Trailer Weekly, the first in a long while. Especially for all you loyal readers (you know who you are ) who missed this feature. Enjoy.
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.
I promised it for last Sunday, which didn’t quite happen. I’ll keep trying (I’m still kinda busy, with uni and some last-minute, additional exam marking), so fingers crossed that #86 will be timely.
Anyhow, so here’s the first Trailer Weekly in quite a few weeks. Anyone missed them? I do wonder, since these posts include a rather random and eclectic mix of films – not the week’s current box office releases, not the latests trailers for forthcoming projects – but rather my own, personal and sometimes indeed rather idiosyncratic to-watch list. I don’t really intend to change that, but do feel free to voice your suggestions and/or complaints.
It’s going to be a super-short Trailer Weekly today, with only two clips, because I’m really, really busy at the moment (more about that below). I wasn’t even sure if this Trailer Weekly was going to happen at all, but then I thought I should really squeeze these two trailers in because they just can’t wait…
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.
I didn’t quite manage to finish this Trailer Weekly last night, staying out somewhat late to attend one final screening of the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (the Leesong Hee-il double bill). I rather enjoyed all films I watched as part of LLGFF this year (reviews to come), although I was struck by the fact that at most events viewers were predominantly male. Admittedly, except for آینه های روبرو (Aynehaye Rooberoo/Facing Mirrors, Iran/Germany, 2011), a drama on transgender identity, all films I saw focused on male-male relationships, but still… Does this mean that the audience of this festival is mostly made up of gay attendees? (If so, why?) And that those will often gravitate towards films reflecting their own sexuality/gender?
The Pan Asia Film Festival began this week and I skipped my Japanese class to attend the screening of《女朋友。男朋友》(Nyeobungu. Nambungu/GF*BF, Taiwan, 2013) and somehow – despite that backlog of reviews that reaches to the moon - reviewed it within two days (admittedly, staying up till four in the morning was part of this)*. I didn’t however go to see Lotte Reiniger’s Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), the world’s first feature-length animation from 1926, as I had originally planned – purely for reasons of laziness and the fact that it didn’t seem possible to book concession tickets at the Southbank online (and the £15 full price was a little steep). I am kind of kicking myself for this lack of self-motivation, because that is definitely not a film that screens every day, plus it’s just lame of me as someone who loves animation to skip such an event *hangs head in shame*. Coming up next week is more of the Pan Asia Film Festival, the bimonthly KCCUK screening and lots of the London Lesbian Gay Film Festival, which I’m super-excited for.
Trailers…….this Trailer Weekly somehow ended up being full of images (alternative posters and things of the sort) but most of all I think it’s a really fabulous selection of films this week. Just because I wish I could watch half of them like right now.
*And then of course, no one comments on the review that I lost sleep over! Oh, you lovely lurkers. Either that or it’s badly written.
I’m actually not multiple days late with this Trailer Weekly but just right on time! I haven’t had dinner yet though … but that’s more so because I can’t make up my mind what to have. Ideally soup (which is comfort food in my book) with dumplings (gyoza, mandu, momos, whichever) but I haven’t got any dumplings and I’m not about to start making any from scratch on a Sunday night at 10 p.m. (if I had wonton wrappers, maybe). Ramen would do as well, but no ramen noodles in the house either so I think it’ll end up being a soup concoction involving some sort of Asian noodles, seaweed and miso. No tofu though, boohoooo. I really wish, by the way, corner shops would carry tofu (I eyed some halloumi cheese today, vaguely hoping it might turn out to be a block of soy, but of course it wasn’t). Anyhow, before I get too deep into my food contemplations, better I go cook something and leave you to peruse this week’s Trailer Weekly selection.
This is actually last week’s Trailer Weekly, with a second one to follow later. At least I hope so, because I’m having a bit of hard time getting myself to do anything today. It’s the after-effect of having pulled an almost all-nighter - a friend from Costa Rica was passing through London so we chatted till about 3 a.m. at which point we were so tired that we slept for a couple of hours before my friend had to head off to Heathrow to catch his morning flight back to lovely Ticolandia ♥ (i.e. the country of Ticos, as Costa Ricans are affectionately known). I’m absolutely chuffed about all the Costa Rican goodies I’ve now got in the house now, from coffee from Heredia to Café Britt chocolates to dried piña-banano, but also very nostalgic, wishing I could myself hop on a plane to Central America this instant – I haven’t been back since I left in 2009 and that’s just too long.
Sunday was Chinese New Year so I will begin this Trailer Weekly with 恭喜发财! (Gong xi fa cai!). I actually ventured out to London’s Chinatown with a friend, fully intent on enjoying some Taiwanese food but the restaurant I had in mind had a queue about a mile long, even at 3 in the afternoon. In the end we opted for Japanese (vegetable & tofu tempura bento, plus lovely gyōza) and later watched a Japanese film at my friend’s house (Ghibli’s 「おもひでぽろぽろ」/ Omohide Poro Poro/Only Yesterday, 1991, after initially considering 「火垂るの墓」 / Hotaru no Haka/Grave of the Fireflies, 1988, even buying some comfort food and then copping out. Jajaja…). Anyhow, it ended up being a pretty un-Chinese Chinese New Year, despite all intentions. Ah well.
In terms of this belated Trailer Weekly, I thought it was time for another ‘Special’, with J-actresses that I know from doramas as the focus: Anne, Karina, Koyuki, Yoko Maki, Ueno Juri and Takeuchi Yuko. Continue reading
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Screenplay: Abbas Kiarostami
Cinematography: Yanagijima Katsumi
Soundscore: Mohamadrez Delpak, Kikuchi Nobuyuki
Cast: Takanashi Rin, Okuno Tadashi, Kase Ryō, Denden
Runtime: 109 min
Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 56th BFI London International Film Festival. Like Someone in Love will be released in select British cinemas via New Wave Films on June 21, 2013.
Like Someone in Love premiered in Cannes last year, where it sharply divided the critics, leaving some rather disenchanted, if not highly irritated, in particular with its rather abrupt ending. “[T]he curtain comes down with an arbitrary crash” noted Peter Bradshaw, resident film critic for The Guardian, while Mike D’Angelo (A.V. Club) gave it a “WTF” rating, declaring the final scene “a startling, truncated conclusion that seems completely out of proportion with the lazy, anti-urgent meandering that precedes it”, ending with the words ”I know there’s something happening here, but I don’t know what it is”. Continue reading
In an effort to not fall behind with the Trailer Weeklies even more, I’m doing a double Trailer Weekly today – lots of films thus. I am a little late with that too, but that’s because I got to see「ゼロの焦点」 (Zero no Shōten/Zero Focus, Japan, 2009) from the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme
tonight last night when I thought I wouldn’t (the screening was sold out but I got lucky in the end as the first one on the waiting list ). It was quite a thrill to watch – a murder mystery set at a turning point in time for the Japanese nation. 「八日目の蝉」 (Youkame no Semi/Rebirth, Japan, 2011), another film on the Touring Film Programme that I saw on Friday, I enjoyed even more, but hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts with you in detail in some reviews soon.
Before we tackle the monster list of eleven trailers, I just wanted to mention (in case you missed it) that I added a new page on Otherwhere: a schedule of all the 2013 (South East) Asian film releases (both home and cinematic) in the UK.
The London air smelled like snow today – crisp and fresh. It hasn’t snowed (not yet anyhow), although some forecasts seem to say that it will. Who knows. My sister has been telling me since yesterday that Vienna’s turning white, I haven’t talked to my Mom yet whether the same is true for the hometown. My Dad is of course snow-less in Delhi, but he did send me a photo in December from Srinagar (Kashmir & Jammu), where travelling to the construction site was a bit of a fight against the elements (apparently they needed a tractor to tow them out).
In case you can’t tell I love snow and the green Christmas this year was really a let-down (I got only snow dustings on the day I flew into Vienna and the day I flew out again. Boooohoooo.).
On to films now…. I have got five for you today:
I’ve decided that today’s Trailer Weekly (okay, strictly speaking, I’m still a week behind) should be dorama-inspired. As in, full of films starring actors that I have seen and enjoyed in TV series but whose work on the big screen I also want to explore further. This one happens to be all about actors, but I’ll do an actress version at some point too. Continue reading
I’m still playing catch-up with the Trailer Weeklies. Aside from that missing #60, I’m a week behind… but I’ll keep trying, maybe I can get that #65 out before next Sunday. I should probably start scrutinising all those “Best films of 2012″ lists that tend appear around this time of the year (which I like to read for inspiration, but hate to create myself).
It’s the final month of the KCCUK‘s Year of 12 Directors (and, yes, it’s already more than half-gone-by). I don’t really want to believe it either, for one because it means 2012 is nearly over but also because what in the world will we be doing on Thursday evenings starting from January on? I’m hoping the KCCUK will still organise some film screenings, but I’m guessing it won’t be quite as many as this year.
As for December: It’s Lim Soon-rye (임순례, sometimes also romanised as Yim or even Im Soon-rye) who is the final director of the year, and she’s also the only woman in the line-up – a reflection of that female directors in South Korea are still rather limited in number.* Continue reading
My sister was visiting this past week so I played tour guide and ate a lot. Japanese food, Taiwanese food and South Indian food and, twice, at the awesome Candy Café. Plus goodies like ตะโก้ from the various Asian supermarkets in Chinatown (one of my favourite places in London). The brilliant thing about having an equally Third Culture Kid sister is that we just walk into these places and go ahhh! in total and utter delight of things we both know from childhood days. Or take pictures of the Doraemon cake slices in the Asian bakeries (invoking memories of cakes that never tasted like anything much but had the most elaborate, sometimes even 3-D scenes realised in buttercream). We/I didn’t do much film-wise, though I did drag my more cinematically mainstream oneesan into Beasts of the Southern Wild.
I am still in Dublin and loving the Irish (so unlike grumpy, I-won’t-talk-to-you-even-if-you’re-standing-right-next-to-me Londoners!). And loving the Japanese too, because somehow quite a few of them turned up at the conference I was at. Given that it was a small postgraduate event that was unusual as these are normally only attended by people geographically placed in the same region. So, quite unexpectedly, I walked away with several めいし, invitations to visit Nagoya and Tokyo (and Dublin again) and some words added to my J-vocab. Plus, apparently I’m kawaii.
*Apologies for this post being only ready after the first screening took place!*
November may be filled with plenty of Korean cinema already – thanks to the London Korean Film Festival – but there is more film fare still, for the KCCUK‘s Year of 12 Directors is on the programme as well with Song Hae-seong (송해성) being the man of the month.
Just in time this time round.
Hope you had a good weekend. It actually snowed in London, but only for 10 minutes and no one – except those of us up at 6 am on Saturday morning – noticed. I even saw three people in shorts at that hour, one being a runner, the other two… lunatics? At least I can’t figure out any other explanation for wearing shorts at 1 degree Celsius!
Anyhow, five trailers today (in order to be timely), all J plus one K.
UPDATED 19/10/2012 – Screening dates added. (Still incomplete – more soon.)
Hangul Celluloid is the one in the know and posted the full programme for the 7th London Korean Film Festival on his website yesterday, with details on film genre, director and runtime all provided. He did leave me the work of digging out all the titles in the original language and script, but, well, here you go!
The festival is scheduled to open on November 1st, with 37 films (shorts included) screening in total in London until November 10th, before moving on to Bristol, Bournemouth and Glasgow on the 11th for nearly another week of K-film galore. In London, films are set to be shown at the Odeon West End, Odeon Panton Street, Odeon Kingston, the KCCUK as well as at the ICA in London, plus the Glasgow Grosvenor cinema, the Odeon Bournemouth cinema and the Bristol Cube
with individual dates yet having to be announced – updates will follow here.
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.
For once I turned down a last-minute request to cover at work and thought I had a perfect plan for Sunday. Then things didn’t quite go as planned and I am hanging out in the SOAS Postgraduate Common Room (taking a nap, nibbling on sushi & drinking matcha soy milk) instead of being at the cinema to watch 赤い季節 (Akai Kisetsu/A Road Stained Crimson, Japan, 2012 – fingers crossed I’ll manage to see it tomorrow).
Oh well. At least it means I can fit in a couple hours of PhD work. And write the Trailer Weekly, which this week is the result of randomicity – mostly browsing asianwiki.com and arbitrarily clicking on various actors’ profiles.
Director: Marten Persiel
Screenplay: Marten Persiel, Ira Wedel
Cinematography: Felix Leiberg
Animation: Sasa Zivkovic
Music: Lars Damm, Troy von Balthasar
Runtime: 90 min
Trailer: Trailer 1 and Trailer 2
Film’s official website: This Ain’t California
This Ain’t California had its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival (London) on September 27, 2012. Details here. It also screened in German cinemas this summer and has been shown at a number of international film festivals. It will be the closing film at the annual Berlin & Beyond Festival in San Francisco on October 4, 2012.
A few years back the International Baccalaureate (IB) issued a quote for its students the world round to discuss in their Theory of Knowledge examination essays: “History is part myth, part hope and part reality”. Der Spiegel, a German-language weekly from the popular press, missed the lesson, writing the following in its review of This Ain’t California:
Zu rasant, um wahr zu sein: Der preisgekrönte Film “This Ain’t California” über die Skater-Szene in der DDR kommt als Dokumentation daher. Dabei ist vieles erfunden und nachgestellt. (Translation: “Too daring to be true: The award-winning film ‘This Ain’t California’ about the skateboarding scene in the German Democratic Republic pretends to be a documentary. Much however is invented and reproduced.”) (quote source) Continue reading
Yes, double Trailer Weekly attack today!
If you follow me on Twitter, you will have probably noticed that this week I was (re)tweeting a lot about UWC, which stands for United World Colleges, a movement (?) that celebrated 50 years this week. It’s kind of hard to sum up what UWC is and the mission statement “to deliver a challenging and transformational educational experience to a diverse cross section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future” sounds as posh and empty-worded as any, except that in reality it isn’t. Basically, the United World Colleges are a connected group of schools (currently twelve institutions spread over five continents) that believes that sticking some 200 kids aged 16-19 from as many different countries as possible (usually around 75) into a boarding school for two years can somehow make the world a better place. (Full scholarships provided by the way.) Continue reading
I’m finally getting in that third and final Trailer Weekly I had to make up for from my blogging hiatus in May. South Korea and Japan are back on the menu, which is chock-full with films on sensitive, controversial and intriguing issues: transgender identity, homosexuality, disproportionate age gaps in relationships, being female in a highly patriarchal society, surreal fables and meditations on silence and exile. It’s an eclectic and eccentric mix, but that’s how I like it.
I’ve had a long day, a long weekend really, and I don’t mean that in terms of extra time off but rather in terms of early starts and work. I worked yesterday, which meant leaving the house at 6 a.m., and went to the airport today, which meant leaving at 5:45 a.m, plus cycling plenty on both days (~65km). To work I do in any case, but going to Paddington on a Sunday morning via public transport turned out to be such a hassle that I opted for an hour on the bike instead. As for the airpot bit, that was the saddest part of the day, as I had to say goodbye to a dear friend returning to Japan for good. Missing her already. Fortunately, I had the visit of another friend plus the Zipangu Fest to distract (read: delight) me.
On to trailers: zero Japan and Korea this week, but don’t run off just yet, expand your horizon! (Or as one of the films on the list this week would say: realise that the world is bigger than the canvas you inhabit). All of this week’s suggestions come from the BFI festival catalogue. Although I’m all booked out for the festival already, I’m hoping to catch these some other time as they all look rather good!
Trailer Weekly day. I’m back in London and suffering from the sudden 15 degree drop in temperature (the weather is just miserable!) and the fact that my breakfast doesn’t include mango anymore. Boohoooo. Never mind that the autumn months are looking insanely busy already, leaving me unsure whether I’ll have even time to breathe… all my September weekends are already planned out and some of October’s as well. Although I’m still a bit disappointed that I had to turn down presenting at the Cultural Translation and East Asia: Film, Literature and Art conference, which takes place in Bangor, Wales, next week, I know it was the more sensible decision in terms of time and workload. Despite the full schedule ahead, I’m hoping I will fit in more film reviews this month, as only three in August was a new low – sorry!
On to trailers, trailers: we are 50/50 this week: 50% Korean, 50% Japanese.
Films this week come from a variety of sources – some more from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) catalogue, one (and a half) from Twitter and one from an invitation email for the monthly ICA members’ preview – so it’s a mixed selection that is somehow dominated by Korean connections. And, for once, nothing Japanese, at least not in the trailer section. The Bonus Bits, meanwhile, are all about Japan.
Recently, in Trailer Weekly 43, I posted a teaser trailer for「るろうに剣心」 (Rurōnikenshin/Rurouni Kenshin, Japan, 2012). A full length trailer now is available on the official YouTube channel of the film, not only in Japanese, but with subtitles in four different languages: English, French, Spanish and Chinese. The multi-language effort in itself is interesting, as it surely must indicate something about the audience the film is aiming for. Continue reading
Sunday, Sunday. I have made it to New Delhi by now, where it is hot (to the point of melting, but I don’t mind) with occasional bouts of monsoon rain (nothing too heavy yet although I’m hoping for more, not because of the heat, but because I rather like the monsoon). I am not actually on holiday, but I came due to my ever-present need not to stay just in one place as I get too restless (after-effect of being a TCK). I’m rather lucky that I have places I can go to relatively easily – my Dad is based for work here.
Not being in London does mean missing out on just about all August events, but I packed a pile of DVDs and hope I’ll get through at least some of them and also catch up on some of my review backlog. I say “hope” because I also brought a whole lot of other work for my PhD project, other academic research and editorial work and assignments for one of my freelance jobs. Yeah, not really a holiday. Well, at least I get to eat mangoes every day.
On to trailers: it’s a mixed batch this week – some which I can’t wait to see, others that I’m not quite sure about.
Apologies for not posting much lately (so it feels to me in any case), but I’m quite busy with my studies and work at the moment. I won’t be in the UK for the entire month of August (gotta escape the chaos of the Olympics), and am trying to get as many hours in as possible before going away. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that I will be particularly less busy next month, just that I won’t have immediate deadlines and meetings with my supervisors. Continue reading
Anyhoo, trailers… since it’s all about randomicity today, I’m going for a jumble of films from everywhere.
It’s (almost) July. The Olympics are coming to London this month but so is Lee Hyun-seung (이현승, alternate English spelling Lee Hyeon-Seung) in the KCCUK’s Year of 12 Directors. What to get ready for? Korea’s first ‘feminist’ movie, a romance classic that even Hollywood couldn’t resist and ex-gangsters gunned down by their past. Continue reading
I promised a make-up Trailer Weekly today for one of the skipped ones in May, so here it is. If I am honest, I am way more excited about the Bonus Bits (scroll down) than the trailers today – which is not to say that the films listed are not interesting. It’s just that some of the Bonus Bits are news that make me happy! Filmwise, I’m still in Cine-Japan-mode, with a few more entries from the Nippon Connection Festival, a couple of oh-this-actor-is-in-it! and some random finds.
Feeling lazy today. Just one of those days! Lack of sleep due to marathoning 「花ざかりの君たちへ イケメン♂パラダイス」 (Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen ♂ paradaisu/For You in Full Blossom better known as Hana Kimi, 2007) until, umm, daylight hours, is not helping the matter. Hana Kimi is a fun dorama, but, be warned, totally of the whacky, way-out-there, manga-kind – it is in fact based on a manga. Just the final couple episodes feel a little deflated. Still, for the most part it is – once you suspend all and any expectations of normality – crackingly funny and all the familiar faces (Oguri, Okada, Mizushiro, etc.) also warmed my heart.
The trailers this week? An almost exclusively Japanese affair.
I have been spending quite a bit of the weekend at the cinema, enjoying the BFI’s Anime Season with「ホッタラケの島 〜遥と魔法の鏡〜」(Hottarake no Shima: Haruka to Mahō no Kagami/Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror - touching but with narrative weaknesses) and「アキラ」(Akira/Akira - more violent than I normally care for but oh so brilliant) on Saturday and – after rushing there straight from work -「ももへの手紙」 (Momo e no Tegami/A Letter to Momo - another kind awesome) following today. Much of this Trailer Weekly was actually written during work hours, but I’m finishing it off after walking from the BFI Southbank (via the ICA and Chinatown) to Look Mum No Hands, one of London’s too few late-night cafés. I do have my bike with me, but sometimes after a cinema visit I feel rather reflective and the speed of cycling doesn’t quite go with it. So walk I did, in drizzling rain, and reflect too, about the films seen this weekend, London, life and the world. My mind still feels overloaded with thoughts and the only conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m feeling restless. Hmm.
Moving on to trailers….
As promised, a make-up Trailer Weekly (with two more to follow over the next couple weeks).
Yesterday, when I posted the review for 「ヒミズ」 (Himizu/Himizu, 2011) and then added a link to the Trailer Weekly (#14) that featured the film, I ended up wondering if there would ever be a post where I would be able to cross off all the films. I don’t know. I post many more trailers than films that I am able to watch and review, or even just watch. In fact, looking through, there are plenty Trailer Weeklies from which I have not even seen one film, often for lack of time (and/or money) but also because it isn’t easy to see the movies I’m most interested in. They are not released in UK cinemas. DVDs are not always available, or are available but not with subtitles. Or they are sold with the wrong region setting (something that really irks me by the way). Hurdles of that sort. Continue reading