The BFI Anime Weekend – a biennial event – is returning this year, bringing some of the best of recent Japanese animations to London for a long weekend. It comes a bit early this year (in 2012 the weekend was in June), with the following programme:
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. Continue reading
Alternative title (Chinese): 黒四角
Language: Mandarin, some Japanese
Director: Okuhara Hiroshi
Studio: Black Square Film
Screenplay: Okuhara Hiroshi
Cinematography: Maki Kenji
Cast: Nakaizumi Hideo, Hong Dan, Xixu Chen, Suzuki Miki
Runtime: 144 min
Film’s official website: N/a
Special thanks to Raindance, which provided me with a preview screener of this film. Kuroi shikaku showed at the 21st Raindance Film Festival on September 28, 2013. I previously featured the film on Trailer Weekly #79/80.
When Japanese film director Okuhara Hiroshi travelled to Bejing in 2008 and visited the Song Zhuang Artist Village he spoke no Chinese. The place – the experience – seemed surreal to him, or, as he explained, “the whole atmosphere felt like science fiction, including the surroundings. I felt I could shoot a Tarkovsky-like movie in this place. [...] That’s how it all began.” (quote) Continue reading
Today I received my monthly BFI Guide in the post, which contained details for the first half of the Studio Ghibli Retrospective. The information isn’t available on the BFI website just yet, so I have listed the screenings (plus trailers) below.
Note that all films, except the Funday screening of 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away, 2001), will be shown subtitled.
Booking: Priority booking for BFI Champions opens on 3 March, for BFI Members on 4 March. Public booking opens on 11 March.
Although we already knew a Ghibli season was coming – thanks to a mini-announcement in the BFI’s February booklet –, now it’s official: the British Film Institute published a full announcement on their website yesterday, revealing that it would be screening the complete set of Studio Ghibli films over the course of two months. Continue reading
It’s a clear sign that people want this English-language release to happen, for All the Anime’s crowdfunding campaign for Katabuchi Sunao’s magical「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) reached its US$30,000 goal within less than a day of the Kickstarter having been announced. Continue reading
February may be a short month, but it’s not lacking in South East Asian film events. The Glasgow Youth Film Festival hits the jackpot with the UK premiere of Studio Ghibli’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013). London and the rest of the UK wait on as the wider cinematic release of the film has apparently been postponed for later in the year.
Last updated: 4/2/2014
Note: As always, I will be updating this post if I hear of any more events. Let me know if you see anything missing!
There are so many film festivals in London that it’s sometimes easy to forget about one, until they remind you with a programme release that they are still there and still screening lots of delightful stuff that you better not miss.
Next month, from February 26 to March 9, it’s the Pan-Asia Film Festival that rolls around for the umpteenth time (sorry, I lost count), with 7 UK premieres and 2 London ones featuring. Continue reading
It’s the first day of 2014 and I’ll start with an Events post, after having to give December a miss. Not all that much is happening this month – in part, because no details have yet been released on a several possible screenings (Asian Movies Meet Up, Korean Film Nights, Terracotta Film Club, Films at the Embassy of Japan). The only one that I’m fairly sure that will happen is the Asian Movies Meet Up, as I recall the organisers skipped December but announced that the event would be back in January. No word meanwhile on what kind of film screenings the KCCUK will be organising this year. It’s probably unlikely that after the Year of 12 Directors (2012) and the Year of 4 Actors (2013), they will run a special, year-long event series with special guests again, but fingers crossed that we’ll at least be getting the bimonthly Korean Film Nights back. I’m not sure about the Terracotta Film Club either (it’s permanent link seems to have disappeared from the Prince Charles Cinema website) and the Films at the Embassy of Japan have always been rather irregular.
Fortunately, there are events that have been confirmed and we can already also look forward to February as the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will kick off at the last day of this month.
Last updated: 6/1/2014
The Japan Foundation is organising yet more film screenings. The announcement came in an email newsletter today, with four films (including two animations) being on the programme for January. Unlike the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, all these screenings are free, although an RSVP is required.
Well, that answers my question about 「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) maybe showing up on the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme in 2014. The answer is, no, it is not one of the screenings, so we will have to keep guessing if absence of the words “UK Premiere” on the Glasgow Film Festival website was accidental or is a hint at something…
Anyhow, even without Kaze Tachinu, the programme for the forthcoming Japan Foundation’s annual film tour looks fantastic – half of the titles are films that I have featured on past Trailer Weeklies, meaning I pretty much want to see everything! Let’s see how that works out time-wise, but it is a good thing I haven’t yet scheduled my weekend shifts for February yet as I am definitely going to have to keep the weekend of February 1st and 2nd free. Continue reading
Director: Vicki Zhao
Studio: Multiple involved, including China Film Group
Adaptation from: 2007 novel of the same title by Xin Yiwu
Screenplay: Li Qiang
Cinematography: Li Ran
Soundscore: Dou Peng
Cast: Mark Chao, Han Geng, Yang Zishan, Jiang Shuying
Runtime: 132 minutes
Distribution: China Film Group
Film’s official website: N/a
In the opening scene of《致我们终将逝去的青春》(Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchūn/To Our Youth That Is Fading Away aka So Young) the heroine, Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan), finds herself in a lush fantasy world, populated by fairy tale creatures both good and bad, only to awaken and find it was all a terrible dream. No more than a few minutes long, this opening reveals much of what is wrong with Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchū, for as luxuriantly beautiful that dream world is – the scene must have cost a good chunk of the film’s 30 million yuan (US$5 million) budget – it is also completely irrelevant, for nothing that happens is of any importance for the story that follows. Continue reading
November events… like October, it’s a busy month, full of festivals and other special screenings. I wrote this post somewhat in a rush, so I have the feeling I must have missed some of what is going – let me know if you notice any glaring omissions!
Note: Will do the Events Widgets on the side in the morning, need to go to bed!
Here is another festival I am late posting about: The East Winds Film Festival in Coventry, organised by CUEAFS and Third Window Films. The programme was released in bits and pieces over several weeks, which I don’t think is a particularly good idea. I mean, I understand announcing opening and closing films separately, but the rest of the programme should generally be available all at once – anything other than that is just very difficult to keep track of.
Anyhow, the fun starts in the English Midlands later this afternoon with some scary stuff since it’s Halloweeeeeen (And to get you into the mood, here’s a spine-chilling manhwa for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
The London Korean Film Festival is back for (I think) the 8th time already and is due to run from November 7-22, 2013, at the Odeon West End, Odeon Panteon St. and the KCCUK. The programme was released probably some two weeks ago already (sorry, I’m so busy at the moment!), but no one’s yet written a post that includes original titles in 한국 and trailers… so I might as well.
The Leeds International Film Festival, one of the biggies on the UK festival calendar, released its programme a couple of days ago, with quite a bit of East Asia on the programme. To start off with, there will be a Kobayashi Masiki retrospective, then the fest’s popular Fanomenon Anime Day returns and some additional entries from China, South Korea and Japan will screen as well.
The London International Animation Festival announced its programme – essentially consisting only of shorts – a while ago already, but I didn’t manage to write up a post immediately. Japan, South Korea and China are all represented this year, with shorts that are showing as part of strands featuring animations from other countries as well – there is no dedicated Asian strand.
Note 2: If you are not London-based, do read on as a few of the shorts have actually been made available online by their directors (video clips linked).
Belatedly here are the South East Asian entries at the London Film Film Festival, aka the-biggest-film-event-in-the-UK-that-doesn’t-know-how-to-get-its-act-together-to-implement-a-functional-booking-system. Yeah, I’m presently mad at the BFI and their apology (excuses!) does nothing to lessen that. It’s not the first time this has happened, in fact it was worse than last year.
Anyhow, we get films from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Most have already screened elsewhere as the LFF isn’t really a pioneering, world-premiering event, at least not when it comes to Asian films. The absence of Miyazaki’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013), which has been/is screening in Toronto, Venice, San Sebastián and now Hawaii, from the programme only confirms this.
Here are the (available) trailers and one-sentence synopses, by country: Continue reading
Director: Shimote Daisuke
Studio: Particle Pictures
Screenplay: Shimote Daisuke
Cinematography: Haibara Takahiro
Cast: Kido Airi, Saito Yu, Nakaizumi Hideo, Matsumoto Wakana, NorA, Wagatsuma Miwako, Kajiwara Hikari, Saka Koichiro
Runtime: 100 min
Distribution: Particle Pictures
Film’s official website: http://cargocollective.com/hanare_banareni
Seen at the 2013 East End Film Festival in London.
Hanarebanareni falls into that very particular category of nothing-much-happens indie films, which people generally either love or hate. The plot can certainly summed up in a single sentence: three strangers escape from their every day lives and play games by the seaside. Continue reading
Miyazaki Hayao’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) has been screening in Japanese cinemas for nearly a month now. While a release in movie theatres overseas is probably still a good year away, there have recently been a string of announcements for festival premieres. So far, Venice, Toronto and Donostia (San Sebastián) are on the lucky ones, with the Toronto International Film Festival posting the first trailer with English subtitles yesterday:
So here we are with this week’s randomicity, which some of you seem to so appreciate. It’s a day late (ごめん!) but I was feeling a bit mopey yesterday and couldn’t be quite bothered to finish it. I’m still munching away on cherries though, even more so since the cherryman tells me that the season is nearly over (next week will likely be the last one). So, gotta eat them now or never. I’m also still mulling over the clothes-for-the-wedding/SLR questions and have watched a few films this week, which I must all stay mum about as they are for the upcoming Raindance Film Festival. I have been writing short synopses (for the festival catalogue), but am also working on reviews for a few of them. While that, plus uni, plus my part-time jobs have been keeping me busy, I hope I’ll have a review of some other film for you this week – we’ll see.
Meanwhile, here’s your weekly dose of totally random trailers:
This review is part of the K-Animation Season on Otherwhere. These shorts screened as part of the Puchan International Fantastic Film Festival this year. A special 감사합니다 goes to the Korean Film Council and the directors for granting access via Kobiz’s online Festival Screenings option.
The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has made it its mission to screen films from “marginalized genres” (quote from PiFan website), showcasing in particular works that fall outside the popular cinematic realm of comedy, drama and action. On the programme this year were some fantastic shorts, two of which were made available online (restricted access only).
Shorts, animated but also otherwise, are a strange thing: they differ from feature-length productions and certainly within animation often exist to explore the artistic medium rather than to narrate a story or entertain. The average viewer might find them pointless, but at the same time shorts can raise interesting questions about conventions, both in terms of what is made (and how) and what we watch. With an animation industry that is simply not known outside national borders and has no full-fledged identity like the world of Japanese anime does, yeonghwa manhwa shorts are seeds of potential that give a glimpse of Korean animation could be. Continue reading
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 Continue reading
I hope everyone’s had a good weekend. I’ve been eating cherries like my life depended on it (got like 2 kg at the Farmers’ market yesterday, plus redcurrants, jostaberries and a whole lot of other goodies), spotted a Korean actor on the Tube (which I only took because after four hours of sleep two hours of bike commute to/from work felt too dangerous), enjoyed lovely coffee at a local café (yeah, I’m plugging my newish Tumblr account today) and I’m heading out Vietnamese food with a friend later (too lazy to cook and really want some tofu ♥).
Anyone get to see「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises)?
Trailers: I’m going for diversity today, at least in terms of countries, with films from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and the US.
The countdown to the Japanese premiere of Hayao Mizaki’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises) on July 20 continues. While no full-length trailer has been released – at least not on the web, as, apparently, it is being shown in cinemas – there are a few more tidbits to tide us over. Murals depicting all 21 Studio Ghibli films can be admired by cinema goers in Japan at the moment, but fortunately we have also been offered a glimpse online (above image). Also made available worldwide is a short clip of the film’s theme song,「ひこうき雲」(Hikōki Gumo/Airplane Cloud), which EMI records began streaming yesterday:
Languages: Japanese, English
Director: Igarashi Sho (五十嵐匠)
Screenplay: Igarashi Sho ((五十嵐匠)
Cinematography: Teranuma Norio (寺沼範雄)
Soundscore: Yasukawa Goro (安川午朗)
Cast: Matsuda Ryuhei (松田龍平), Yamashita Tetsuo, Kitamura Yukiya, Miura Akifumi, Maeda Michiyoshi, Michelle Duncan, Paul Riddley
Runtime: 119 min
Film’s official website: http://www.chosyufive-movie.com (日本語)
Seen at the monthly Films at the Embassy of Japan event, at a special screening commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Chosyu Five’s arrival in London. The film had an additional screening at University College London (UCL), the institution where the Chosyu Five became the first Japanese students in Great Britain.
Note: 長州 [ちょうしゅう] is romanised both as Chōshū as well as Chosyu.
Chōshū faibu is as much a film about the past as it is one about the present and even the future. It reminds us of a time that is so distant, so different from the now we live in that we can barely relate to it, but simultaneously reveals, if we look closely enough, that not only connections remain, but that some things have not changed at all.
Country: South Korea
Director: Byeon Yeong-joo (변영주)
Adaptation from: Miyube Miyaki’s novel「火車」 (Kasha, 1992, translated into English as All She Was Worth in 1999)
Screenplay: Byeon Yeong-joo (변영주)
Cinematography: Kim Dong-Young
Soundscore: Kim Hong-jip
Cast: Lee Sun-gyun, Kim Min-hee, Kim Min-jae
Runtime: 117 min
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 56th BFI London International Film Festival.
Hwacha is, in essence, a longer, prettier version of CSI Seoul: it is a feature-length film with striking cinematography from the opening shots on but with a story we have been told in some form before, most likely while watching a crime television series. Continue reading
I’ll say it right away: it’s a good month in particular for Studio Ghibli fans, not only because Miyazaki is releasing his most recent creation,「風立ちぬ］(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, 2013) in Japan on July 20. No, Londoners get lucky too, as the Prince Charles Cinema is treating us with Ghibli films every Sunday in July, plus it’s tempting us with a Ghibli Allnighter. Maybe it’s all to get us in the mood for the August UK release of 「コクリコ坂から」 (Kokuriko-zaka Kara/From up on Poppy Hill, Japan, 2011)?
Updates will follow, where relevant.
Last updated: 19/7/2013
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Gilitte Leung
Cast: Lee Afa, Cheng Kenneth, Yip Rebecca, Wu Siu, Hitomi Thompson
Runtime: 92 min
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 2013 Terracotta Film Festival.
Independent productions are not something you come by every day in the world of Hong Kong cinema of blockbuster action and crime thriller film fame, so every time a new indie does roll around, it seems like something better not missed. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
#Women on Screen, BFI, Derby, Edinburgh, Film Festival, ICA, Korean Film Night, London, Miyazaki Goro, Miyazaki Hayao, Prince Charles Cinema, Sheffield, Studio Ghibli, Takahata Isao, Terracotta, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Year of 4 Actors
I’m not quite ready to be back yet (still busy marking exams)… but I thought some of you might appreciate not having to wait too long for the monthly Events post.
So, what’s on offer this June for South East Asian film fans in the UK? We have got「009 Re: Cyborg」screenings in Edinburgh, Liverpool and elsewhere, a Jackie Chan film in Derby as well as a fabulous Imamura Shohei Retrospective at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, but for the rest
it’s all happening in London Update 7/6/2013: Not quite. I totally blanked on the Edinburgh International Film Festival – so there is loads outside of London as well! Anyhow, it’s a month of festivals and celebrations to commemorate a number of anniversaries.
We start with Seasons in the Sun: The Heyday of Nikkatsu Studios, one of the calendar highlights at the British Film Institute in June. The Terracotta Film Festival is about to kick off and promises to be bigger and better than ever with 27 films (and plenty more) from all over East Asia in store for cinephiles. June is also a good month for Studio Ghibli fans as multiple screenings are scheduled for two animations that were first released 25 years ago, plus another Double Bill at the Prince Charles. I’m also looking forward to「長州ファイブ」 (Chosyu Faibu/Choshu Five), an anniversary screening organised by the Japanese Embassy that commemorates an event from 150 years ago and I’m super-thrilled that a rare indie gem,「はなればなれに」(Hanarebanareni/Kuro), has popped up on the East End Film Festival programme. So we are really not short on choice this month, heck, it almost feels like October, which is normally the height of the film festival season in London town. Anyhow, peruse what’s on and, if you are not in the capital, it might be a good time for a visit!
Last updated: 24/6/2013
Here it is… the much awaited line-up for this year’s Terracotta Film Festival, bigger and better than ever. It’s divided into four sections (Current Films, Terror Cotta, Spotlight on Indonesia and In Memoriam of Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui), all screening at the Prince Charles Cinema (June 6–9), except for the Indonesia section, which will be held at the ICA (June 11-15). Further festival highlights include masterclasses and a short film competition (with a trip to Hong Kong as top prize).
Because it’s such a lengthy list of films, I’ve limited myself to one-sentence synopses. If it grabs your interest, watch the trailer and/or hop over to the official festival website, where longer summaries are featured.
The official website has just gone live, although links for booking (which is meant to open today) don’t yet work. I would expect booking to be available some time later this afternoon.
May brings Cannes with many exciting film premieres. With the English Channel in our way, we’ll however have to make do with events on this island instead. Luckily, a whole lot is on offer this month, in all corners of the UK – Derby, London, Leicester and even Inverness. You can get a taste of Hong Kong cinema as well as watch quite a number of Japanese olden goldies (directed by Ozu Yasushiro and Kurosawa Akira, among others) at various cinemas and festivals across the country. There is also the Chinese Visual Festival, but nothing Taiwanese this month. Korean films fare a bit better – though only because our beloved Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) is, as always, screening two films as part of its Year of 4 Actors Korean Film Nights for year. The good news, however, is that the KCCUK has just launched another film season, Women on Screen, which commences in May and will run until August, doubling the monthly offering of screenings.
For trailers, click on film titles (where available).
Note: As always, I’ll update this post if I hear about any other events.
Last updated: 6/5/2013
I’m kinda starving (it’s almost 4 p.m. and I haven’t had lunch yet), so I’ll give you this week’s trailers without any further ado and shall head to the kitchen to make myself some gyoza and bibimbap.
If you are following the Whole Hog Theatre on Twitter, you will know that the Leamington Spa based theatre group that is putting on the world’s first stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, 1997) has been making its way to Japan, where the play will have a run in Tokyo during Golden Week (April 29 to May 6, 2013).
As they touched down in Japan today, they were greeted by an article on their project in The Japan Times: Continue reading
As May approaches, so does the Cannes, which is of course one of the highlights of the European film festival calendar. This morning the line-up was revealed, with a number of films from Asia to look foward to. I have listed them all below, with trailer and synopses as far as they are available.
Every year Sci-Fi-London comes to town and brings, as its title suggests, “all things science fiction” (quote) with it, meaning apocalypse and robot galore among other things.
The festival will be running from April 30 to May 6, 2013 this year, with a costume parade for “[c]osplayers, zombies, stormtroopers, steampunks, daywalkers, superheroes” or whichever other fantasy character tickles your fancy starting off the fun on April 28.
Director: Alexandra Rutter
Company: Whole Hog Theatre
Adaptation from:「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997)
Screenplay: not specified on programme or website
Concept arts and set design: Polly Clare Boon
Puppet design: Charlie Hoare
Soundscore: Hisaishi Joe, arranged by Kerrin Tatman for the play
Cast: James Blake-Butler, Lilith Brew, Adam Cridland, Oliver Davis, Andy Elkington, Jack Gyll, Jackie Lam, Amelie Leroy, Mei Mac, Miyake Yuriko, Jess Neale, Maximilian Troy Tyler, Victoria Watson, Samuel Wightman, Elizabeth Mary Williams
Runtime: approx. 130 min (including 20 min intermission)
Official website: http://www.wholehogtheatre.com (London performances),
http://www.princess-mononoke.jp (Tokyo performances – 日本語)
Teaser (16 sec, for Tokyo performances):
Seen during the play’s first run at the New Diorama Theatre in London. I attended the Friday evening performance. Further Princess Mononoke performances are scheduled for Tokyo (April 29 – May 6, 2013) and London (June 18-29, 2013). London tickets are sold out.
Note: I provide no synopsis of the story here – this review presumes you are familiar with Miyazaki Hayao’s film already and hence is also full of spoilers.
How does one even begin to imagine a stage adaptation of an animated film of the calibre of「もののけ姫」(Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke, Japan, 1997), made by the masters of Studio Ghibli and well loved the world round? It is not a challenge that most – even those with plenty of experience and unlimited budgets – would want to take on, but the Whole Hog Theatre, a young performance company from Leamington Spa, England, with only a handful productions (Dangerous Liaisons, Constanzo and Five Kinds of Silence) to their name, was undaunted by the task and simply went ahead anyway. Continue reading
Director: Kobayashi Keiichi
Screenplay: Kobayashi Keiichi
Cinematography: Kobayashi Keiichi
Soundscore: No soundscore.
Cast: Ikeda Ai, Koshino Ena, Fujiwara Reiko, Takayama Tsubasa, Togetsuan Hakuysu
Runtime: 117 min
Official webpage: http://www.momoirosora.jp (日本語/English)
Official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/thePinkSky?fref=ts
Seen at the Raindance Film Festival in London, where Momoira Sora wo had its UK premiere and screened twice.
The heroine of Momoiro Sora wo is called Kawashima Izumi (Ikeda Ai). Izumi has no superpowers – she is not that kind of heroine, but rather an ordinary seventeen year-old girl. Izumi is gutsy and frank. She reacts impulsively – whipping water with a fishing rod a gazillion times in a sudden and extended explosion of frustration – and gives a wide, sheepish smile when she is fibbing, which happens on a regular basis. Although she doesn’t always know what she actually wants, she stays true to herself even if her sense of fairness is a little warped, at least from the point of view of others. Continue reading
It’s funny sometimes how things are right before your eyes, but some how you don’t see them. Like the fact that the title of Shinkai’s forthcoming film has Kanji strokes in the form of leaves. How could I only notice it now?
Well, this isn’t what I mean to be writing about today, but the real topics of this post are a) the world premiere of the film, b) further character descriptions and c) a new image gallery for Kotonoha no Niwa.
April, April… this year is flying by… I would rather not think about it though. Instead, let’s just see what April has in store for us, film-wise mostly but also otherwise as there are some exciting events at the London Book Fair and elsewhere too.
Note: As always, I’ll update this post if I hear about any other events.
Last updated: 17/4/2013
Country: South Korea
Director: Leesong Hee-il
Screenplay: Leesong Hee-il
Cinematography: Yoon Ji-Yoon (Baekya)
Cast: Won Tae-hee, Li Yi-kyung (Baekya); Kim Young-jae, Han Joo-wan (Jinanyeoreum, Gapjagi); Kim Jae-heung, Chun Shin-hwan (Namjjokeuro Ganda)
Runtime: 75 min, 37 min, 45 min
Trailers: see below
Seen at the 27th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival at two separate screenings.
Although there was not all that much on offer from South East Asia at this year’s London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the BFI did do a mini-feature on Leesong Hee-il, whom they called “one of the most exciting contemporary gay Asian directors” in their festival programme. Leesong has, by now, quite a number of films to his name, all featuring a gay storyline in one way or another. His cinematic debut came in 2004 with a short featured in 동백꽃 (Dongbaegkkoch/ Camellia Project, 2004), but he is probably better known for his 2006 film 후회하지 않아 (Huhoehaji Anha/No Regret). In 2009 the director contributed to the 황금시대 (Hwang-geumsidae/Short! Short! Short!) omnibus project and also made the feature-length 탈주 (Talju/Break Away, 2009), finally following up in 2012 with the ‘One Night and Two Days’ trilogy of 백야 (Baekya/White Night), 지난여름, 갑자기 (Jinanyeoreum, Gapjagi/Suddenly, Last Summer) and 남쪽으로 간다 (Namjjokeuro Ganda/Going South), three unconnected stories which all began as shorts but the first of which was later extended into a 75-minute movie.
Director: Nishikawa Miwa
Screenplay: Nishikawa Miwa
Cinematography: Yanagishima Katsumi
Soundscore: more rhythm
Cast: Matsu Takako, Abe Sadao, Tanaka Rena, Kimura Tae, Suzuki Sawa, Ando Tamae, Ebara Yuka
Runtime: 137 min
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 56th BFI London International Film Festival.
Yume Uru Futari appeared on quite a number of Top 10 Films of 2012 lists. Tom Mes, Catherine Munroe Hotes and Eija Niskanen all counted it among their favourites in a Midnight Eye feature and Jason Grey (Loaded Films) included it as part of the “10% goodness” of cinema of the past year over at Wildgrounds, to name some examples. Continue reading
Although I watch quite a lot of films, there are generally few shorts among them. I like to be entertained for an hour or two because it’s a length that allows a decent amount of development in a story and characters. When there is a film festival, it is for this reason that when I have to choose between seeing a feature film or multiple 5-, 10-, 20-minute clips, I’ll habitually always go for the former and leave the latter as an afterthought – as also happened when the Pan-Asia Film Festival rolled around. Then CUEAFS had a ticket competition for the HK Fresh Wave Shorts screening on Twitter and somehow I got lucky (and I didn’t even mean to… only retweeted to spread the news about the competition).