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april 2014

This comes a bit late, as I just don’t have much time to blog at the moment. I’ll keep trying but won’t make any promises, at least not for the next half year or so (I’m in the final stretch of my studies and have a lot to write over the next few months).

April comes with all kinds of film related events – there’s plenty to choose from, but it’s quiet compared to what is awaiting us in May.

Last updated: 8/4/2014

Note: I will be updating this post if I hear of any more events. Let me know if you see anything missing!


BFI Studio Ghibli Retrospective – Part 1 (all through April) 

Ghibli posters, up to Arrietty (2011).

The BFI’s Studio Ghibli Retrospective kicks off on April 2nd. For the programme for this month, read my related post (with synopses, trailers and recommendations).

Year of Film Professionals, Korean Film Nights, KCCUK, London UK (April 10 and 24, 2014) 

The Year of Film Professional is showcasing the cinematography of Chung Chung-hoon at the moment:

  • April 10: 친절한 금자씨 (Chinjeolhan geumjassi/Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, South Korea, 2005) – Dir. by Park Chan-wook.
  • April 24: 남극일기 (Namgeukilgi/Antarctic Journal, South Korea, 2005) – Dir. by Yim Pil-sung.

장화, 홍련 (Janghwa, Hongryeon/A Tale of Two Sisters, South Korea, 2003) Satori Screening, Derby Quad, Derby, UK (April 11, 2014) 

Dir. by Kim Jee-woon.

South Korean horror comes to Derby. More here.

「ビルマの竪琴」 (Biruma no tategoto/The Burmese Harp, Japan, 1985), Films at the Embassy of Japan, London, UK (April 16, 2014) 

Directed by Kon Ichikawa.

The free film screening at the Japanese Embassy this month is set at the closing of WWII when Japanese forces are retreating from Burma (Myanmar) into Thailand. Synopsis and booking details here.

Yoshitaro Nomura Film Season, ICA, London, UK (April 18-23, 2014) 

zero no shoten 1961

Zero no shoten.

The ICA is screening five films of Nomura Yoshitaro, including「ゼロの焦点」(Zero no Shoten/Zero Focus, Japan, 1961) and his best known work,「砂の器」(Suna no utsuwa/The Castle of Sand, Japan, 1974). More info here.

「Brother」(Japan, 2000), BFI, London (April 21 and 26, 2014) 

Dir. by Kitano Takeshi.

Two showings at the BFI of a film that has Kitano both in front as well as behind the camera. More here.

Preview of「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013), BFI, London (April 23, 2014) 

Finally Kaze Tachinu comes to London. The event has long sold out – tickets were gone within seconds once booking opened for BFI members, leaving the general public not the slightest chance – but fear not, there will be a UK-wide cinematic release of the film in May.

Hiroshima Mon Amour (France, 1959), Cine Lumière, London, UK (April 27, 2014)

Dir. Alain Resnais.

It’s French, but it still belongs on this list. Pity that it’s a midday screening – I can’t make it. You can book here.

「天のしずく」(Ten no Shizuku/Drops of Heaven, Japan, 2013), Japan Foundation, London (April 29, 2014)

The Japan Foundation is screening a documentary about an 88-year old culinary guru who is known for her ‘Soup of Life’. You can read more about the film (and watch a trailer) here. Book to reserve your free seat by emailing your name and the name of the event to event@jpf.org.uk. (See also event details on the Japan Foundation website.)

黑社會 (Hak Se Wui/Election, Hong Kong, 2005), Terracotta Film Club, Prince Charles Cinema, London, UK (April 30, 2014) hk

Dir. by Johnnie To.

The Terracotta Film Club at the Prince Charles Cinema brings us a crime film this month.

Asian Movies Meetup, Jetlag Bar, London, UK (April 2014)

Details to be announced.


yonosuke 2

  • April 14:「横道世之介」 (Yokomichi Yonosuke/A Story of Yonosuke, Japan, 2012) – Dir. by Okita Shuichi. DVD and Blu-ray release from Third Window Films. I’m still working on my review of this film, but let’s just say I highly recommend it! Definitely one worth having on your shelf and watching over and over.


London Book Fair: Korea Focus (April 8-10, 2014)

This year’s London Book Fair has a Korea-focus, meaning there is lots of Korean literature to buy as well as special events to attend – several Korean authors will be flying in. The whole programme is here.

Toon Talk, Korean Cultural Centre, London, UK (April 8, 2014) 

Since this post comes a bit late, this event is already over and done with, but I’m mentioning it for sake of completeness: the KCCUK organised a manhwa talk with webtoon writer Yun Tae-ho, the creator of 이끼 (Iggi/Moss), which was later adapted to a movie of the same name.

Japanese Film Festival, various locations, Ireland (April 3-17, 2014) 

kirishima 17

Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteryo.

The Japanese Film Festival is underway in Ireland in a number of locations, including Galway, Cork and Dublin. The programme is stellar, you can peruse it here. My top recommendations? 「桐島、部活やめるってよ」(Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo/The Kirishima Thing, 2012), 「横道世之介」 (Yokomichi Yonosuke/A Story of Yonosuke, 2013), the「言の葉の庭」(Kotonoha no Niwa/Garden of Words, 2013) and「ハル」(Haru/Hal, 2013) double bill and, of course, the Irish premiere of 「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, 2013), which beats the London one by several weeks! Of the older films, 「砂の女」(Suna no Onna/Woman of the Dunes, 1964) and 「もののけ姫」(Mononoke-hime/Princess Mononoke, 1997) would be well worth seeing on the big screen.

Filmhouse Player 

Both「レンタネコ」 (Rentaneko/Rent-a-Cat, Japan, 2012) and Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet, Italy, 2011) continue to be available for viewing via the Filmhouse Player. Click on the titles for my review of each film. If you are anywhere within the UK or Ireland, rent them here.

BFI Player inhkcnth


Quite a few interesting films are available on the BFI Player:

  • The Lunchbox (India, 2013) – available from April 11 (concurrent with its cinematic release)
  • Hirokazu Koreeda Screentalk (free)
  • 100 Years of Japanese Cinema
  • ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ (Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat/Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Thailand, 2010) – Dir. by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
  • 「七人の侍」 (Shichinin no Samurai/Seven Samurai, Japan, 1954) – Dir. Kurosawa Akira.
  • 無言 (Wu yan/Speechless, China/Hong Kong, 2012) – Dir. by Simon Cheung.
  • Tulpan (Kazakhstan, 2008) – Dir. by Sergey Dvortsevoy.

You can find these films (and more) here. Rental fees are reasonable at £3.50 (£2.98 for BFI members) for most feature length productions.