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.

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Cold Fish DVD and Blu-Ray Release

One of the names creeping up regularly on this blog a lot is Sion Sono because he is a prolific film-maker hard at work at making the provocative films with outrageous themes, scenes, violence, dark humour and gore. So it is understandable that I was very excited when I got information about the forthcoming release of Cold Fish by Third Window Films on the 27th of June:
Cold Fish DVD Case
‘Cold Fish’ – Director Sion Sono (Japan 2010, 145 minutes, Horror)

Third Window Films is pleased to announce the release of ‘Cold Fish’, Sion Sono’s grusome follow up to ‘Love Exposure’, as a 2 disc DVD set / Blu-ray on June 27th, 2011

Technical Details
Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with removable English subtitles

Blu-Ray with 5.1 DTS HD Sound / DVD with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound

Exclusive interview with author Jake Adelstein, reporter on the original ‘Saitama Dog-Lovers Serial Murders’ case, the inspiration behind the film

Two exclusive interviews with scriptwriter Yoshiki Takahashi on the creation of both the film and original artwork

Trailer / Trailers of other Third Window Films releases

Synopsis
Inspired by and loosely based on the real-life exploits of serial killer couple Gen Sekine and his ex-wife Hiroko Kazama (the perpetrators of Tokyo’s notorious 1993 “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” killings), ‘Cold Fish’ is a psychotic cavalcade of sex, violence and comedy

Shamoto runs a small tropical fish shop. His second wife, Taeko, does not get along with his daughter, Mitsuko, and this worries him. One day Mitsuko is caught shoplifting at a grocery store. There they meet a friendly man named Murata, who helps to settle things between Mitsuko and the store manager. Since Murata also runs a tropical fish shop, Shamoto establishes a bond with him and they become friends; Mitsuko even begins working for Murata and living at his house. What Shamoto doesn t know, however, is that Murata hides many dark secrets behind his friendly face. He sells cheap fish to his customers for high prices with his artful lies. If anyone detects his fraud or refuses to go along with his money-making schemes, they’re murdered and their bodies disposed of by Murata and his wife in grisly ways.

Shamoto is suddenly taken in by Murata s tactics, and by the time he realizes that Murata is insane, and a serial killer who has made over fifty people disappear, he is powerless to do anything about it. But now Mitsuko is a hostage at Murata s home, and Shamoto himself has become the killer s unwilling accomplice. Cruel murders gradually cripple his mind and finally the ordinary man is being driven to the edge of the abyss.

Based somewhat on a true story (read Jake Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice for insight into that particular case) Cold Fish follows Love Exposure and precedes Guilty of Romance, the three films forming Sion Sono’s Hate Saga. For any fan of Japanese cinema, Sono’s work has to be some of the most exciting to come out of the country and it seems like Cold Fish will continue this tradition as it looks to be another cult classic according to a stream of positive reviews and successful festival appearances.

This is the first DVD release of the film in the world even beating the Japanese release. The extras look brilliant, especially the interview with Jake Adelstein who wrote the excellent Tokyo Vice, so if you have any taste for provocative Japanese films go and buy this.

Cold fish can be pre-ordered from Amazon.