Still drawing from those “Best of…” lists, there is a little bit of everything this week: upcoming, recent & older, Asian, European & American, dramatic, romantic & animated…
- Yi yi (Yi yi: A One and a Two, Taiwan/Japan, 2000) – More than a decade old and runs nearly three hours, but there seem to be heaps of praise for this film everywhere. It’s even got a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 75 positive reviews.
- 蛍火の杜へ (Hotarubi no Mori e/The Light of a Firefly Forest, Japan, 2011) – Trailer not subtitled. Based on the manga of the same title, Hotarubi no Mori e screened at Scotland Loves Anime last year. The drawing style looks a bit simple, but I am charmed by the plot synopsis: “A little girl is lost and alone in an enchanted forest. She’s relieved when she finally meets a boy there, but he is no ordinary child. He forbids her from touching him, insisting that this would cause him to disappear forever.” Magical title too.
- 두만강 / 图们江 (Doo-man-gang/Dooman River, Korea/France, 2009) – Made by the Korean-Chinese filmmaker Lu Zhang, this film is about a young Chinese boy befriending a hungry North Korean child that has crossed into his country via the frozen Dooman River. But this is not a happy tale: it’s about harsh realities.
- River (Japan, 2012) – Trailer not subtitled. I’m not entirely sure about this one. The synopsis sounds promising, the trailer however doesn’t captivate. But then again, there are good movies with bad trailers. I kind of like the poster.
- 明日に架ける愛 (Ashita ni Kakeru ai/The Love Leading to Tomorrow, Japan/China, 2011) – Trailer not subtitled. Mixed feelings about this one as well: the story sounds a bit cheesy, and some of the trailer seems confirm this but there are several lovely shots too. The question is, does the film elevate itself above clichés? I’ve noted it down because it’s multilingual, but will probably wait for some reviews before watching it.
- In the Family (USA, 2011) – A very much under-the-radar film (even poster and trailer are not that easy to find) that few seem to have seen, but those that have praise it highly. A quote from a reviewer: “it’s so morally invigorating, that you might just feel the world tremble”. Very much want to see this film!
- 俺たちの世界 (Oretachi no Sekai/This World of Ours, Japan, 2007) – This is a dark one and not for everyone, but I have been mesmerised enough that I kept this review open in my browser all week.
- Upside Down (France/Canada, 2012) – This one might be a dud: it looks big-budget and Hollywood (though it’s not), with a story whose ending we can all guess. Mightily Inception-nesque as well and with a film poster that invokes Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam fresco. I’m not expecting much originality, but still: loving the tonal feel and Jim Sturgess has had my attention since Across the Universe.
- Kokowääh (Germany, 2011) – Wonderfully funny (certainly in German*). I laughed out loud several times during the trailer. Stars Til Schweiger, one of Germany’s big-name stars. Emma Tiger Schweiger, his child in real-life, plays the daughter. UPDATE 8/2/2012: Review added on Otherwhere.
I have got more suggestions still, but will save the rest for the next Trailer Weekly.
- “Cinema is terraforming, but Hollywood is still the heavyweight champ”: a sobering article from the Guardian.
*I hope those subtitles aren’t the official ones! Quite some gaps – for example, the lines “Dear Henry, the little girl” in fact should be “Dear Henry, the little, adorable girl” (which adds some humour – since it is the girl’s Mom who is saying this, throwing a punch at the unwilling Dad).