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Sanshō Dayū at the ICA 

You may have noticed that I added an events calendar to Otherwhere a few days agoIt’s not particularly fancy and doesn’t quite have the sleek look I would like – I’m unfortunately limited to Google calendar by WordPress – but at least it’s something. You will primarily find screenings and special events for Japanese and Korean films plus world cinema film festivals on the calendar, most from London but also from elsewhere in the UK if I happen to come across them. Select screenings in other parts of the world (like the Studio Ghibli film events in North America) will be added too.

I will still keep writing posts to announce film events as well, but as these can over time disappear from view, I think the calendar will provide a handy (if neither perfect nor complete) alternate option. Anyhow, the focus of this post isn’t so much the calendar as to call your attention to various film screenings of interest in April.

ICA (London)

As previously mentioned the ICA is screening a few Japanese films in April: both 山椒大夫 (Sanshō Dayū/Sansho the Bailiff, 1954) and 雨月物語 (Ugetsu Monogatari/Tales of the Rain and the Moon, 1953) are on the calendar.

BFI (London)

Unmissable: Hiroshima, mon amour (1959) at the BFI

More of Japan, either via Japanese-made or Japanese-themed productions, is available at the BFI, the selection including old and new:

  • 晩春 (Banshun/Late Spring, Japan, 1949) – Screens with Kamiya’s Correspondence (UK, 2004, dir. Sumito Sakakibara, 7 min short).
  • Hiroshima, mon amour (France/Japan, 1959) – Directed by Alain Resnain, the film is about a French-Japanese couple who are meeting one last time to end their affair. It’s set in Hiroshima against the background of World War II and considered the birth film of the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave). An absolute classic.
  • 津波そして桜 (Tsunami soshite sakura/The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, USA, 2011, 39 min.) – Lucy Walker’s Oscar-nominated short “made in the devastating wake of the 2011 Japanese tsunami” will be shown alongside her documentary Devil’s Playground (USA, 2002). In fact, the BFI is screening a nearly complete selection of all of Walker’s documentaries, including Blindsight (UK, 2006), Waste Land (UK/Brazil, 2010) and Countdown to Zero (USA, 2010).

If you are a member of the BFI, you can also enter the ticket ballot for a one-off showing of  蜘蛛巣城 (Kumonosu-jō/Throne of Blood, 1957), the great Kurosawa Akira’s reimagining of Macbeth in 16th century feudal Japan. The event isn’t listed on the general calendar but only hinted at on the Members’ log-in page. According to the BFI April film guide (the paper copy I picked up from the cinema itself) Kumonosu-jō will screen on Sunday, April 29. I would love to see it – since I adore Macbeth and Kurosawa is a director not-to-be-missed – but don’t have a BFI membership unfortunately.

Prince Charles Cinema (London)

With the Terracotta Far East Film Festival running from April 13-15, it will be Asian film galore with films from Burma, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan all showing. If you haven’t yet booked your tickets, here’s the link to the 2012 festival programme again. I will be seeing (and reviewing here) コクリコ坂から (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011), 转山 (Zhuǎn shān/One Mile Above aka Kora, China, 2011), 아리랑 (Arirang/Arirang, South Korea, 2011), キツツキと雨 (Kitsutsuki to Ame/The Woodsman and the Rain, Japan, 2012) and ヒミズ (Himizu/Himizu, Japan, 2011).

But there’s more: the (unofficial) Asia-month at Prince Charles really begins with two animated classics on April 2nd: アキラ (Akira/Akira, Japan, 1988) and 攻殻機動隊 (Gōsuto In Za Sheru – Kōkaku Kidōtai/Ghost in the Shell, Japan, 1995). Both screen quite rarely. If you are a Japanese manga or anime fan, you can indulge yourself with a double bill at a slightly reduced prize (£1 off).

PCC Double bill of two classic Japanese animated features.

KCCUK (London)

The Korean Cultural Centre’s “Year of Twelve Directors” will be entering its fourth month with screenings of several dreamy Song Il-gon (송일곤) films – a separate post with more details (synopses, trailers and all) will follow on Otherwhere within the next couple of days. UPDATE: Post added 29/03/2012.

Cornerhouse (Manchester)

As part of a symposium on “The Distribution and Exhibition of Chinese and Asian Film in the UK”, the Cornerhouse in Manchester will be showing 我十一 (Wo Shi Yi/11 Flowers, China/France/Hongkong, 2011). The film didn’t quite pull together for me, but you don’t need to take my word for it – Pierce Conran over at Modern Korean Cinema thought it was excellent. You can also attend the 2-day symposium itself, the full programme can be downloaded at the Cornerhouse website.

SOAS (London)

The School of Oriental and African Studies will be holding a one-day workshop entitled “Korean film: Years of radical change”. This event only takes place in May, but since you need to pre-register and spaces might fill up quickly, I thought I would already mention it now. Five different speakers will be talking about different topics on Korean film, including one paper on KCCUK’s February director E J-yong. The workshop is free and open to the public.

깃 (Git/Feathers in the Wind, 2005): One of the Song Il-gon films screening at the Korean Cultural Centre UK.