I had a friend visiting over the weekend so I was a little distracted. Me apologies for being late here…
- 영화 누구의 딸도 아닌 해원 (Yeonghwa Nuguui Ttaldo Anin Haewon/Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, 2013) – The trailer for Hong Sangsoo’s next film is finally out, just in time before it premieres at the Berlinale in February. I can see why the title might be Nobody’s Daughter: The life of Haewon, a college student, is complicated. She is saddened by her mother’s imminent and permanent departure to Canada. There is also the affair she has been having with one of her college professor but wants to end. When she meets with him in a restaurant, other students see them and the affair gets revealed. Seongjun, the professor, suggests they run away together…
- 누나 (Noona/A Boy’s Sister, South Korea, 2013) – A story about two people who bear emotional scars from the past: Yoon-hee, a young woman, is alive only because her brother saved her from drowning but died in the attempt to rescue her. Then there is Jin-hoo, a teenager, whose life is spinning out of control. Their fates get entangled when Jin-hoo steals Yoon-hee’s wallet, which contains the only picture of her brother. Noona looks like a small film and it could easily fall flat, but I’m willing to give it a try.
- 「東京 家族」 (Tokyo Kazoku/Tokyo Family, Japan, 2013) – I haven’t featured a Tsumabuki Satoshi film for the last few Trailer Weeklies, mostly because by now I have gone through nearly (though not quite) all his movies. (Note: This doesn’t mean I have watched them all yet! Nowhere near!) Fortunately, Tsumabuki is a highly productive actor and Tokyo Kazoku is one of his projects for 2013. It’s an ensemble piece about a family – two elderly parents who travel to Tokyo to visit their children (Tsumabuki plays one of the sons), all busy with their own lives. The parents soon feel out of place and decide to return to the small island they call home, but then the mother collapses…
- 頁台北 (Yè Táiběi/Au Revoir Taipei, Taiwan, 2010) – This one I got from the screening programme of a past edition of the Pan-Asia Festival. It’s a simple story about Kai, who wants to follow his girlfriend to France and thus is saving up money and trying to learn French. Then a girl he meets in a bookshop takes interest in him, making Kai reconsider. I’m in two minds about the film, but slightly more inclined to think that it could be good: one twist in the storyline is that the local mafia boss offers Kai a ticket to Paris in exchange for taking a parcel there (meh) and the new romance line could potentially be too easy and cliché, but I like that the entire story plays out in a single evening and the fact that the film won the NETPAC Prize at the Berlinale in 2010 is also promising. Plus, Wim Wenders was the executive producer.
- 第36个故事 (Dì 36 Gè Gùshì/Taipei Exchanges, 2010) – Also from the Pan-Asia Film Festival. Again another one that’s maybe good, maybe not (‘maybe not’ meaning that it might just be too lightweight). Two sisters, Doris and Josie, open an café. They receive all kinds of ‘housewarming’ (or rather ‘shopwarming’) gifts, most of which seem completely useless. However, some customers become interested in the items, so the girls decide to set up a unique payment system for the café, based on an exchange of items rather than money.
- Sueño y silencio (The Dream and the Silence, Spain, 2012) – Note: no trailer anywhere, just a short film clip (not subtitled). Stumbled across this one while googling another film (though I have no idea why it popped up, given that I was researching a Korean animation). It’s another contemporary film that has been shot in black-and-white, this time from Spain. Sueño y silencio is a drama about a family which experiences a tragedy when a terrible accident – not shown on screen and never fully explained – happens. I’m not clear from the synopses I have read whether we are dealing with death or irreversible consequences, but I don’t get the impression that it’s the usual sort of ‘people must come to terms with a permanent loss of someone’ film we have seen before. As Peter Bradshaw, from the Guardian, writes, director Jaime Rosales “doesn’t make things easy for his audience” with “this rewarding and cerebral film [that] lingers in the mind” (source). I’m curious about the director’s other creations as well – I’ll try and feature them in future Trailer Weeklies.
- Seems the last hope for getting the late Kon Satoshi’s film 「夢みる機械」 (Yume Miru Kikai/Dreaming Machine) has evaporated – the official website for the film has been taken down.