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August is here. Somehow, it doesn’t feel like a busy month film-wise, but I’m probably just being misled here simply because it’s a) a month without any major festivals and b) I’ve probably blanked on some event. Or it might just be the quiet before the storm – after all, the film fest season normally kicks off in September…

What’s on? Well, to start with, we’ve got the nationwide cinematic release of a Studio Ghibli film to be excited about as「コクリコ坂から」(Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011) finally makes it to the UK. Some other Ghibli screenings (in cinemas, on TV and online) also celebrate the event, making it yet again a good month for fans of the animation studio. August also sees the home media release of Sono Sion’s 「希望の国」 (Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan/UK/Taiwan, 2012) by Third Window Films, which too comes with a few cinema showings in different parts of the country. And there is the surprise of a secret K-horror film about which no details can be revealed, but which you can learn more about if you join the Mondo Pop email list (details below).

Last updated: 31/7/2013


Women on Screen Season, KCCUK, London, UK (August 1 and 22, 2013) 

Probably not so happy end...

Probably a not so happy ending, judging from the film synopsis…

The KCCUK’s Women on Screen Season finishes this month with two more wonderful films:

August 1: 길소뜸 (Gilsotteum, South Korea, 1985)
August 22: 해피엔드 (Haepi endeu/Happy End, South Korea, 1999)

More information in my Women on Screen post.

「コクリコ坂から」(Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011), UK-wide (August 2 onwards) jp

We are two years behind Japan as Studio Ghibli’s Kokuriko-zaka Kara finally makes into UK cinemas. It’s Miyazaki Goro’s sophomore feature and it’s a delight. Get ready for infectious youthful energy. See my REVIEW. Anime News Network has a list of cinemas screening the film.

「希望の国」(Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan/UK/Taiwan, 2012), Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland (August 2 and 3, 2013) jp

Dir. by Sono Sion. Kibou no Kuni will screen for two days in Inverness.

「ひろしま」(Hiroshima, Japan, 1953) and「希望の国」(Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan/UK/Taiwan, 2012), Film Screenings & Talk, SOAS, London, UK (August 3, 2013)jp tw gb

Dir. By Sekigawa Hideo and Sono Sion respectively. JAN UK has organised a special double film event & talk. More info here.

Studio Ghibli Sundays Season, Prince Charles Cinema, London, UK (August 4, 11 and 18, 2013) jp

Saves humankind, but must be beautiful.

Vain wizard: Saves humankind, but must look good while doing so.

More Ghibli on the large screen from the Prince Charles Cinema:

Aug 4: 「ハウルの動く城」 (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro/Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004)
Aug 11: 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away, 2001)
Aug 18: 「紅の豚」(Kurenai no Buta/Porco Rosso, 1992)

Sans Soleil (France, 1983), BFI, London, UK (August 4 and 8, 2013)

Dir. by Chris Marker. This is of course not Asian, however, one of the places of audio-visual contemplation in this film that is a “dazzlingly intricate meditation on time and history, on memory and the technologies that mediate” (quoting the BFI) is Japan. It’s one of those works on my list of shame… (Have the DVD, just need to find time to watch it – that said, this might be wonderful to see on the big screen).

Sans Soleil screens together with Toute la mémoir du monde at the BFI.

Secret Korean Horror Film, Mondo Pop, London, UK (August 7, 2013) 

I can’t reveal the details about this one as Mondo Pop is a private film club with “secret” screenings. Anyone can attend, but you have to sign up to their email list in order to become a member and find out what is being shown each month. All I can tell you is that the film for August is Korean and falls into the horror genre. Oh, and it involves K-pop.

 Year of 4 Actors, Korean Film Night, KCCUK, London, UK (August  8 and ?, 2013) 


Calligraphic madness: Chihwaseon.

The KCCUK continues with the Choi Min-sik season:

  • August 8: 취화선 (Chihwaseon, South Korea, 2002). Dir. by Im Kwon-taek. Book here.
  • Second film TBA.

Satyajit Ray: Part One, BFI, London, UK (August 14 onwards) in

The BFI is launching a huge Satyajit Ray retrospective over the course of the next two months – it’s a little overwhelming in fact. The full list of films is here, but where to start? I’m not too sure…

蜘蛛巣城」 (Kumonosu-jō/Throne of Blood, Japan, 1957), Somerset House, London, UK  

An open-air screening of Kurosawa Akira’s Japanese Macbeth adaptation. The ticket price is a bit steep (£14.50 plus booking fee), but the atmosphere might just make up for that. Details are here.

복수는 나의 것 (Bogsuneun naui geos/Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, South Korea, 2002), Satori Screen, Derby, UK (August 16, 2013) 

Dir. Park Chan-wook.

Satori Screen, the monthly East Asian film event at the Derby Quad, is showing one of the films of Park’s Vengeance trilogy. Find out more here.

Films at the Embassy of Japan, London, UK (TBA)  

There was nothing on in July, so fingers crossed Films at the Embassy of Japan will have something for us this month.

復仇者之死(Fùchóu zhě zhī sǐ/Revenge: A Love Story, Hong Kong, 2010), Terracotta Film Club, Prince Charles Cinema, London, UK (August 28, 2013) hk

Dir. Wong Chin Po. It’s summed up as “[d]ark and moody serial killer film with a perspective from the killers’ side of the story” on the Prince Charles Cinema website. If that’s your thing, book here.


  • August 12:「ベルセルク 黄金時代篇」(Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen/Beserk The Battle for Doldrey, Japan, 2012) – Dir. by Kuboka Toshiyuki. Released on DVD and Blu-ray via Manga Entertainment.
  • August 19: 《武俠》(Wǔ xiá/Wuxia aka Dragon/China, Hong Kong, 2011) – Dir. by Peter Chang. DVD release via Metrodome Group.
  • August 26:「希望の国」 (Kibou no Kuni/The Land of Hope, Japan/UK/Taiwan, 2012) – Dir. by Sono Sion. DVD and Blu-ray release via Third Window Films.


Studio Ghibli Season, Film 4, UK-wide (August 1-9, 2013) jp

Film 4 is having a Studio Ghibli Season to celebrate the cinematic release of 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011).

Asian Films for Online Rental via Filmhouse Player, UK and Ireland jp

Cats... for rent.

Cats… for rent.

If you are based in the UK or Ireland you can rent films online from the Filmhouse Player.

  • 「レンタネコ」(Rent-a-Neko/Rent-a-Cat, Japan, 2012) – No need to rush, it’s apparently available until November.
  • Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet, Italy/France, 2012) – Not exactly Asian, but with Asian elements… and since I’m very fond of this film, I’ll always have to recommend it. See my REVIEW.