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There you go…. fingers crossed that WP will work long enough for me to post this! It’s been buggy all morning. Well, it may be the internet service but most other websites do work!

  • 늑대소년 (Neugdaesonyeon/A Werewolf Boy, South Korea, 2012) – Neugdaesonyeon has been in the news this week because it is one of the Korean films on the programme for the Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place in early September. I’m happy it is set to screen there as that raises my expectations. Mind you, I don’t think we will get some mind-blowing story or grand oeuvre, but production value should definitely be higher if the film is shown at a festival of that calibre. The first trailer for Neugdaesonyeon came out this week as well, and, ahhh, that’s one sweet looking werewolf boy. But hey, I’ll take that over the Twilight werewolves any day. (And since I mentioned Twilight, here’s a link. Warning: if you are a fan, don’t click on that link.)
  •  「ふがいない僕は空を見た」(Fugainai Boku wa Sora wo Mita/The Cowards Who Looked To The Sky, Japan, 2012) – Scroll down for trailer. This is one is also set to screen in Toronto. The synopsis from asianwiki.com – “Anzu (Tomoko Tabata) is a married woman who attends an event for anime fans. There she meets Takumi (Kento Nagayama) and they have an affair at Anzu’s home. Meanwhile, Anzu’s husband begins to notice and there is also a video of them having sex that has been uploaded to the internet…” – isn’t particularly captivating, the genre classification “Erotic/Drama” seems to neatly place it in a particular box, but the trailer signals something rather different. The vibe I get is for a gentle and reflective film, which is so much more interesting.
  • 女朋友。男朋友 (Nyeobung-u. Nambung-u/GF*BF, Taiwan, 2012) – Another one from the festival circuit. This one opened the Taipei Film Festival and screened at the HK Summer International Film Festival this week too – and looks good to me. Without reading the synopsis, that trailer – the one I watched originally was not subtitled either – screams ‘love triangle’ to me. I don’t just mean two boys being interested in the same girl, but I’m feeling definite tension and chemistry between the males here! The synopsis isn’t explicit, but the last part of the description “Aaron develops an affection for Mabel, but Mabel is in love with Liam, who in turns keeps his own feelings a secret”, I would say seems to confirm my hunch. UPDATE 7/3/2013Review added (8/10).
  • 我還有話要說 (Wǒ hái yǒu huà yào shuō/When Night Falls, China/South Korea, 2012) – A double-award winner at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, the Wǒ hái yǒu huà yào shuō (literally “I have more to say”) is a docu-drama based on a real-life murder case that caused a stir in China – both with human rights activists and the Chinese government. This review sums up the background to the film quite nicely, noting both the importance of the film but also pointing out its weaknesses. The film will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • 가을로 (Gaeullo/Trace of Love, South Korea, 2006) – We are off the film festival circuit now. After watching 여자, 정혜 (Yeoja, Jeonghye/This Charming Girl, South Korea, 2004 – see review) the other day, I looked for other films that Kim Ji-soo starred in (Yeoja, Jeonghye was her debut). Gaeullo is one of them. It’s the sad story of Hyun-woo, who, after proposing to Min-joo, loses her in an accident. After her death, Min-joo’s parents send him a journal that their daughter kept, leading him to trace the memories of his lost lover. I don’t think we can expect a happy ending – this is surely a bittersweet film.
  • 사랑할 때 이야기하는 것들 (Salanghal Ddae Iyagihaneun Geotdeul/Solace, South Korea, 2006) – Another one with Kim Ji-Soo. I quite like the synopsis on hancinema.net: “For local pharmacist In-ku, marriage has always been the lowest priority because of his need to take care of his mentally-ill brother. In his life comes along Hye-ran, an imitation clothing designer, who leads a hard life as she tries to repay the debts left by her father. A chance encounter allows them to recognize what they have been missing, and to find solace in each other. However, as their love grows, so do each of their burdens.” The trailer looks so-so (somewhat cheesy, especially the music), but I think if the director opted for a realistic and nuanced take on life, this could be a lovely little film. I certainly do like seeing the explosive Kim Ji-soo already – it’s very much in contrast to her role in Yeoja, Jeonghye.

Bonus Bits:

  • TIFF is also seeing the world premiere of Sono Sion’s 「希望の国」 (Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan, 2012), which I mentioned on last week’s Trailer Weekly.
  • HK Summer International Film Festival will be showing Hosoda’s 「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) – for trailer see here. Another sign that it’s doing the festival rounds.  Takashi Miike’s 「愛と誠」 (Ai to Makoto/The Legend of Love and Sincerity, Japan, 2012), from Trailer Weekly #30, is also on the programme in Hong Kong.
  • The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice and Artistic License“: very interesting article. Makes me totally not want to see Cloud Atlas anymore!