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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!


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.


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.


Body Temperature, Garo and the Wailing Dragon, A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion, Memories Corner, The Story of Yonosuke, The Intermission, Life After 3.11 and Other Japanese Film Trailers and Movie Chart February 23rd, 2013

Umineko Twilight ImageI started this week with a trailer for HAL and followed that with a review for The Twilight Samurai and a trailer for the first Hanasaku Iroha movie. Next week I hope to get some yakuza films reviewed. There are so many films released this week I decided to shorten the title of the post rather than write the whole thing out as I usually do and the title highlights the films that caught my attention. Before that…

What does the Japanese film box-office chart look like this week (Feb 16/17)?

  1. A Good Day to Die Hard
  2. Ted
  3. Brain Man
  4. Strawberry Night
  5. Les Miserables
  6. Zero Dark Thirty
  7. Life of Pi
  8. Jack Reacher
  9. Masquerade
  10. Tokyo Family

None of the Japanese films released last week break into the top ten. The new entries are western films – A Good Day to Die Hard, Zero Dark Thirty and Masquerade. Nothing too interesting. There are a lot of films released this week with a lot of documentaries and a lot concerned with the anniversary of the 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.


Body Temperature            Body Temperature Film Poster

Japanese Title: 体温

Romaji: Taion

Release Date: February 23rd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 72 mins.

Director: Takaomi Ogata

Writer: Takaomi Ogata (Screenplay),

Starring: Chavetaro Ishizaki, Rin Sakuragi

This film sounds a lot like Air Doll going by the synopsis alone. I am unfamiliar with the names involved and the trailer seems to give the whole game away. Be careful, some racy content is present.

Rintaro (Ishizaki) works in a factory with does not have any real relationship with anyone except his blow-up doll Ikbuki. When he meets night cub hostess Rinko (Sakuragi) who looks like Ibuki, he falls in love with her. She is also a bit of a loner despite the public face she puts on. The two grow closer.


Garo and the Wailing Dragon          Garo and the Wailing Dragon Film Poster

Japanese Title: 牙狼 GARO 蒼哭ノ魔竜

Romaji: Garo – Soukoku no Maryu

Release Date: February 23rd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 96 mins.

Director: Keita Amemiya

Writer: Keita Amemiya (Screenplay/Creator),

Starring: Ryosei Konishi, Yuki Kubota, Anna Aoi, Yukijiro Hotaru, Rei Fujita, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Keiko Matsuzaka, Shouma Yamamoto,

The Garo fantasy adventure television series gets its second film and it is a special effects family fun-filled which premiered at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival where it got a good review from Screen Daily. Most of the actors are unfamiliar to me except Yukijiro Hotaru (Stacy: Attack of the School Girl Zombies, Cure, Mitsuko Delivers) but the film looks like a lot of fun with plenty of action and inventive looking creatures.

Kouga Saezima (Konishi) travels to the land of promise to retrieve the Fang of Sorrow but when he gets there he loses his Garo sword, magic clothes and Mado ring which renders him useless. Not quite as he still save a girl named Meru (Aoi). Can she help him?


A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion                     Toaru Majutsu no Index: The Miracle of Endymion Anime Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 とある 魔術 の 禁書目録 エンヂュミオン の 奇跡

Romaji: Toaru Majutsu no Indekkusu: Endyumion no Kiseki

Release Date: February 23rd 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Nishikori

Writer: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Screenplay),

Starring: Atsushi Abe (Tōma Kamijō), Rina Satou (Mikoto Misaka), Yuka Iguchi (Index), Kisho Taniyama (Stiyl Magnus), Aki Toyosaki (Kazari Uihara)

The first film entry in the The Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) franchise is released this year and it is going under the title Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endyumion no Kiseki (A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion). The staff list is filled with Index franchise veterans. Leading the way is Hiroshi Nishikiori (Gad Guard, Azumanga Daioh) who is directing the film. The script has been written by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Macross Frontier, Accel World) and that is based on an original story from Kazuma Kamachi the creator of the franchise. Kiyotaka Haimura, the man behind the illustrations for the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novel is helping with original character designs while art direction is orchestrated by Tomonori Kuroda. All of this is taking place with J.C. Staff animating and studio Sanzigen handling the CG.

Academy City is about to see the completion of the space elevator named Endymion. Around the time of completion Tōma Kamijō and Index encounter a Level 0 girl named Arisa Narumori who has a mysterious connection to Index. The three get along well but soon find themselves the targets of magicians lead by Stiyl Magnus who claims that Arisa is key to a brewing war between science and magic. A female leader named Shattoaura leads a unit from Academy City against the attack but Tōma Kamijō and Index still need to deal with the threat posed by Stiyl.

Continue reading “Body Temperature, Garo and the Wailing Dragon, A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion, Memories Corner, The Story of Yonosuke, The Intermission, Life After 3.11 and Other Japanese Film Trailers and Movie Chart February 23rd, 2013”