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I am still in Dublin and loving the Irish (so unlike grumpy, I-won’t-talk-to-you-even-if-you’re-standing-right-next-to-me Londoners!). And loving the Japanese too, because somehow quite a few of them turned up at the conference I was at. Given that it was a small postgraduate event that was unusual as these are normally only attended by people geographically placed in the same region. So, quite unexpectedly, I walked away with several めいし, invitations to visit Nagoya and Tokyo (and Dublin again) and some words added to my J-vocab. Plus, apparently I’m kawaii. 😀

  • 一代宗師 (Yī Dài Zōng Shī/The Grandmasters, Hong Kong, 2012) – Though I’m sure most of you saw this already, here is the trailer for Wong Kar-wai’s newest film, a martial arts tale. Details on the plot are scarce, but cinematographically this looks stunning.
  • 黄金を抱いて翔べ」 (Ogon O Daite Tobe/Fly with the Gold, Japan, 2012) You know how it works by now. It’s the Tsumabuki film of the week – with thanks going to Genkinahito for alerting me to it. Released in Japan last week, it sees Tsumabuki play Kota, who decides to take part in a 1.5 billion yen gold bar heist with a few buddies of his. It’s a crazy, adrenaline-fuelled idea of course. Note: Quite a jump from the high-school Tsumabuki in「愛と誠」 (Ai to Makoto/For Love’s Sake, Japan, 2012) to the distinctly older looking one in Ogon O Daite Tobe. Amazing what a bit of facial hair can do!
  • 青い春」(Aoi haru/Blue Spring, Japan, 2001) – Cult film it says. Rock chords thump heavily. The screen is tinted rather blue. And Kujo (Matsuda Ryuhei) and Aoki (Ara Hirofumi) stare at each other in steely glances of high school boys that were best friends but find themselves in a discord over games of power. Aoi haru came before the Toyoda Toshiyaki film I featured last week, but, goodness, it looks awesome. Now I just need to track down a copy! (Thanks to Tired Paul for suggesting it.)
  • 다슬이 (Daseulyi/Lovable aka The Lovely Child, South Korea, 2011) – A film about a 9-year old girl, Da-seul, who lives with her uncle and a grandparent in a small village. Da-seul is autistic and her life is challenging, but she also has a special talent for art.
  • ラブ・レター」(Rabu retā/Love Letter, Japan, 1995) – In my research on Song Hae-seong, the KCCUK’s director of November, I discovered that the novel that inspired his film 파이란 (Pailan/Failan, 2001) had previously already been adapted for the screen. The impression I get from Iwai Shunji’s trailer is somewhat different, but I have to say I rather like the feel of it.
  • După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Romania, 2012) – Here’s a wildcard (well, something not-J, not-K) that caught my attention a long while back already (I think when it first premiered in Cannes). So as not to let it slip out of mind I’m putting it on a Trailer Weekly. I’ve heard varied opinions, but that doesn’t seem surprising: “Spare, unadorned and strikingly shot, Cristian Mungiu’s film is an unusual rendering of a Romanian exorcism case and is bound to split both audience and critical opinions, some considering it a major achievement and others blaming it for overlong pretentious sensationalism. But it will certainly not pass unnoticed.” (quote)

Bonus Bits

  • 「キツツキと雨」 (Kitsutuske to Ame/The Woodsman and the Rain) is now available for pre-order (DVD and Blu-ray) from Third Window Films (UK distribution). Release date is January 28, 2013. Yeeeehaw! It’s a delight, as I have said in my REVIEW.