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LAST UPDATED: 21/09/2012

September means that the film festival season is starting, with the Zipangu Fest and the Raindance Independent Film Festival kicking off first. There are of course festivals all year round, however, it just seems that autumn brings particularly many and particularly big ones in short succession of one another. It’s a busy time for us Asian and world film lovers.

Note: This page will be updated as more information becomes available. If you see anything I have missed, do alert me to it!

  • 雄呂血 (Orochi/Orochi, Japan, 1925), Volupté Lounge, London, UK (September 2, 2012) 

A one-off screening of Futagawa Buntarō’s silent black and white film with a benshi (live narration) and live music performed on a tsugaru-shamisen (a traditional Japanese string instrument). More here.

  • Tohoku on Film – Two nights of films about the Tohoku region, London, UK (September 3 and 4, 2012)  

The Japan Foundation has organised two films screening, which are already fully booked. A pity – it’s always disappointing to hear about an event when it is already impossible to attend it. I would have loved to watch Kobayashi’s film especially.

3rd: Setting Sails from the Ruins (2011) – 30 min and Can You See Our Lights (2011) – 38 min – both documentaries.
4th: 「春との旅」 (Haru to no tabi/Haru’s Journey, Japan, 2010) – directed by Kobayashi Masahiro. 134 min.

  • KCCUK: 2012: Year of 12 Directors – September: Jeon Kyu-hwan (전규환), London, UK (every Thursday in September) 

6th: 모차르트 타운 (Mochareuteu Tawoon/Mozart Town, 2008)
13th: 애니멀 타운 (Aenimeol Tawoon/Animal Town, 2009)
20th: 댄스 타운 (Daenseu Tawoon/Dance Town, 2010)
27th:  바라나시 (Varanasi/From Seoul to Varanasi, 2011) + Q&A with director

For more information about Jeon Kyu-hwan, trailers and film synopses see this post on Otherwhere.

  • All Eyes on Korea, The Thames Festival, London, UK (September 8-9, 2012) 

The KCCUK once again is pulling out all the stops to showcase Korean culture at the annual Thames Festival on the Southbank. All Eyes on Korea includes Taekwando demonstrations, a K-pop contest, Korean food and a traditional Korean wedding event. There will also be one open-air film: 말아톤 (Malaton/Marathon, 2004, click on Korean title for trailer), directed by Jeong Yoon-cheol (정윤철) and based on a true story. Synopsis: Cho-won is an autistic 20-year old whose perception of the world is like that of a child. His mother, Kyong-sook, is fiercely protective of him, to the point that it might be called controlling. Convinced that her son enjoys running, she decides that he should run a marathon – in under three hours. It is an ambitious goal, but is it the mother’s or the son’s?

Marathon: Bliss.

  • Zipangu Fest, London, UK (September 14-16, 2012)  

Zipangu Fest, round three: This year it takes place at the Cinema Museum, Kennington, in South London. Zipangu brings you films from Japan that are a bit of the beaten track – it’s sort of see them now, or never:

Zipangu Fest (ジパング・フェスト) is the first UK-wide festival devoted to Japanese film, introducing works new and old, many previously unseen by mainstream UK film audiences, to demonstrate the many identities of Japan as depicted by some of the country’s most exciting and revered talents. (from the official press release)

Re-scored silent classics, some alternative animation (no Studio Ghibli!), experimental films and more are on the programme. For full details see the official website and also my separate Zipangu Post on Otherwhere.

Surreal animation: Midori-Ko.

  • 달팽이의 별 (Dalpaengieui Byeol/Planet of Snail, South Korea, 2011) and Q&A (September 15, 2012)  UPDATED

At Greenwich Picture HouseREVIEW here.

  • Chan-wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy, Prince Charles Cinema, London, UK (September 15, 2012)  UPDATED

I must have not been reading my email newsletter from The Prince Charles Cinema very attentively, because I didn’t hear about this event until Philip from London Korean Links listed it in his September events post. It’s for the night owls: the screening starts at 23:59 and features Park Chan-wook’s thematically linked films 복수는 나의 것 (Boksuneun naui geot/Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, South Korea, 2002), 올드보이 (Oldeuboi/Oldboy, South Korea, 2003) and 친절한 금자씨 (Chinjeolhan geumjassi/Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, South Korea, 2005). Details on site.

  • 「TIGER & BUNNY -The Beginning-」(Tiger and Bunny – The Beginning, Japan, 2012), BFI, London, UK (September 23, 2012)  

In association with Scotland Loves Anime, the BFI is having a special preview of「TIGER & BUNNY」on the same weekend of its release in Japan. You can book here.

  • 「生きてるものはいないのか」 (Ikiteru Mono Wa Inai No Ka/Are Any of You Alive?, Japan, 2012), Asian Movies Meetup, London, UK (September 24, 2012) 

I featured this film, which is based on an absurd play (yay! From Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot to Luigi Pirandello’s Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore/Six Characters in Search of an AuthorI love love love absurd plays!), in Trailer Weekly #14. The screening, which takes place at Roxy Bar and Screen, is free. Sign up for Asian Movies Meetup to get the details and learn about future events. There is also a Facebook page.

You might recognise the face in the image below – it’s Sometani Shota, who had the lead role in 「ヒミズ」 (Himizu/Himizu, Japan, 2012) and equally leads the ensemble cast here. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him in another film. Sometani (born in 1992) has been acting for a decade already and strikes me as someone to keep an eye on. He isn’t cookie-cutter flower-boy pretty, but has a rather unique and extremely expressive face – perfect for a character actor. If Himizu was an indication, I think we can expect great films from him.

Ikiteru Mono Inai No Ka: Absurd inspirations.

  • Raindance Film Festival, London, UK (September 26-October 7th, 2012)   UPDATED

London’s biggest and best (there, I said it) festival for independent films. Japanese films on the programme, some with more than one screening:

「ももいろそらを」 (Momoiro Sora o/About the Pink Sky, Japan, 2011)
「放課後ミッドナイターズ」 (Hōkago Midnighters/After School Midnighters, Japan, 2012) – REVIEW
「佐渡テンペスト」  (Sado Tempest/ArashiJapan/UK/Hong Kong)
  Don’t Dare to Stop Love (Japan, 2012)
「オロ」 (Oro/OLO – The Boy From Tibet, Japan, 2012)
あかい きせつ」 (Akai Kisetsu/A Road Stained Crimson, Japan, 2012)

See separate Raindance post (Part I) for more details. Also: Official Website.

  • 「次郎物語」 (Jirō monogatari/The Story of Jiro, Japan, 1987), Films at the Japanese Embassy, London, UK (26 September, 2012)    

Booking here. Event is free, but seats are limited, so book early!

    • Terracotta Touring Festival, various UK cities including London, Manchester and Bristol (September & October)     

    Films on the programme:

    돼지의 왕 (Dae gi eui wang/The King of Pigs, South Korea, 2011) – Directed by Yeun Sang-ho. Animated film.
    「生きてるものはいないのか」 (Ikiteru Mono Wa Inai No Ka, literally Are Any of You Alive?, Japan, 2012) – Directed by Ishii Sogo.
    「キツツキと雨」 (Kitsutsuki to Ame/The Woodsman and the Rain, Japan, 2012) – Directed by Okita Shuichi. Highly recommend. You can read my review here.
    歸來的人 (Return to Burma, Myanmar/Taiwan, 2011) – Directed by Midi Z.
    마이 웨이 (Mai Wei/My Way, South Korea, 2011) – Directed by Kang Je-gyu.

    Official website is here. Separate post on Otherwhere with dates & locations is here.

Dae gi eui wang: Gritty animation.