begins, the film itself concerning itself only with the aftermath of the event.
April, April… this year is flying by… I would rather not think about it though. Instead, let’s just see what April has in store for us, film-wise mostly but also otherwise as there are some exciting events at the London Book Fair and elsewhere too.
Note: As always, I’ll update this post if I hear about any other events.
Last updated: 17/4/2013
What to say? I was going to introduce this post with a few words on all the food thoughts I had today thanks to filling my bag with lots of goodies from the farmers’ market today (tomatoes, for the first time in months!) and my cooking plans (1, 2, 3) for the week (to spoil my ‘little sister’ that will be visiting), but after a long day at work I’m a bit tired and too lazy to write anything much. So, we’ll get right to this week’s trailers instead.
I didn’t quite manage to finish this Trailer Weekly last night, staying out somewhat late to attend one final screening of the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (the Leesong Hee-il double bill). I rather enjoyed all films I watched as part of LLGFF this year (reviews to come), although I was struck by the fact that at most events viewers were predominantly male. Admittedly, except for آینه های روبرو (Aynehaye Rooberoo/Facing Mirrors, Iran/Germany, 2011), a drama on transgender identity, all films I saw focused on male-male relationships, but still… Does this mean that the audience of this festival is mostly made up of gay attendees? (If so, why?) And that those will often gravitate towards films reflecting their own sexuality/gender?
Director: Nishikawa Miwa
Screenplay: Nishikawa Miwa
Cinematography: Yanagishima Katsumi
Soundscore: more rhythm
Cast: Matsu Takako, Abe Sadao, Tanaka Rena, Kimura Tae, Suzuki Sawa, Ando Tamae, Ebara Yuka
Runtime: 137 min
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 56th BFI London International Film Festival.
Yume Uru Futari appeared on quite a number of Top 10 Films of 2012 lists. Tom Mes, Catherine Munroe Hotes and Eija Niskanen all counted it among their favourites in a Midnight Eye feature and Jason Grey (Loaded Films) included it as part of the “10% goodness” of cinema of the past year over at Wildgrounds, to name some examples. Continue reading »
While others may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day around this time of the year, anime fans have declared the early spring the moment to express their appreciation of animation filmmaker Shinkai Makoto. This year it’s not just Global Shinkai Day, but Shinkai Weekend.
What better occasion could there be for this post? I have had these musings on my mind for a while already, but this is perfect opportunity to assemble them into a post sooner rather than later.
The Leeds Young People’s Film Festival, the children’s offshoot of the regular festival, released its programme yesterday. The festival runs from March 25 until April 5 and tickets are fairly cheap (£2 for under-19, £5/£4 for adults), so if you live in the area, treat yourself. There are a few films from Japan & Korea:
All kinds of things were happening this week, not quite substantial enough for each to make it into a post of their own and a bit too much to squeeze them into the Bonus Bits section of the Trailer Weekly, so, instead, I’ve assembled them into this post. Continue reading »
The Pan Asia Film Festival began this week and I skipped my Japanese class to attend the screening of《女朋友。男朋友》(Nyeobungu. Nambungu/GF*BF, Taiwan, 2013) and somehow – despite that backlog of reviews that reaches to the moon - reviewed it within two days (admittedly, staying up till four in the morning was part of this)*. I didn’t however go to see Lotte Reiniger’s Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), the world’s first feature-length animation from 1926, as I had originally planned – purely for reasons of laziness and the fact that it didn’t seem possible to book concession tickets at the Southbank online (and the £15 full price was a little steep). I am kind of kicking myself for this lack of self-motivation, because that is definitely not a film that screens every day, plus it’s just lame of me as someone who loves animation to skip such an event *hangs head in shame*. Coming up next week is more of the Pan Asia Film Festival, the bimonthly KCCUK screening and lots of the London Lesbian Gay Film Festival, which I’m super-excited for.
Trailers…….this Trailer Weekly somehow ended up being full of images (alternative posters and things of the sort) but most of all I think it’s a really fabulous selection of films this week. Just because I wish I could watch half of them like right now.
*And then of course, no one comments on the review that I lost sleep over! Oh, you lovely lurkers. Either that or it’s badly written.
I’m actually not multiple days late with this Trailer Weekly but just right on time! I haven’t had dinner yet though … but that’s more so because I can’t make up my mind what to have. Ideally soup (which is comfort food in my book) with dumplings (gyoza, mandu, momos, whichever) but I haven’t got any dumplings and I’m not about to start making any from scratch on a Sunday night at 10 p.m. (if I had wonton wrappers, maybe). Ramen would do as well, but no ramen noodles in the house either so I think it’ll end up being a soup concoction involving some sort of Asian noodles, seaweed and miso. No tofu though, boohoooo. I really wish, by the way, corner shops would carry tofu (I eyed some halloumi cheese today, vaguely hoping it might turn out to be a block of soy, but of course it wasn’t). Anyhow, before I get too deep into my food contemplations, better I go cook something and leave you to peruse this week’s Trailer Weekly selection.