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
Original Language: English
Author: Joan Robinson
Place of Publication: London
Genre: Children’s novel
Edition: Collins Modern Classics (2002 edition, second-hand copy)
Other Editions and Translations: No other editions are currently in print in English. The book has apparently been translated into several languages, although I can only confirm that there is a Japanese version (「思い出のマーニー」) as well as a German one (Damals mit Marnie).
Update: If you are UK-based, you can now purchase a Kindle version of When Marnie Was There on amazon.co.uk. Elsewhere, you’ll still have to seek out second-hand copies of the book. When Studio Ghibli announced earlier this month that its next project was to be an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s When Marnie Was There, with Yonebayashi Hiromasa directing, I quickly – after reading unequivocally raving reviews – searched for a copy. First published in 1967 to “great success” (283) and even featuring in BBC children’s programme Jackanory in the 1970s, a few decades on When Marnie Was There had all but disappeared, remaining a precious memory for people who had loved the book as children but could no longer find it anywhere. Continue reading
Some pretty awesome news got relayed to me via Twitter this morning: it has just been announced that South Korea will be the “market focus” of the 2014 London Book Fair. The London Book Fair, in case you are not familiar with it, is a 3-day event that takes place at Earls Court in April each year. Continue reading
So here I am with the Trailer Weekly a day late. It’s such a busy time for me both at university as well as with all my gazillion part-time jobs and now with the London Film Festival added on top, I’m just barely squeezing in a few hours of sleep each night and not really doing much else! Hence the lack of posting.
I have however been jotting down notes on the films I have seen so far -「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」 (Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki/Wolf Children, Japan, 2012),「愛と誠 」(Ai to Makoto/For Love’s Sake, Japan, 2012), 「夢売るふたり」 (Yume Uru Futari/Dreams for Sale, Japan, 2012), 물고기 (Mulgogi/A Fish, South Korea, 2011) and「ライク・サムワン・イン・ラブ」 (Raiku samuwan in rabu/Like Someone in Love, Japan/France, 2012) – with several more still to come. Only Yume Uru Futari didn’t impress me all that much, most others (most of all Ookami Kodomo and Ai to Makoto!) I wish I could rewatch already tomorrow!
By the way, I think all the film posters this week – except the one for the Iranian film – are super boring. Boohoo.
… and it’s Shin Kyung-sook’s novel 엄마를 부탁해 (Eommareul Butakhae/Please Look After Mother). Shin is not only the first Korean that was nominated for the prize, she’s also the first woman to win it. Continue reading
Director: Toshiya Itoh
Screenplay: Tsutui Tomomi, Toshiya Itoh
Cast: Hayase Misato, Kobayashi Yu, Shiga Junichi, Amasaga Toshiyuki, Uchida Asao, Dan Fumi, Kusakari Masao
Runtime: 107 min
Trailer: no trailer available, but 4 min clip of the opening is on YouTube
Seen at a screening as part of the Films at the Embassy of Japan programme.
It’s another film that is simply magical. Kaze no Matasaburō: Garasu no masoto (literally Matasaburō of the Wind: Cape of Glass) depicts a story of childhood in the rural Japan of the 1920s. At the heart of the tale is Takada (Kobayashi Yu), a young boy, whose father is transferred to a remote village in the Tōhoku region. Takada arrives there on the very windy 210th day of the year, which immediately raises suspicion in the village children: he must, they whisper amongst themselves, be Matasaburō, the son of the wind god, who appears on this day and stays until the 220th – a suspicion that seems confirmed when it turns out that Takada’s first name is Saburō. Continue reading
Saturday is almost over – it’s been a busy week, another busy one to come (and a busy February as well) – but here is, still on time, Trailer Weekly #17. A whole lot of Americana this week (but fear not – not the blockbusters). Korea (2x), Japan, UK and Albania also feature.
Cover of the Korean Original
Original Language: Korean
Translator: Kim Chi-young
Year: 2011 (Korean original from 2008)
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nelson
Place of Publication: London
Genre: novel (fiction)
Edition: ebook for Kindle (UK)
Other Editions and Translations: Amazon US; Spanish Por favor, cuida de mamá; French Prends soin de maman, Italian Prenditi cura di lei; Polish Zaopiekuj sie moja mama. Translations into a total of 29 languages are currently in the planning.
Except for multiple re-readings of all English translations of Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) and Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84 (Books 1 and 2), I have done very little reading of fiction as of late. Then 엄마를 부탁해 (Please Look After Mother) came along: I was, admittedly, already on the lookout for some Korean literature, but this book kept being mentioned everywhere: at various places online, in an MA essay I was marking, and so forth. And then it popped up in the Guardian the other day, in a gallery of books that made it onto the shortlist of the Man Asian Literary Prize (winner to be announced March 15), giving me a final push to purchase and read it.
Director: Katabuchi Sunao
Screenplay: Katabuchi Sunao
Cinematography: Masumoto Yukihiro
Art Direction: Uehara Shinichi
Voice Cast: Fukuda Mayuko, Mizusawa Nako, Morisako Ei, Honjou Manami
Music: Murai Shusei, Minako “mooki” Obata
Theme song: こどものせかい (Kodomo no sekai/Children’s World) by Kotringo
Runtime: 95 min
Trailer: on YouTube (not subtitled)
Film’s official website: Mai-Mai (in Japanese)
Only one word is really needed to describe Mai Mai Miracle: it’s simply magical.
I’m highly pleased that Julio Cortázar features prominently on the list – with Rayuela (Hopscotch, trans. by Gregory Rabassa) as well as his short stories, both of which I can’t recommend often enough.
Next stop on the world literature tour is Chile.
I have recently been reading Murakami’s latest work, 1Q84, in fact, I just finished Book 2 today. I will review the novel once I am done with the third part, but I can already say that I wasn’t particularly impressed by the first 600 pages. Despite this, articles like Nathan Heller’s “The secret to his success. Hint: It’s not great writing” – published on Slate yesterday – really irk me. Why? Because much of Heller’s criticism focuses on Murakami’s writing style, comments that are completely unjustified given that he is reading a translation. A few quotes from Heller’s article:
More film festivals in London keep popping up out of nowhere – and I really mean ‘popping up out of nowhere’, as some are still very much in their infancy. The 2nd Portuguese Film Festival runs from November 10-30, with films screening at cinemas across London.
But this is not just any old film festival:
The focus of the festival will be on adaptations of Portuguese literature and will include a special session at the Barbican, with classic silent film Os Lobos (directed by Rino Lupo) being accompanied by Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa.
- A fabulous series I just discovered on the Guardian: The World Literature Tour. This month’s country: Argentina. Other than getting a fabulous reading list, you can suggest books yourself and even nominate a country for the next stop on the tour.
- The long list for the Impac Dublin Award has been released. Emma Donoghue’s Room, which has been on my to-read list for a while, is one of the nominees. Impac bills itself as “largest and most international prize of its kind” and although I appreciate its existence, I wish more translations would be nominated for the prize – the list, although international, is dominated by literature published in English. Still, I often browse these awards lists for ideas of what to read…
The publication date of the English translations of Murakami Haruki’s 2009 magnum opus 1Q84 is soon approaching. Books 1 and 2 will be published on October 18, with Book 3 following on October 25 on both sides of the Atlantic. All are translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel and can be preordered (on Amazon or elsewhere). Continue reading