Trailer time. (Sorry, being brief here – busy busy!)
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.
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 »
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 »
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
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:
Another update from the lovely people preparing the (sell-out) stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke: they have received the blessing from the Japanese animation studio and Hisaishi Joe to use the original music score of the film for their performance. Continue reading »
No, it’s not a vandal that has been scribbling on the poster encasing for Miyazaki Hayao’s upcoming animation feature「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises), but it’s Suzuki Toshio, the film’s producer, with a message for the fans: Miyazaki’s film will be released on July 20, 2013. This is reported via nausicaa.net, although I haven’t yet seen a confirmation from the Studio directly.
Continue reading »
Sunday was Chinese New Year so I will begin this Trailer Weekly with 恭喜发财! (Gong xi fa cai!). I actually ventured out to London’s Chinatown with a friend, fully intent on enjoying some Taiwanese food but the restaurant I had in mind had a queue about a mile long, even at 3 in the afternoon. In the end we opted for Japanese (vegetable & tofu tempura bento, plus lovely gyōza) and later watched a Japanese film at my friend’s house (Ghibli’s 「おもひでぽろぽろ」/ Omohide Poro Poro/Only Yesterday, 1991, after initially considering 「火垂るの墓」 / Hotaru no Haka/Grave of the Fireflies, 1988, even buying some comfort food and then copping out. Jajaja…). Anyhow, it ended up being a pretty un-Chinese Chinese New Year, despite all intentions. Ah well.
In terms of this belated Trailer Weekly, I thought it was time for another ‘Special’, with J-actresses that I know from doramas as the focus: Anne, Karina, Koyuki, Yoko Maki, Ueno Juri and Takeuchi Yuko. Continue reading »
You are not going to run out things to do (or, rather, films to watch) in February, regardless of where you are in the UK.
Note: I’m not really providing synopses this time round, there are simply too many films. Just click on the external links, where you’ll find more info.
As always, if I’ve missed anything, get in touch!
LAST UPDATED: 6/2/2013
The Oscars have limited interest in foreign or indie films, so I personally don’t pay all that much attention to them. I mostly peruse them like any other awards event or film festival programme – for interesting films that might have escaped me otherwise. Continue reading »
I’m losing track of all the stops that the Studio Ghibli Retrospective – courtesy of GKIDS, the US distributor of the Japanese animation studio – has been making since December 2011 (when it first launched in New York) on its tour of North America. It has been in California before – in Santa Monica and Hollywood – but not yet in San Diego, where Ghibli films old and new (okay, not totally new as neither「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」/ Karigurashi no Arrietty/Arrietty, 2010 nor 「コクリコ坂から」/ Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, 2011 are included) will be screening for two weeks. The retrospective is split over two Landmark Theatres, La Jolla Village and Ken’s Cinema, with the line-up as follows: Continue reading »
It’s January, which means it’s a new year. And plenty of things for you to do and films to see this month already, although we are bit on the thin side Korean-wise (at least for the moment).
Let me know if I have missed anything!
LAST UPDATED: 14/1/2013
An early Christmas present came from Studio Ghibli today in the form of an official announcement of its next two feature films:「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises) and「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/The Story of Princess Kaguya), directed by Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao respectively. Continue reading »
As you may know Studio Ghibli’s 「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, 1997) is being adapted for the stage for the first time ever. Whole Hog Theatre, a small British company specialising in adaptations, is taking on the challenge and will be staging the performance in London in April 2013, with only a handful days programmed. Continue reading »
GKids only just tweeted an announcement that the IFC Center in New York – where the special Studio Ghibli retrospective that has been travelling North America since last year first began – will be screening a whole lot of the films of the famous Japanese animation studio between November 16th and December 20th, 2012. It may the final stop of the Miyazaki & Co. tour, but I don’t know for sure. What is certain, however, is that New Yorkers are in for quite a treat – yet again. Continue reading »
Just in time this time round.
Hope you had a good weekend. It actually snowed in London, but only for 10 minutes and no one – except those of us up at 6 am on Saturday morning – noticed. I even saw three people in shorts at that hour, one being a runner, the other two… lunatics? At least I can’t figure out any other explanation for wearing shorts at 1 degree Celsius!
Anyhow, five trailers today (in order to be timely), all J plus one K.
With every minute of my time occupied with work and going to the cinema (overload of the London Film Festival) this weekend, I haven’t had time to write today’s Trailer Weekly (or any other post) – will follow tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have some reviews of the cinematic awesomenesses* I’ve had the chance to enjoy for you soon as well. Meanwhile, you can ponder which Mei-weekday you are. (The image is from Studio Ghibi’s photo gallery on Facebook.)
Off to see Abbas Kiarostami’s 「ライク・サムワン・イン・ラブ」 (Raiku samuwan in rabu/Like Someone in Love, France/Japan, 2012)!
*I know that’s not quite grammatical. :-p
The film festival season gets into full swing (this month’s cover image should give you a visual impression of the deluge of films coming our way): Raindance continues, the madness of the UK’s biggest film event – the London International Film Festival - descends upon the capital, to be followed by the most comprehensive Im Kwon-Taek season that we have probably ever seen in this country, while J-animation fans get their fix up north at Scotland Loves Anime. Let’s hope we’ll all still be breathing when the month is over!
Note: This page will be updated as more information becomes available. If you see anything I have missed, do alert me to it!
I’m finally getting in that third and final Trailer Weekly I had to make up for from my blogging hiatus in May. South Korea and Japan are back on the menu, which is chock-full with films on sensitive, controversial and intriguing issues: transgender identity, homosexuality, disproportionate age gaps in relationships, being female in a highly patriarchal society, surreal fables and meditations on silence and exile. It’s an eclectic and eccentric mix, but that’s how I like it.