I’m a day late here, I know. I did try to finish this post off yesterday, but after a long day at work I was seriously having a hard time keeping my eyes open (you know, like when you write something, fall asleep for a minute and then wake up again, rereading what you’ve just written and realising you don’t remember a word of it). So rather than giving you a Trailer Weekly with half-written sentences and mistyped words I decided to go to bed and just publish this post late.
- 「共喰い」 (Tomogui, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Aoyama Shinji
I noticed Tomogui already a while back, but ignored it as it seemed uncomfortably dark and depressing. However, it has been getting mentions left and right these days and film posters that looks intriguing (both versions I have seen are simple, but beautifully crafted, particularly the colour tones having been done very effectively), so I think I might just have to watch this one after all. The not-so-pleasant story: Tooma, a teenage boy, lives with his father and his father’s lover. The father mistreats the woman in a sadistic manner, which the son observes and one day starts to copy. I think we’ll end in the darkest corners of the human psyche with this one – plenty of hints in the trailer already.
- 우리 선희 (Woori Sunhee/Our Sunhi, South Korea, 2013)
Dir. by Hong Sang-soo
I’m much more interested in this film than Hong Sang-so’s 2012 offering 다른 나라에서 (Dareun Narayeseo/In Another Country, South Korea), which just never appealed to me. That said, synopses I have seen for Woori Sunhee don’t yet reveal much: Sunhi has graduated from college a while back. She needs a letter of recommendation from one of her former professor to be able to study in the US. As she returns she meets with the professor, but also two other men she once knew. It’s not clear whether any of the relationships are romantic, although all the men are somehow involved in the world of film (there is a professor of film studies, a successful director and an aspiring one).
- 《入籍》 (Rùjí/Citizen Jia Li, Australia, 2011)
Dir. by Sky Crompton
I don’t expect this film to be outstanding – the synopsis is adequate, reviews are somewhat varied – but there are other things with Citizen Jia Li that interest me: it is a film about Asian Australians made by a non-Asian Australian director exploring a segment of Melbourne society that has never been given much screen time. It also deals with individuals that struggle with their place in society as well as the sense of identity and home, with the main character, Jia Li being a hairdresser that loses her job and home all in one day. The other two central characters include an ex-boyfriend – a gangster that is still trying to pursue Jia Li – and a Japanese/Chinese Harajuku girl that grapples with her ‘halfie’ status.
- 「大木家のたのしい旅行 新」(Ohkike no Tanoshii Ryoko/A Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip, Japan, 2011)
Dir. by Honda Ryuichi
Mr and Mrs Oki are a newlywed couple. Having lived together for seven years prior to their marriage, they spend their honeymoon bickering with each other. Then a fortune teller gets them to sign up for a strange trip – to hell. And hell it is, by way of a bathtub. Not strange enough yet? Apparently there are goblins (red and blue), kakeshi dolls and butterflies too. Frankly, I have no idea what all of this adds up to and it could very well be a, ummm, movie from hell, but there is one reason that makes me want to see it despite all that: Takenouchi Yutaka. Takenouchi senpai has yet to pick a project that I haven’t found worth watching in some way, because even those films and doramas that were half-baked in quality and storyline (「できちゃった結婚」 /Dekichatta kekkon/Shotgun Wedding I’m looking at you!), his wonderful acting still shone through. That said, much of Takenouchi’s film/TV-ography is composed of dramatic fare, while this one is bound to be all about laughs. Well, time to see if he can do comedy as well as the silent, brooding character types he mostly plays.
- 「鉄コン筋クリート」 (Tekkonkinkurīto/Tekkon Kinkreet, Japan, 2006)
Dir. by Michael Arias
I stumbled across this one thanks to an older review over at Japancinema.net. Tekkonkinkurīto (adapted from a manga of the same name by cult-mangaka Matsumoto Taiyo) seems to be a special beast – an unpolished gem of sorts that is a must-see for any anime fan, but that doesn’t seem as quite so high profile as some of those other must-see animations. Perhaps this is because it “does not fit” (quote), no matter how you look at it. It was made, in Japan, by an American director and American screenwriter team. It’s also “a surreal warping of genre” (quote), a Japanese anime that is unlike any other Japanese anime. Not having watching it yet, I’m not quite sure yet what this means exactly, but I’m certainly curious, also because I hear there is a whole lot of symbolism permeating this film. The tale: Kuro (‘Black’) and Shiro (‘White’) are two orphans. They live in Treasure Town, a once-affluent place now crumbling and crawling with thugs, thieves and yakuza. As they fight against these adversaries, bonds of friendship and brotherhood tightly join them together. However, Kuro and Shiro, as their names suggest, are the complete opposite of one another, one being dark, tough and violent, the other light, innocent and childish.
- 「ケランハンパン」(Keran Hanpan/A Case of Egg, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Kanchiku Yuri
Marshy featured this one on his list of “Favourite 11 Asian Movies of 2013”, writing that the film is about “a lonely South Korean translator who on her 30th birthday, resolves to lose her virginity. When she is forced to chaperone a horny Japanese photographer around town, this increasingly awkward and uncomfortable misadventure may yet prove her saving grace. Witty, sweet-natured and beautifully short, the only thing standing in the way of this film and widespread distribution is the fact it’s only 40 minutes long.” Normally this isn’t my favourite kind of story line, but somehow I think there may be something rewarding here – Marshy’s recommendation can’t be for nothing, no?
- I already tweeted about this, but in case you missed it: the London International Animation Festival (LIAF) is having a competition in which you can win the complete collection of Studio Ghibli films. Yes, you read that right: the COMPLETE COLLECTION OF STUDIO GHIBLI FILMS. The competition may be restricted to UK residents, though I’m not sure, as I haven’t read the fine print. (x_x)
- You may have also heard about this bit of Studio Ghibli news:「風立ちぬ］(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises) will be having its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it will be screening in competition.
- GhibliWiki posted some TV ads for「風立ちぬ］(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises) that are being aired in Japan at the moment. They are each only 16 seconds long, so there isn’t much to see, but you do get some glimpses of scenes that don’t appear in the full theatrical trailer.
- UK and Ireland readers: apparently 「レンタネコ」(Rentaneko/Rent-a-Cat, Japan, 2012) will be available for online rental via the Filmhouse Edinburgh Player until November (with thanks to Tired Paul [@tired_paul] for finding out the details). I also see that they’ve now got the magnificent Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet, France/Italy, 2011) available, plus Tomboy (France, 2011), which I have been interested in as well.