ed film fest 1

It totally slipped my mind that the Edinburgh International Film Festival is happening in June and were it not for Genkina Hito’s post on Japanese Films at the event, I might have forgotten entirely. That would have been a real pity, because although I can’t make it up north this month, there is so much good stuff on the programme!

The festival runs from June 19 to 30 this year and is spotlighting two countries – one of which is Korea (the other is Sweden). That of course means there are tons of cinematic goodies for East Asian cinephiles. But it’s not just South Korean films that are on the programme, there are submissions from North Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and China as well, plus of course from many other countries.

Note 1: Click on original film titles for trailers (where available).
Note 2: Country name takes you to the appropriate section directly on the festival website.

South Korea kr


Love this shot, which also composes the poster for Myungwangsung.

The South Korean line-up is fabulous. We’ve got Jiseul, a well-received indie which originally premiered at the Sundance Festival, plus gems like Beomjoe sonyeon and Myungwangsung that have been on my personal to-see list for a while (I featured them both on past Trailer Weeklies). Bereurlin, a blockbuster action thriller, is screening at Terracotta this week and likely another film that many people would enjoy.

  • 20 and 22 June: 《我還有話要說》 (Wo Hai You Hua Yao Shuo/When Night Falls, South Korea/China, 2012) – Dir. by Ying Liang.
  • 22 and 24 June: 명왕성 (Myungwangsung/Pluto, 2012) – Dir. by Shin Su-won.
  • 23 and 25 June: 베를린 (Bereurlin/The Berlin File, 2013) – Ryoo Seung-wan.
  • 23 and 30 June: 남영동 1985 (Namyeong-dong 1985/National Security, 2012) – Chung Ji-young.
  • 24 and 26 June: 범죄소년 (Beomjoe sonyeon/Juvenile Offender, 2012) – Dir. by Kang Yi-kwan.
  • 25 and 27 June: 원시림 (Wonsirim/ Virgin Forest, 2012) – Lee Hyun-jung.
  • 26 and 28 June: 지슬 (Jiseul/Jiseul, 2012) – Dir. by O Mu-el.

North Korea kp

comrade kim


We’ve got one, rare offering from North Korea, which has recently been starting to make the rounds at film festivals – I believe it premiered in Cannes last month.

  • June 22 and 27: Comrade Kim Goes Flying (North Korea/Belgium/UK, 2012) – Dir. by Anja Daelemans, Nicholas Bonner and Kim Gwang-hun.

Japan jp

Not run-of-the-mill stuff: Lilou's Adventure.

Not run-of-the-mill stuff: Lilou no bouken.

The Japanese list is a bit short, but were I in Edinburgh, I would certainly give Koppidoi Neko and Lilou no bouken a try (Kuroyuri dan chi is horror, so that’d be a miss for me):

  • 21 and 26 June: 「こっぴどい猫」(Koppidoi Neko/I Catch a Terrible Cat, 2012) – Dir. by Imaizumi Rikiya.
  • 22 and 25 June: 「クロユリ団地」(Kuroyuri dan chi/The Complex, 2013) Dir. by Nakata Hideo.
  • 23 and 25 June: 「妮露的冒險」(Lilou no bouken/Lilou’s Adventure, 2012) – Dir. by Kumasaka Izuru.

China cn

Beijing Flickers.

Beijing life in You-Zhing.

I’m not familiar with any of these Hong Kong films – though I did feature Wo Hai You Hua Yao Shuo on Trailer Weekly #46.

  • 20 and 22 June: 《有種》 (You-Zhing/Beijing Flickers, 2012) – Dir. by Zhang Yuan.
  • 27 and 29 June: 《南风》(Nanfeng/Burned Wings, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – Dir. by Zheng Kuo, Sun Yang
  • 26 and 29 June: 《唐皇游地府》(Tang huang you di fu/Emperor Visits the Hell, China/Canada, 2012) – Dir. by Li Lou.
  • 21 and 22 June: 《人民公园》(Rénmín gōngyuán/People’s Park, USA/China, 2012) – Dir. by Libbie D Cohn and J P Sniadecki.
  • 22 and 22 June: 《我還有話要說》 (Wo Hai You Hua Yao Shuo/When Night Falls, South Korea/China, 2012) – Dir. by Ying Liang.
  • 玉门》(Yumen, China/USA, 2013) – Dir. by J P Sniadecki, Huang Xiang and Xu Ruotao.

Hong Kong  hk

Night dreams.

Chungmeng: Night dreams and reality merge, boundaries become blurry.

I had only heard of Chunmeng previously, which is billed as a “daring erotic ghost story” and looks interesting enough – though reviews seem to agree that the film’s final half hour is weaker than the rest.

  • 22 and 23 June:《狂舞派》(Kwong Mo Pai/The Way We Dance, 2013) – Dir. by Adam Wong.
  • 24 and 25 June: 《春夢》(Chunmeng/Longing for the Rain, 2013) – Dir. by Yang Lina.
  • 27 and 29 June: 《南风》(Nanfeng/Burned Wings, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – Dir. by Zheng Kuo, Sun Yang.
  • 27 and 30 June: 《車手》(Che sau/Motorway, 2012) – Dir. by Pou-Soi Cheang.
  • 29 June: 《三姊妹》(San Zimei/Three Sisters, France/Hong Kong, 2012) – Dir. by Wang Bing.

Other Goodies

Of course there’s lots more to see at the festival – trendy films like Monsters University and The Bling Ring – but also other worthwhile treats from the world round. A few that caught my eye:

  • La Última Estación (The Last Station, Chile/Germany, 2012) – Dir. by Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara. Not to be confused with the English film The Last Station, this Chilean-German co-production is about elderly patients in a nursing home. That’s not normally the kind of film that I’m interested in but I like the catalogue description that it “could make for depressing viewing, but this contemplative, painterly work has far more to say about life than it does death”.
  • A Última Vez Que Vi Macau (The Last Time I Saw Macao, Portugal/France, 2012) – Dir. by João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata. I have heard mumblings about this one a while back – the Hollywood Reporter calls it “[a] mesmerizing but distancing experimental essay in memory and loss dressed up as noirish semi-drama” (quote).
  • The Obscured Histories and Silent Longings of Daguluan’s Children (Philippines, 2012) Dir. by Gutierrez Mangansakan II. Tagline: “Myth and reality mingle in an isolated village.” Gotta love long, twisted titles too….
  • Upstream Colour (USA, 2013) – Dir. by Shane Carruth. This is one that I missed at Sundance London but I’m really keen on seeing. Tagline for the festival: “

    A uniquely nightmarish cinematic journey.”

Bonus Bits

  • Official Website
  • The website lets you search the programme through various filters, including country and continent specific ones. That’s really handy! Here are all Asian films (not just East Asian).