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  • たまたま (Tamatama/By Chance, 2011) – Opened in Japan last month. It’s hard to tell what this film is about, but there is a magical-whimsical feel to the trailer. No wonder perhaps – the film is set in Ireland. Soundtrack is performed by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.
  • アントキノイノチ (Antoki no Inochi/Life Back Then, 2011) – Opens in Japan on November 19. Antoki no Inochi has been screened at a several international film festivals already and won the “Innovation Award” at the Montreal World Film Festival. I will keep my fingers crossed for Raindance or the Terracotta Far East Festival to pick it up in the near future. One of the film’s leads is Okada Masaki, whom I keep noticing. He has only been in the profession since 2006 (Masaki-kun is just 22), but has done quite few projects with interesting themes. Although he has been stuck in some not-so-great productions [the dorama オトメン(乙男) (Otomen) lacked punch; ハルフウェイ (Harufuwei/Halfway) was a could-have-been-good film if only it had had a better script] in the past, I’m going to keep watching out for him because somehow I feel there’s potential there.
  • Wuthering Heights (2011)A new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s gothic novel. Opened in UK cinemas on November 11. Brooding and dark trailer – looking very good.
  • 星空 (Starry Starry Nights, 2011)  – After  九降风 (Winds of September, 2008), this is the second film by Chinese director Tom Lin and was set to be released on November 3, 2011. It is based on the illustrated novel by Jimmy Liao.* There is a version of this film floating around the internet, but after watching five minutes of it, I want a) a quality DVD of the real thing and b) the soundtrack, because just those few minutes are fabulously scored!
    N.B. Not to be confused with 2003 drama of same (English) title.
    Trailer (not subtitled) – On the website, scroll down for the trailer.

*I just realised I own a copy of Jimmy Liao’s 向左走 向右走/A Chance of Sunshine (the fully Mandarin version!), because my (non-Mandarin speaking) parents picked up a copy during some visit to Taiwan a few years ago. Although I could never read a word of it, it’s a wonderfully enchanting book – Liao’s lovely illustrations are enough to understand the sweet love story he tells in it in its pages. Apparently, that book also inspired a film: 向左走·向右走/Turn Left, Turn Right. I’m now wondering whether the makers of Medianeras were aware of this story?

(illustrations from 向左走 向右走/A Chance of Sunshine)