Terracotta Release Return to Burma

2012 has seen Terracotta release a number of great titles like Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack, Desire to Kill and Petty Romance. Now they are set to release Return to Burma, a film from first time director Midi Z. It played earlier this year at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Reviews are generally mixed with critics praising the bravery of shooting a film while the regime is still enforcing draconian censorship laws and highlighting the strength of documentary nature while lamenting the lack of story structure missed chance of gaining an insight into the release of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. For anybody interested in gaining an insight into the country and in the human drama involved in cross-border crossings and returning to a place left behind, this is the ticket. Here are the details:

‘RETURN TO BURMA’

Return to Burma DVD Case


Starring: Wang Shin-hong, Yang Shu-lan, Chou Jung-kuo

Burma, Taiwan / 2010 / 84 mins / In Burmese, Mandarin with English subtitles
Release Date: 12th November 2012

Where should we go? Anywhere but home.

Synopsis
After decades, Burma finally holds its first presidential election. Many Burmese living abroad believe that prosperity will soon arrive. Xing-Hong, an immigrant labourer in Taiwan, is able to save enough money to return home. His return is bitter sweet, as he is carrying the remains of a friend that died in a work related accident.


When Xing-Hong arrives home, he finds that most of the young people want to work abroad, but Xing-Hong has always wanted to stay in his hometown to do business. He begins asking around for possible business opportunities. Through the protagonist’s eyes, we witness the true face of Burma and the angst of its youngsters.

DVD Special Features

  • Making of RETURN TO BURMA
  • Director’s Statement

Midi Z is an ethnic Chinese like the protagonist of the film, who had a similar journey moving from Burma to Taiwan when at the age of sixteen. Midi Z moved in order to study Film Directing and graduated with his first short movie, “Paloma Blanca”, in 2006. In 2009, he was selected as one of the most prominent directors by Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy. Produced by Hou Hsiao-Hsien (!!!), Midi Z made a short film called “Hua-Xing Incident”. Return to Burma is his first feature film.

Terracotta Festival UK Tour Details

Asian film fans across the UK have the opportunity to see some of the best new titles to come out of Asia when a choice selection from the Terracotta Far East Film Festival show up at Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton and London. Here are the details:

TERRACOTTA FESTIVAL TAKES 5 ASIAN FILMS ON A UK TOUR

Terracotta Far East Film Festival Tour Banner

For the first time in its four year history, Terracotta Festival is expanding its successful London residency of current Asian cinema showcase to selected venues in the UK.

The touring festival will kick off at the Cornerhouse cinema in Manchester on September 19th, followed by the Watershed in Bristol and will continue through October at the Genesis in London as well as dates in Brighton and Nottingham. More cities will be announced on the festival website.

Organisers are bringing a shortened programme of five contemporary films offering a taster of the best in current cinema in the Far East.

There will be two Japanese films, including Isn’t Anyone Alive? which marks the return of Sogo Ishii to filmmaking after a 10 year absence, and crowd-pleasing comedy The Woodsman and the Rain. Also in the line-up, two Korean films of different genres: pan-Asian WW2 blockbuster My Way and dark animation The King of Pigs. And the docu-drama Return to Burma which gives the audience a rare insider perspective into ordinary life in this fascinating and topical country.

Here are the films:

MY WAY

Terracott Festival Films My Way

Director: Kang Je-kyu, Duration: 137 mins, Starring: Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bingbing Certificate: 18

The most ambitious and expensive film coming from South Korea directed by box office champion Kang Je-Kyu (Brotherhood: Taegukgi, Shiri), My Way is an explosive epic war drama spanning Japan, Korea, China, Russian gulags and the beaches of Normandy, packed with high octane action and heart-breaking emotion that tells, for the first time, the story of the Second World War from a Korean point of view. It stars Joe Odagiri (Bright Future, Adrift in Tokyo) and Jang Dong-Gun (Nowhere to Hide, Friend, The Warrior’s Way). It was one of the official selections at the Berlin Film Festival 2012 and the opening film for this year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival.

ISN’T ANYONE ALIVE?

Terracott Festival Films Isn't Anyone Alive?
Director: Sogo Ishii, Duration: 113 mins, Starring: Shota Somentani, Rin Takanashi, Jun Murakami, Mai Takahashi Certificate: 15

Gakuryu Ishii aka Sogo Ishii has been amusing us with his talent of totally overstepping genre boundaries with striking images and music like Crazy Thunder Road and the twisted serial-killer films Angel Dust. In his latest feature film he has adapted the Shiro Maeda play Isn’t Anyone Alive, an avant-garde story of 18 young students dying one after another. It stars Shota Sometani (Himizu), Rin Takanashi (Goth: Love of Death), and Jun Murakami. It was part of the official selection Edinburgh Film Festival 2012 and appeared at the Fantasia Film Festival 2012

Continue reading “Terracotta Festival UK Tour Details”

4th Terracotta Far East Film Festival: Full Line-Up Announced

Terracotta Far East Film Festival Logo

With the 4th Terracotta Far East Film Festival kicking off next week now is the time to take a gander at the full line-up. This festival is London’s premier celebration of film from the Far East and shows a selection of the latest and most interesting titles getting on the big screen as well as bringing over the big names from the cast and crew of the films for Q&As and master-classes and parties. This year there are a selection of great titles from Taiwan, Burma, China, South Korea and Japan. On top of live action films there is even anime.

The Terracotta Far East Film Festival is also an event to socialise and a platform for Asian culture at all levels; for this purpose the organisers have organised a new FOOD PASS, giving access to a number of restaurants in Chinatown. There will be other related events such as photo exhibitions and competitions announced on social network sites.

Joey Leung, festival director says: “New look, same ethos. We worked with our creative agency, What is Bobo, to roll-out the re-brand of the festival with their ‘pixels’ concept. This lends maturity and longevity to our festival positioning, fitting now that we have passed the infancy of our festival and into our fourth edition.”

Here is the full line-up of films!

12th April Opening Film:

My WayUK premiere

Dir: Kang Je-Kyu Running Time: 137 mins. Starring: Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bingbing

My Way Action ShotMy Way is the latest film from Kang Je-Kyu who directed the awesome action picture ‘Shiri’, and tells the story of two marathon runners, one Korean and one Japanese during Japan’s colonisation of Korea who are drafted into the Japanese army, and develop a close friendship through battles in Russia and Germany. It stars familiar actor Jo Odagiri (Bright Future, Adrift in Tokyo) and Jang Dong-gun who seems to have survived The Warrior’s Way.

Continue reading “4th Terracotta Far East Film Festival: Full Line-Up Announced”

4th Terracotta Far East Film Festival

There are a plethora of exciting titles for anybody interested in far eastern films in the line-up for Terracotta Far East Film Festival next month. This festival is London’s premier celebration of the film and culture of the Far East because it selects the latest and most interesting titles from the region as well as bringing over the cast and crew of the films for Q&As and master-classes. Oh and there are parties.

One glance at the line-up shows that a lot of films that I followed in 2011 are getting a run at the festival including Himizu, Monsters Club, Poppy Hill and The Woodsman and the Rain. It’s a pretty awesome line-up featuring some of the most interesting talents from Japan that I rave about so enough from me! Here are the films!

Opening Film:

My Way

Dir: Kang Je-Kyu Running Time: 137 mins. Starring: Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bingbing

My Way is the latest film from Kang Je-Kyu who directed the awesome action picture ‘Shiri’, and tells the story of two marathon runners, one Korean and one Japanese during Japan’s colonisation of Korea who are drafted into the Japanese army, and develop a close friendship through battles in Russia and Germany. It stars familiar actor Jo Odagiri (Bright Future, Adrift in Tokyo) and Jang Dong-gun who seems to have survived The Warrior’s Way.

Continue reading “4th Terracotta Far East Film Festival”