NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!
2 venues. 4 categories. 27 films. 10 days.
Tickets are now on sale for the 5th Terracotta Far East Film Festival in London! For the last five years, Terracotta Distribution has travelled to international film festivals and searched for the best current Asian films of the year, and showcased them at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. This year’s festival will be running for two weeks from Thursday 6 to Saturday 15 June at The Princes Charles Cinema and ICA.
There are 4 film categories this year: Current Asian Cinema, Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter, Films in Memory of Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui and Spotlight on Indonesia. As this is a Japan blog, we’re going to focus on the Japanese films. However, I’ve also picked out a couple of other films that (in my opinion) look particularly promising. For the full schedule, you can check out the Terracotta Far East Film Festival website.
Current Asian Cinema: Japanese films
The Story of Yonosuke
Director: Okita Shuichi / Screening: Saturday 8th June 14:35 at The Prince Charles Cinema
It’s 1987 and eighteen-year-old Yonosuke has moved to Tokyo where he finds himself out of step with his more wordly counterparts at university. Despite showing little talent, Yonosuke joins the samba club and takes to dancing with wild abandon. Soon after, he meets Shoko, an eccentric rich girl who shows interest in Yonosuke. But Yonosuke is infatuated with a mysterious older woman named Chiharu.
Juxtaposed against Yonosuke’s life are his friends sixteen years later. However, missing is the affable Yonosuke, who is said to have become a cameraman after college. Little do they know of the selfless tragedy that has befallen their ‘ordinary’ friend.
See You Tomorrow, Everyone
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura / Screening: Sunday 9th June 12:40 at The Prince Charles Cinema
The Director and acting team behind the hugely entertaining ‘Fish Story’ and the engrossing ‘The Foreign Duck The Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker’ bring you a multi-layered look into life in a Japanese council estate!
Satoru is a simple boy who lives in a government built estate where he’s told that life is so perfect he never wants to leave. The estate has everything needed to live: schools, shops, department stores, friends: all things needed to live a happy life… but as time goes by with friends leaving, relationships changing and shops closing will there still be happiness to be found in the changing landscape?
Land of Hope
Director: Sono Sion / Screening: Sunday 9th June 20:20 at The Prince Charles Cinema
Sono Sion, the director of ‘Love Exposure’ and ‘Himizu’, takes a step back from his usual over-the-top film-making style for a restrained drama dealing with a family’s struggles in the aftermath of a Fukushima-style nuclear power plant explosion in their town.
Set in the fictional Nagashima Prefecture, the Ono family finds themselves torn apart when a large earthquake strikes and sends the local nuclear power plant into meltdown. The 20km exclusion zone set by the government goes right through their front yard and for their family’s future they make the hard decision for the son and his wife to flee while the older arents stay to keep their heritage alive.
Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter
(Friday 7th June 23:30 to Saturday 8th June 07:10)
Ghost Story of Yotsuya (1959)
Director: Nakagawa Nobuo
A classic retrospective presentation of an old Japanese Macbeth-like folk tale.
Director: Hajime Ohata
What would you do if the person you loved most in the world turned into a monster right before your eyes?
You can check out the full Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter line up on the website!
Sophie’s other recommendations…
There is such a range of films to choose from at this year’s film festival, and everyone’s preferences will be different, so here are a few more films I particularly like the look of and am sure you will too.
Hong Kong film: Cold War
Director: Sunny Luk, Longman Leung / Screening: Thursday 6th June 20:05 at The Prince Charles Cinema
An all star cast, an intricate plot and explosive action all combine to make ‘Cold War’ Hong Kong’s biggest box office hit of the year.
Korean film: Young Gun in the Time
Director: Oh Young-doo / Screening: Friday 7th June 18:50 at The Prince Charles Cinema
The director of Invasion of Alien Bikini returns with a quirky, low budget time travel romp filled with sex shops, machine gun hands and Hawaiian shirts.
Chinese film: The Assassins
Director: Zhao Yi Yang / Screening: Saturday 8th June 12:15 at The Prince Charles Cinema
Chow Yun Fat in a historical swordfighting epic tale of love, power and betrayal; this year’s ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’.
Indonesian film: Postcards from the Zoo
Director: Edwin / Screening: at ICA
The film revolves around Lana, a girl who was raised in a zoo by a giraffe trainer after she was abandoned. Lana grew up surrounded by animals, boundaries and the sounds of subdued wilderness.
There’s a great line up of films here, so if you’re in London you’d be foolish not to check out at least one! Tickets are now on sale so mark the date in your diaries and enjoy!
In other exciting news… the next blog post will be the 100th blog post! I’m working on something special, but in the meantime you can vote for your favourite Ace Attorney video game tunes, and help choose a new weekly feature on the blog’s Facebook page!