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Writing from lovely Birmingham today. I know, I know – I’m the only one that finds Birmingham lovely, but I just can’t help it – the most uncharming places become wonderful with the right people, and as I visit a dear friend here, I always enjoy my time in this much maligned second largest city of the UK. Anyhow, I perused old film festival programmes for this week’s Trailer Weekly and also included some other random discoveries. A nice variety of serious and funny, ‘real’ and animated – there should be something for everyone I hope.

  • Io sono Li (Li and the Poet, Italy/France, 2011) – I missed this lovely film during the BFI film festival. Anyone else love the film poster? UPDATE 26/3/2011: Review added on Otherwhere.
  • Synchronicity 心中天使 (Synchronicity Shinju Tenshi/Synchronicity, Japan, 2011) – Trailer not subtitled. Screened at Raindance. The kind of bleak film that the Japanese do best.
  • プレス (Press, Japan, 2011) – And another one of those bleakies (also screened at Raindance). While Synchronicity Shinju Tenshi focuses on loneliness, Press deals with bullying and ‘social discord’ with one’s surroundings. Doesn’t look quite as masterfully crafted, so I’d probably go for Synchronicity Shinju Tenshi first.
  • 緑子 (Midori-Ko, Japan, 2010) – Trailer, from the film’s official website, not subtitled. An anime in a category of its own: the hand-drawn images evoke, among others, Francisco de Goya and Hieronymus Bosch. A film for those of you happy to dip into very-much-on-the-periphery arthouse productions.
  • The PhD Movie (USA, 2011) – Every PhD student regularly finds solace (and yet another opportunity for procrastination) in Jorge Cham’s phdcomics. Now there is The PhD Movie. Grad school in the US (in the sciences at that) is different from completing a humanities PhD in the UK (funding anyone?), but this is still a film about my life. I don’t expect it to be earth-shattering in any way, but I still want to see it, if just to say ‘oh, that’s so true!’
  • 虹色ほたる~永遠の夏休み~ (Niji-iro Hotaru ~ Eien no Natsu Yasumi ~/Rainbow-Colored Fireflies: The Eternal Summer Vacation~, Japan, 2012) – Teaser for an anime slated for a May 2012 release in Japan. Keeping my eyes on this one!
  • 가비 (Ga-bi/Russian Coffee, South Korea, 2011) – Teaser trailer not subtitled. A sageuk-style film but gives off some western-filmmaking vibes as well – which might be rather interesting. Filmed in 2010/2011 but despite this no full trailer or release date seem to be available.
Bonus Bits
  • コクリコ坂から (Kokuriko-Zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011) – I noticed on asiamediawiki that Studio Ghibli’s latest is showing in Hong Kong cinemas now. Lucky!