Tickets are now on sale for the fifth edition of the annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Due to Japanese language studies this post is about two weeks late but there is still time to order tickets.
The festival this year looks genuinely impressive with many UK premieres and a selection of films that cover a wide variety of genres and countries. There is strength and depth in this selection and it is heartening to see that the UK is getting to see these films.
For my part I have got four tickets thanks to fellow blogger Alua. I’m pretty hyped up at the prospect of seeing three Japanese films (A Story of Yonosuke, See You Tomorrow, Everyone, Land of Hope) and one Korean one (The Berlin File). Without further ado here is a word from the organisers followed by the line-up with some comments on the films I am familiar with and a preview of the Japanese films I will watch. Click on the titles to head over to the festival site for more information on the film and to order tickets!
5TH ANNUAL TERRACOTTA FAR EAST FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL LINE-UP
Over the years the festival has seen the event go from strength to strength. This year is set to be the biggest yet, expanding to 27 films spread over 4 sections and 2 venues from 06 – 15 June 2013.
The core of the festival will remain a hand-picked selection of the best CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA at The Prince Charles Cinema. This all UK Premiere section reflects the vibrancy and energy in Asian filmmaking today. Ranging from realist dramas to romance, light comedies to spy action thrillers, swordfighting epics to gothic fairytales, the festival aims to balance the representation of Asian countries.
Terracotta Festival 2013 (TFEFF13) will open with Hong Kong action COLD WAR on Thursday 06 June 2013.
This year’s edition will also see a return to last year’s Terror Cotta Horror night on Friday 07 June in association with Film 4 Frightfest. The triple bill has now extended to an all-night horror marathon.
The organisers also have added the “IN MEMORY OF” section to mark the tenth anniversary of two of Hong Kong’s best loved and most missed stars: Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui.
Terracotta Festival 2013 will close out at the ICA with “SPOTLIGHT ON: Indonesia”. 11 – 15 June will be an entire week dedicated to Indonesian cinema, from the country’s freshest emerging talent alongside work by established filmmakers. This new section will bring rare insight into one of Asia’s rising film powerhouses.
Terracotta Far East Film Festival full Programme:
IN MEMORY OF: Leslie Cheung & Anita Mui
Both Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui were wonderful actors, two of the biggest stars in HK cinema, and they both died untimely deaths. It is pleasing to see that they will be remembered with this retrospective.
DAYS OF BEING WILD Dir: Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong – Wed 29 May 2013, 20:45
1994/ Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles/ 94 mins/ starring Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Days of Being Wild was one of Wong Kar Wai’s (WKW) earliest films and it contains all of WKW’s familiar from gorgeous cinematography to characters going trough deep existential self-questioning in a story about a man searching for his birth mother. It stars a whole gamut of HK stars.
ROUGE Dir: Stanley Kwan, Hong Kong – Thurs 06 June 2013, 17:50
1988/ Cantonese with English subtitles/ 96 mins/ starring Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung
Stanley Kwan’s film is described as Part Romeo & Juliet, part ghost story, an outstanding and timeless classic. It stars both Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung.
HAPPY TOGETHER Dir: Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong – Fri 07 June 2013, 12:30
1997/ Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles/ 96 mins/ starring Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chen Chang
I really like this film. I have watched it numerous times and I just love (and own) the soundtrack which is inspired by its Argentinian setting and don’t get me started about the ending.
The film follows the story of a gay love triangle slowly fragmenting and dislocating amidst the beautiful city of Buenos Aires.
CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA
COLD WAR by Sunny Luk, Longman Leung, Hong Kong – Opening Film Thurs 06 June 2013, 19:50
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Cantonese with English subtitles/ 102 mins/ starring Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Andy Lau
This is a police thriller which reminds me a lot of Infernal Affairs and it looks to have similar impressive production values. It won big at the recent Hong Kong Film awards and UK film fans get to see it on the big screen with its premiere at the festival.
When police deal with a sophisticated hijacking of a police van they are outwitted at every turn and all the while the guys leading the police investigation are battling each other for positions of power in a tale of police corruption and politics.
LOVE ME NOT by Gilitte Leung, Hong Kong – Fri 07 June 2013, 14:30
UK Premiere/2012/ Cantonese with English Subtitles/ 92 mins/ starring Kenneth Cheng, Afa Lee
A sweet and daring portrait of blurred sexuality and love complications.
WHEN A WOLF FALLS IN LOVE WITH A SHEEP by Hou Chi-Jan, Taiwan – Fri 07 June 2013, 16:35
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Mandarin with English Subtitles/ 86 mins/ starring Ko Chen Tung, Chien Man Shu, Kuo Shu Yao, Nikki Hsieh
Vivid colours, lush set pieces and stop motion animation create a surreal, dreamy vision of Taipei.
YOUNG GUN IN THE TIME by Oh Young-doo, South Korea- Fri 07 June 2013, 18:35
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Korean with English subtitles/ 95 mins/ starring Hong Young-geun, Ha Eun-jung, Choi Song-hyun
Quirky, low-budget time travel romp filled with sex shops, robot hands and Hawaiian shirts.
KARAOKE GIRL by Visra Vichit Vadakan, Thailand – Fri 07 June 2013, 20:30
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Thai with English subtitles/ 77 mins/ starring Sa Sittijun, The Sittijun family.
Realistic, unseedy portrayal of a lovely and lovelorn Bangkok hostess.
THE ASSASSINS by Zhao Yiyang, China – Sat 08 June 2013, 12:00
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Mandarin with English subtitles/ 107 mins/ starring Chow Yun Fat, Hiroshi Tamaki, Crystal Liu Yi Fei
Chow Yun Fat in a historical swordfighting epic tale of love, power and betrayal.
A STORY OF YONOSUKE Dir: Shuichi Okita, Japan – Sat 08 June 2013, 14:20
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 160 mins starring Kengo Kora, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ayumi Ito, Gou Ayano, Arata, Kimiko Yo, Aki Asakura, Mei Kurokawa, Tasuku Emoto, Aimi Satsukawa, Keiko Horiuchi, Noriko Eguchi,
Shuichi Okita really impressed me with The Woodsman & the Rain, a film he directed and wrote. It is a wonderfully observed and rather touching comedy about the art of filmmaking and human bonds where he got great performances from his two lead stars, Koji Yakusho and Shun Oguri. The Story of Yonosuke was recently released in Japan (February) and it will get a release on DVD later in the year in the UK thanks to Third Window Films. I am pleased to say that this will be one of the films I will be seeing at the festival!
A story of a college student with an unusual name and a warm heart, spanning his college days in 1980’s Tokyo, as told by his closest friends and associates. Yonosuke Yokomichi (Kora) has left the port city of Nagasaki and travelled to Tokyo to attend university. His girlfriend is Shoko Yosano (Yoshitaka) and she is the daughter of a company president.
DRUG WAR Dir: Johnnie To, Hong Kong – Sat 08 June 2013, 17:30
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Mandarin with English Subtitles/ 107 mins/ starring Louis Koo, Sun Honglei, Lam Suet
Johnnie To’s fast moving actioner features a police captain and an arrested and coerced drug lord out to smash a major drug ring.
THE BERLIN FILE Dir: Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea – Sat 08 June 2013, 19:45
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Korean with English subtitles/ 120mins/ starring Ha Jung-woo, Gianna Jun, Han Suk-Kyu, Ryoo Seung-bum
This is the Korean film I am going to see. There are a lot of dramas on the cards for me so this tale of North and South Korean agents in Berlin tangled up in a Bourne style multi-agency web of deceit is like the macho antidote to all of the emotions I’ll encounter. I love Bourne style films and I expect plenty of gunplay in this.
SEE YOU TOMORROW, EVERYONE by Yoshihiro Nakamura, Japan – Sun 09 June 2013, 12:25
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 120 mins/ starring Gaku Hamada, Kana Kurashina, Kento Nagayama, Kei Tanaka, Nene Otsuka, Bengal, Haru
From the director of The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker comes a gentle emotional comedy that has been acquired by Third Window Films for UK distribution later this year. It is described as a multi-layered look into life on a Japanese council estate (danchi?) and it stars Gaku Hamada, Kana Kurashina (Dreams for Sale), Kento Nagayama (Crime or Punishment?!?), Kei Tanaka (one of the school pupils on the roof in Suicide Club), Bengal (Boiling Point) and Nene Otsuka (Film Noir, Bashing). I’ll be watching this one. Will you?
Satoru Watari (Hamada) lives in an apartment complex. After graduating from elementary school he decides to stay in the complex for the rest of his life. True to his word he stays at home instead of going to middle school and gets a job in a cake shop in the complex and gets engaged to a friend. His other friends have other ideas and one by one they leave.
A WEREWOLF BOY by Jo Sung-hee, South Korea – Sun 09 June 2013, 15:30
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Korean with English subtitles/ 125 mins/ starring Song Joong-ki, Park Bo-young, Yoo Yeon-seok
Fantasy romance along the lines of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, taking a traditional fairytale structure and setting it against a 1960’s technicolor Korea.
THE BULLET VANISHES by Law Chi Leung, Hong Kong – Sun 09 June 2013, 18:00
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Mandarin with English Subtitles/ 108 mins/ starring Lau Ching Wan, Nicholas Tse
Detectives are called to a munitions factory where murders involving “phantom bullets” are puzzling the forensics teams and spooking the local workforce.
THE LAND OF HOPE by Sion Sono, Japan – Sun 09 June 2013, 20:05
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 133 mins/ starring Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka, Yutaka Shimizu, Hikari Kajiwara, Denden, Mariko Tsutsui, Yusuke Iseya, Mitsuru Fukikoshi,
I have been anticipating the release of this film since last year. I really, really (really x10) love Sono’s films. Suicide Club, Strange Circus and Cold Fish are my top three but his drama Himizu made me an emotional wreck and I expect the same thing here. Like Himizu, The Land of Hope deals with the aftermath of 3.11 in a restrained drama dealing with a family’s struggles after the aftermath of a Fukushima-style nuclear power plant explosion in their town. Like Himizu, I bet The Land of Hope works best in a cinema! I’ll find out because I’m going to be watching it!
An old couple named Yasuhiko and Chieko (Natsuyagi and Otani) live on a farm near a peaceful village in Nagashima prefecture with their son Yoichi (Murakami) and his wife Izumi (Kagurazaka). When an earthquake strikes the nearby nuclear power plant explodes and the village’s residents are forced to evacuate since the village is in the twenty-kilometre evacuation radius. The family are soon faced with a tough decision: evacuate with the rest of the village or stay on the land that generations of their family have lived on. Yoichi and his wife decide to head to a nearby urban community while Yasuhiko and Chieko remain on the farm. Both couples are beset by doubts and problems.
Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter
Part of me would have liked to have seen the three Japanese entries in this all-nighter but the more sensible part of me knows that I would rather get my sleep because being tired would make me miserable and I wouldn’t enjoy the films on Sunday!
COUNTDOWN by Nattawut Poonpiriya, Thailand – Fri 07 June, 23:30- 07:10
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Thai and English with English Subtitles/ 90 mins/ starring Pachara Chirathivat, Jarinporn Joonkiat, Pattarasaya Kruesuwansiri
New Year’s Eve in New York City goes wrong for three flat-mates when their drug dealer overstays his welcome and turns psycho on them.
BELENGGU by Upi, Indonesia – Fri 07 June, 23:30- 07:10
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 100 mins/ starring Abimana Aryasatya, Avrilla.
Visions of violent murders, a giant, knife throwing rabbit and a mysterious femme-fatale. What is really going on in Elang’s head?
HENGE by Ohata Hajime, Japan – Fri 07 June, 23:30- 07:10
UK Premiere / 2012/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 54 mins/ starring Aki Morita, Kazunari Aizawai, Teruhiko Nobukuni
What would you do if the person that you loved most in the world turned into a monster right before your eyes? Sounds a lot like Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Yoshiaki (Aizawa) and Keiko (Morita) are a young couple living in a quiet area but things get decidedly strange when Yoshiaki begins to have strange seizures which leave him screaming like a beast and his wife absolutely scared. Then he undergoes a metamorphosis…
THE GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA by Nobuo Nakagawa, Japan – Fri 07 June, 23:30- 07:10
1959/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 76 mins/ starring Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi
A classic retrospective presentation of an old Japanese Macbeth-like folk tale. Wikipedia describes it as arguably the most famous Japanese ghost story of all tie, Yotsuya Kaidan has been remade multiple times (30 times!!!) with the most recent example being the rather tame Kaidan directed by Hideo Nakata. It is based on a Kabuki play written way back in 1825 and follows the misfortunes of two families locked in a deadly curse.
ZOMVIDEO by Kenji Murakami, Japan – Fri 07 June, 23:30- 07:10
UK Premiere / 2011/ Japanese with English Subtitles/ 76 mins starring Maimi Yajima, Saki Nakajima, Miyuki Torii, Jouichi Ohori
When I first found this I transliterated the title as Zombideo (the way Japanese people would say it) and I prefer that title! Originally made in 2011, this horror comedy stars Maimi Yajima who is a member of the idol group “°C-ute”. I hope Terror-cotta release this in the UK because I kind of like the trailer.
Aiko (Yajima) works for a TV production company and discovers a video called “Introduction to Science”, a “how to” video which features a guide on dealing with zombies. Good timing really because a zombie army floods Japan and it is up to Aiko to beat back the ravenous hoards.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Indonesia
THE DANCER by Ifa Isfansya, Indonesia – Tue 11 June, time tbc
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 107 mins/ starring Oka Antara, Prisia Nasution, Slamet Raharjo, Dewi Irawan, Hendro Djarot, Lukman Sardi
The story of a girl destined to be the ronggeng of her village in the 60’s political turmoil. Indonesia’s official entry at the 85th Academy Awards.
LOVELY MAN by Teddy Soeriaatmadja, Indonesia – Wed 12 June, time tbc
UK Premiere/ 2011/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 76 mins/ starring Donny Damara, Raihaanun Nabila, Yayu aw Unru, Luddy Saputro
A provocative, powerful father-daughter story unlike any you’ve seen.
WHAT THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LOVE by Mouly Surya, Indonesia – Thurs 13 June, time tbc
UK Premiere/ 2012/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 105 mins/ starring Karina Salim, Ayushita Nugraha, Nicholas Saputra, Anggun Priambodo, Lupita Jennifer
At a special needs boarding school, the students are like any other teenagers: they attend classes, pursue artistic endeavours, and occupy their minds with love and dreams.
POSTCARDS FROM THE ZOO by Edwin, Indonesia – Fri 14 June, time tbc
2012/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 96 mins/ starring Ladya Cheryl, Nicholas Saputra, Adjie Nur Ahmad
Premiered at Berlinale, a story which revolves around Lana, a girl who was raised in a zoo after she was abandoned.
OPERA JAWA by Garin Nugroho / Arturo Gp / Arswendi, Indonesia – Sat 15 June, time tbc
2006/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 125 mins starring Martinus Miroto, Artika Sari Devi, Eko Supriyanto
A traditional Indonesian tragedy is reworked into a visually stunning musical in OPERA JAWA.
THE BLINDFOLD by Garin Nugroho, Indonesia – Sat 15 June, time tbc
UK Premiere / 2012/ Indonesian with English Subtitles/ 90 mins starring Jajang C. Noer, Adriani Isna, Eka Nusa Pertiwi
The story of three young people lured into a radical Islamic organisation.
Tickets at Prince Charles Cinema: £8.50 non members, no concessions/ £6.00 (PCC Members)
(Friday afternoon: £6.50/ £4.00)
Festival Pass: £59.50 non members/ £48 members
EARLY BIRD PASS*: £55 non members/ £45 members (excludes Terror Cotta Horror Night and ICA Spotlight on Indonesia)
*if you buy early before Sunday 12th May, midnight
Terror-Cotta Horror All-nighter: £22 non members/ £19.50 members
SPOTLIGHT ON: Indonesia at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA):
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH / Box Office: +44 (0)20 7930 3647
Tickets at ICA: £10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Members
The trailers were all gathered from the Terracotta YouTube channel.