Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival kicks off next month (12th – 27th October) and amidst a lot of genuinely exciting international films is a selection of brilliant new Japanese titles which I’ll list here. I have yet to see them but the directors are very familiar to me so here’s a run-down of what’s on offer and you better be quick in booking your tickets!

Kiseki / I Wish

Hirokazu Kore-eda became a favourite director of mine when I watched a BBC Four screening of his quirky second film After Life and the emotionally shattering Nobody Knows. Since then he has dabbled in a samurai tale and a family drama with his last film, Still Walking, which had shades of Ozu. A lot of his skill comes from his documentary background which allows him to create scenes and foster performances that seem naturalistic. Kiseki has a lot of actors from Still Walking so I’m eager to see what the results are.

Two young brothers find themselves caught in the aftermath of a messy divorce between their parents. Now separated and at opposite ends of the island of Kyushu they hatch a plan to unite their parents through a miracle that the Kyushu Shinkansen (bullet train) can create.

There are two screenings at the Vue West End cinema in Leicester Square which will take place on Saturday the 15th of October at 18:00 p.m and Monday the 17th of October at 18:oo p.m.. Visit the page to book your tickets!

  Continue reading “Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival”

Trailer and Link Round-Up Late Edition: 13 Assassins, Hara Kiri and Melancholia

This post is a bit late which is frustrating because the amount of awesome trailers I see every week is huge and the news from Cannes is truly mind-boggling for a film fan. I guess I’ll focus on three film-makers, Takashi Miike and Lars von Trier.

Takashi Miike first.

Well gang, saw Attack the Block this week. Nice film, no 13 Assassins (my film of the year) but what is? On the subject of 13 Assassins, it will be released in the UK by Artificial Eye on the 5th of September at the price of £9.99 on DVD and £12.93 on Blu-ray. Here’s the cover for the DVD:

13 Assassins DVD Cover

Time for the trailers!

Continue reading “Trailer and Link Round-Up Late Edition: 13 Assassins, Hara Kiri and Melancholia”

Trailer and Link Round-Up April 30th

So as I await the release of Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins (UK release date is May 5th) I spot the trailer for his latest opus plus two other trailers which have piqued my interest.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai 3D

I briefly mentioned news of Takashi Miike’s latest remake of a classic film in a previous trailer round-up (complete with trailer for original film) and now here is the trailer for the modern version.

Starring Ebizo Ichikawa (Kabuki actor), the story is about a poor samurai named Hanshiro Tsugumo who goes to the manor of a feudal lord in order to commit ritual suicide, or hara kiri. The feudal lord suspects this is to gain money from him because he has shown beneficence in to other samurai. However, this is part of an elaborate plan to gain vengeance. This is a remake of a film made in 1962 and gets its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival where it is competing for the Palme d’Or.

Julia’s Eyes

When I say, “this is a Spanish horror film with the words Produced by Guillermo Del Toro”, that’s two reasons to go see a film because;

1. Spain have been producing brilliant atmospheric horror in recent years and

2. Guillermo Del Toro is involved, need I say more?


Julia (Belén Rueda) is a woman suffering from degenerative eye disease which means she is long her sight. When she finds out that her twin sister who is already blind Sara has committed suicide in the basement of her house, she is suspicious and begins to investigate. Pretty soon, she is under attack from a shadowy presence.

The film is due for release on the 20th of May by Optimum, so it should feature in most cinemas nationwide.

The Perfect Host

Frasier has to be one of THE best television comedies every created. Every performance in every episode is brilliant. Who would have thought a show about an arrogant psychiatrist and his family would be so good?  David Hyde Pierce as Niles was simply divine and it’s nice to see him play fully on his lunatic side in this film.



Warwick Wilson is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor is a career criminal. He’s just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick’s doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who’s been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we become deeply intertwined in the lives of these two men and discover just how deceiving appearances can be.

Here’s a link to Roger Ebert’s blog. He’s one of the few North American critics I follow and his wealth of experience creates great articles.