Shorts Night “Women Now” at the Korean Cultural Centre on July 27th

The Korean Cultural Centre in London is hosting another series of free film screenings and this one is called, Patchworks: Unwrapping My Korean Cinema. It is the final season of 2017’s Korean Film Nights and just like the last season, there are films being screened for free at the Korean Cultural Centre every Thursday.

The previous screening was It’s Not Her Sin, a black and white film from the ’50s. This week is Shorts Night: “Women Now” and this is totally up-to-date in terms of the representation of Korea and Koreans on screen. Audiences will have the chance to see six short films looking at the experiences of females in Korea from childhood to old age. They have been made by men and women, Koreans and expats, international co-productions and an animation made in Britain and they offer a huge range of stories

Here’s information on the first film in this season as pulled from the website:

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Dawn of the Felines「牝猫たち」 Dir:  Kazuya Shiraishi 2016

Dawn of the Felines    dawn-of-the-felines-film-poster

牝猫たち Mesuneko Tachi

Running Time: 84 mins.

Director:  Kazuya Shiraishi

Writer: Kazuya Shiraishi (Screenplay),

Starring: Juri Ihata, Satsuki Maue, Michie, Takuma Otoo, Tomohiro Kaku, Hideaki Murata,

Website IMDB

Dawn of the Felines is another entry in the reboot of the Roman Porno series and it comes from Kazuya Shiraishi who has worked on the rather leaden dramas The Devil’s Path and Twisted Justice. The title is a signal to anyone who knows the Roman Porno movement since it seems to follow on from Night of the Felines, a somewhat light take on the sex lives of people in Tokyo as seen and felt by a group of sex workers in a bathhouse. Dawn of the Felines is the modern update set in the glimmering neon lights and shadowy back streets of Ikebukuro.

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Summer Lights 「なつのひかり」 Dir:  Jean-Gabriel Periot 2016

Summer LightsSummer Nights Film Poster

なつのひかり Natsu no Hikari

Running Time: 83 mins

Director:  Jean-Gabriel Periot

Writer: Jean-Gabriel Periot (Screenplay), Yoko Harano (Collaboration),

Starring: Akane Natsukawa, Hiroto Ogi, Yuzu Horie, Keiji Izumi, Mamako Yoneyama,

UniFrance   Website    IMDB

Summer Lights comes from the award-winning French filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot. His past work has focussed on non-fiction short films about war, human rights and political struggle. He continues to explore these issues here in his first fiction film about a documentary filmmaker in the company of a capricious young woman who guides him around the city of Hiroshima, the two discovering some of the stories and traumas of the past whilst life blooms around them.

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Aroused by Gymnopedies「ジムノペディに乱れる」 Director:  Isao Yukisada (2017)

Aroused by Gymnopedies   Aroused by Gymnopedies Film Poster

ジムノペディに乱れる 「Gymnopedies ni Midareru

Running Time: 83 mins

Director:  Isao Yukisada

Writer: Isao Yukisada, Anne Horizumi (Screenplay),

Starring: Itsuji Itao, Sumire Ashina, Izumi Okamura, Noriko Kijima, Yuko Miyamoto, Masaki Miura, Kenji Iwatani, Mayumi Tajima,

Website IMDB

Aroused by Gymnopedies is one of the five films commissioned by Nikkatsu to be part of its reboot of the Roman Porno genre. Isao Yukisada directs and co-writes a self-reflexive story about the craft of filmmaking involving a once-great director who finds himself on skid-row and carrying a sadness that seemingly not even sex with a series of beautiful women can relieve.

The has-been director is fifty-something Shinji Furuya (Itsuji Itao). He was once a rising star in arthouse cinema capable of making great works that won awards at places like the Venice Film Festival but over the course of time his taste for womanising ballooned and something happened to him that made him fall from the heavens of the film industry and into a hellish landscape of melancholy and self-pity. He is now reduced to directing pink films for money, a stony-faced chain-smoking presence on set and a silent solitary man juggling debts in private. His latest production has turned into a disaster because his lead actress Anri (Izumi Okamura) has dropped out and he’s going to lose a desperately-needed paycheck.

Aroused by Gymnopedies Film Image

Thrown deeper into his mire of depression and with bills to pay he shambles around Tokyo over the course of seven days he alternately looking for money and slumps from one female acquaintance’s bed to another. Alas, he seems to get no joy from the sex he has with beautiful woman and he even rejects their offers of comfort. He soldiers on in being miserable because he carries an emotional burden too great for others to solve and it seems to be connected to a woman who plays the Erik Satie piano piece Gymnopedies in flashbacks he experiences

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Wet Woman in the Wind「風に濡れた女 」 2017 Dir: Akihiko Shiota

Wet Woman in the Wind   Wet Woman in the Wind Film Poster

風に濡れた女 Kaze ni nureta onna

Running Time: 78 mins.

Director:  Akihiko Shiota

Writer: Akihiko Shiota (Screenplay),

Starring: Tasuku Nagaoka, Yuki Mamiya, Ryushin Tei, Takahiro Kato, Hitomi Nakatani, Michiko Suzuki, Yuumi Akagi,

Website IMDB

The Roman Porno label is back for a series of five films to celebrate 45 years since the Nikkatsu film studio launched the originals.

Over the last year or so this specific sub-genre of soft-core porn films has been resurrected and they have cropped up at various festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam and Nippon Connection. Audiences have been able to see these newer entries in the series celebrate their antecedents by following the same rules of creation laid out by their predecessors – a short shoot of about a week to create something lasting 80 minutes with sex scenes every ten minutes or so. Writers and directors were free to explore various themes and settings whether it be sexual politics to historical tales to self-reflexive comedies based on the film world.

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The Korean Cultural Centre Will Screen the film “It’s Not Her Sin” on July 20th

The Korean Cultural Centre in London is hosting another series of free film screenings and this one is called, Patchworks: Unwrapping My Korean Cinema. It is the final season of 2017’s Korean Film Nights and apparently the title is “a play on Kim hong-joon’s My Korean Cinema (2002–2006), an 8-episode essay film that explored the director’s relationship with the history of Korean cinema. With each of the 8 episodes tackling a separate facet of the history of Korean cinema, our programme will focus on two episodes within the film: Smoking Women & For the March of Fools.”

The first screening is the 1959 film, It’s Not Her Sin.

This is the first of six films which will be screened on Thursday nights from July to September and these screenings will then be further separated into two mini-strands of three nights each. These two mini-strands will be comprised of five features and a short film programme.

Here’s information on the first film in this season as pulled from the website:

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A Preview of the Films at Kanazawa Film Fest 2017

The Kanazawa Film Festival will be taking place across Japan soon! It launches atKanazawa Film Festival 2017 Image the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (details) in Kanazawa city and its run will last from July 15th to the 17th. The film fest will then pop up in various city from July to November with venues in Yamaguchi, Kitakyushu, Hakui, Kyoto, and Sendai all screening films. It starts in Kanazawa this month and so I want to report on it now but if you live or are visiting any of the aforementioned cities this year then you can get some cinematic goodness from some indie films.

Apparently, there are 22 works selected from the 89 entries but despite the large amount of material on offer there are no female directors. Despite this reservation, the line-up consists of some incredibly intriguing-looking indie films with nearly all of them looking well-made. Also gratifying to see is my favourite film from the Osaka Asian Film Festival showing up. After complaining about a lack of stories in Japanese cinema a few weeks ago, I’m pleased to see a wide variety on display in these indie features and I hope I get to see some of them very soon.

Here are the details with trailers for some of the films and links to various websites and Twitter feeds dotted around. A lot of this information is rough around the edges so I encourage you to look at the festival’s official site and check the links I have provided:

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The 1983 Anime Adaptation of “Barefoot Gen” will be Screened at the Japanese Embassy on July 25th

The Japanese Embassy in London will screen the anime adaption of Barefoot Gen which was released in 1983. I have not seen the film or read the manga but I have visited Hiroshima and it is a wonderful city. The museum dedicated to the atomic bombing is full of heartbreaking exhibits. While I don’t discuss politics here, I think that nuclear weapons are evil and any nation that has a stockpile should decommission them. If anybody disagrees, perhaps seeing this film and seeing people who have suffered the consequences of their use might change their minds.

The event is free to attend but anyone interested in being part of the audience must book in advance to secure a place.

Here’s the information:

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Japanese Food Films! Summer Explorers 3: A special free film programme all about food

Summer Explorers 3 Image

The Japan Foundation have put together a five-film programme dedicated to showing off some of the cinematic gems celebrating Japanese cuisine and culinary culture. It’s all totally free and more information can be found on this site. Trailers and information follow on below:

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The Satoshi Kon Film “Millennium Actress” will be screened at the Barbican on July 03rd

The Barbican is running a season with a fantastic title, Cinema Matters: Bigger than Life and it’s all about how cinema has changed the world and the stars on the big screen who become legends. Think about the mega-stars of Japanese film history and you will come up with Toshiro Mifune and Setsuko Hara, both of whom worked with the great directors of the Golden Age in many classics and both of whom, some might say, were profoundly Japanese in their behaviour and emblematic of their nation’s ideals on masculinity and femininity.

The two might be highly important in the way the wider world views Japan but only Setsuko Hara got an anime movie more or less made about her and that movie will be screened at the Barbican. It’s the Satoshi Kon classic Millennium Actress and it will be screened on July 03rd at 20:45.

Here are the details:

Millenium Actress Film Image

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