Korean drama Silenced won top prize at the 14th Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, which was held from April 20-28. The film also received the highest number of votes ever from festival movie goers, winning the Udine Far East Film Audience Award as well.
The story follows In-ho, an art teacher at a school for deaf children. Amid bribery requests by the principal and administration head, and obvious physical abuse by other teachers on the students, he is forced to take this information to the local authorities.
Dir: HWANG Dong-hyuk, Korea, 2011, 125 mins Cast: JEONG Yu-mi – SEO Yu-jin, GONG Yoo – KANG In-ho
Silenced was released in September last year in Korean cinema’s. As yet there is no Blu-ray/DVD release date.
One of my favourite Japanese films of all time is Sakuran. This striking film, that punishes the eyes with the most amazing array of reds you’ve ever seen in one place, is a true masterpiece and an expert example of how to shoot a film.
Sakuran was Mika Ninagawa’s directorial début, coming from the world of still camera work and instead of falling into the trap of shooting something that would be pigeon holed as a ‘Costume Drama’ she crashed onto the scene with this dazzling piece of artistry that not only is a feast for your eyes but your ears too, as she daringly enrolled Jazz/Rock superstar – Shiina Ringo to do the score. Put this together with an array of stars including Anna Tsuchiya and you have a cult film even before it reaches theatres.
I was thrilled to learn that this film was part of Barbican’s Aspects of Japanese Cinema Festival, and even though there were films that I haven’t seen in the line-up, I couldn’t miss the chance of seeing this wonderful film on a big screen for myself.
The print itself had scene better days, and the soundtrack was suspiciously mono but after my initial scepticism, I got lost in the world of Geisha’s and ancient Japan for the duration and was overjoyed that I found it it be just as amazing as I hoped it would be.
I attended the two other films that were part of the festival today too, both written and directed by ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano. The often overlooked ‘Hana-bi’ and a rare venture out of Japan in the Los Angeles based ‘Brother’.
Both films were superb choices for the festival, and together with ‘Dolls’ and the absolutely awesome ‘Zatoichi’ that play tomorrow as part of this ‘Directorspective’ of his work, it’ll be hard for me to find a reason not to travel back into the City tomorrow…
Don’t forget, it’s the London Korean Film Festival at the moment (as if you needed reminding), and the Apollo Cinema is holding a rather cool retrospective of Jang Jin films.
A fantastic retrospective of Director Jang Jin’s works will take place exclusively at the Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly. Four of his works will be screened on 8th and 9th November. This also includes Q&A sessions at the screenings of “Guns & Talks” and “Someone Special” and introductions from the director at the screenings of “Good Morning President” and “Murder Take One”.
Great news for Korean film enthusiasts. The ICA is holding the London Korean Film Festival 2010 from 10 – 14 November.
This it’s fifth anniversary sees its debut at the ICA near Buck House and is showcasing the pick of the best in Korean film.
Notable inclusions are: The Housemaid, Moss, Secret Reunion and Blades of Blood. There are also a selection of shorts and animations and special guests, talks and Director Q&A’s.
Head on over to the ICA website or the festival website to check out the details of the entire festival which is a country-wide event.
I will be in London during the festival and hope to attend at least a couple of nights. I will post if anything comes of it… If you fancy tagging along, drop me a line.
Wintertime seems pretty good for any fan of Asian Culture in London. Barbican is hosting a feast of Japanese themed activities including a Japanese Film Festival – Aspects of Japanese Cinema – which runs until the 19th of December. Highlights include some awesome ‘BEAT’ Takeshi Kitano films (Hana bi, Brother and Dolls) and also showing is one of my favourite Japanese films, the super special Sakuran from photographer turned director Mika Ninagawa and starring the amazing Anna Tsuchiya.
Full details are available from Barbican’s website, but here’s a snippet:
To complement Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion in Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Film celebrates Japanese cinema with a showcase of modern, classic and provocative films by Japanese filmmakers.
Aspects of Japanese Cinema includes:
The Directorspective: Kenji Mizoguchi 24 Oct – 3 Nov 2010
GirlsWorld: Women in Contemporary Japanese Cinema 21 Oct – 14 Nov 2010
Japanese Halloween Shlockfest Double Bill 29 Oct 2010
The Directorspective: Takeshi Kitano 14 – 15 Nov 2010
The Directorspective: Akira Kurosawa 3 – 19 Dec 2010
UPDATE 3/11/10: I’ll be there on Sunday the 14th to catch Sakuran and two of the Kitano movies… see you there!