WordPress has been a bit buggy for me today (not loading properly), although I’m not entirely sure if it’s really WordPress or just my internet connection, even if most other websites have been working fine. We did have the electricity cut for a little while two days back and water has been intermittent, so I just generally feel that things are only half-working at the moment. Not that there is much that can be done about it. There are emergency water trucks, which are apparently free of charge but you need to bribe for them to come to your house (rather hilarious I think!). When they do come, the hoses they use are full of holes and the trucks are dripping water, so it’s no wonder there is a water supply problem in Delhi! That’s how things go here…

If I had to come up with a list of keywords for this Trailer Weekly it would probably be Thailand-as-setting, documentary and children. Not because all the films featured share these aspects, but they come up a few times.

  • 希望の国」 (Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan, 2012) – I already featured this film in Trailer Weekly #33, but now a full trailer is available for Sono Sion’s next work.
  • Somewhere Between (USA, 2012) – A documentary about what it is like to be a trans-racial adoptees in the USAmerica of today. The focus is on the approximately 80,000 girls that have been adopted from China since 1989. The film’s official website is here. Also note that Somewhere Between was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, where 1400 donours gave more than US$100,000.
  • たみおのしあわせ」 (Tamio no Shiawase/Then Summer Came, Japan, 2008) – From a few years back this film is about a father-son pair that can’t let go of their father-son roles they have always inhabited in the past, acting rather irresponsibly and immaturely. The film is directed by Iwamatsu Ryo, who is better known as an actor (「転々」/Tenten/Adrift in Tokyo, Japan, 2010; 「イン・ザ・プール」/In za puru/In the Pool, Japan, 2005 – both of which are on my review list) but has done some directing before (「お墓と離婚」/Ohaka to Rinkon, Japan 1993). I wasn’t automatically drawn to this film, but Simon Abrant’s observation that it is really “a serious social critique disguised as a light romantic comedy” (quote) wins me over. Not used to seeing Odagiri Joe in such formal dress though – he tends to rock the übercool & trendy or the super-chill, Bohemian guy modes most of the time (which suit him well).
  • Boeddha’s Verloren Kinderen (Buddha’s Lost Children, The Netherlands/France, 2006) – Directed by Dutchman Mark Verkerk, Boeddha’s Verloren Kinderen (which mostly seems to go by its English title, including on Dutch websites) is a documentary on orphaned boys that are taken on and cared for – with a good dose of tough love – by a boxer-turned-Buddhist-monk. I’m not too keen on the voiceover but much of the documentary is fortunately subtitled. My mom will love this one for sure. Official website (in English and German).
  • 闇の子供たち (Yami no Kodomo-tachi/Children of the Dark, Japan, 2008) – Scroll down for trailer. When googling one of the films above, a poster for Yami no Kodomo-tachi popped up. I’ll admit it: I spied Tsumabuki Satoshi and off I was to investigate. So here you are, another film with Tsumabuki. Dark topics: A Japanese journalist and a young Japanese NGO member come face to face with the dark reality of child prostitution and organ sales in Thailand. The trailer is a bit choppy (in its execution, not its technical quality), but that doesn’t mean all that much – I have seen plenty of not-so-great trailers for Japanese films that were actually fine. Love the poster (above) by the way – although the one I was talking about first is below.

  • 七夜待」 (Sekaiju ga watashi o suki dattara Ii no ni/Nanayomachi aka If Only the Whole World Loved Me aka Seven Nights, Japan, 2008) – Another one set in Thailand. Saiko, a 19-year old Japanese woman, randomly decides to go there for a holiday and, when spooked by her taxi driver, Marvin, runs deep into a forest where she meets a Frenchman. The Frenchman, who for some reason has the rather-sounding English name Greg, is a student of traditional Thai massage. He is taught by Amari, who has a young son, Toi. All of them – Saiko, Marvin, Greg, Amari, Toi – form a familial bond over the course of the next few days, despite the fact that they cannot so much communicate by verbal language as by touch. It’s a random sort of story, but Kawase Naomi is behind it, so I’ve got faith. Also: another lovely poster, very pleasing to the eye somehow.

Bonus Bits

  • Reel Anime 2012, an Australian anime film event that will tour multiple cities, announced this week that it will be showing 「星を追う子ども」 (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo/Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, 2011), 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011), 「ベルセルク 黄金時代篇Ⅰ 覇王の卵」 (Beruseruku Kogane Jidai-hen Ⅰ Haō no Tamago/Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the High King, Japan, 2012) as well as 「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」 (Ōkami No Kodomo Ame To Yuki/The Wolf Children Rain and Snow, Japan, 2012). I can only say – lucky aussies! However, there might be something for us in it too: the inclusion of  an indicator that Hosoda’s latest animation is commencing its journey on the international film festival circuit.
  • Funimation is releasing 「ホッタラケの島 〜遥と魔法の鏡〜」 (Hottarake no Shima: Haruka to Mahō no Kagami/Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, Japan, 2009)which I reviewed recently (click on Japanese title to read my thoughts on it), in the US on August 14. Seemingly in promotion of this release, it has been streaming the full film  (subtitled version) on YouTube. I’m guessing this is a temporary move, so if you want to watch it, watch it now (or buy the DVD/Blu-Ray once it comes out).
  • Another one for those based in the USAmerica: As reported over at Wildgrounds, Hulu is releasing some old Japanese films.