Category Archives: Festivals


Silenced Wins the Top Prize at Far East Film Festival in Udine

Scene from Silenced

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.


Aspects of Japanese Cinema (Barbican – 14 November 2010)

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…

Jang Jin

[LKFF] Jang Jin Retrospective at Apollo Cinema

Jang JinDon’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”.

This is well worth checking out


London Korean Film Festival at the ICA

The HousemaidGreat 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.

Event Schedule after the jump: Continue reading

Aspects of Japanese Cinema

Aspects of Japanese Cinema – Barbican (until 19 December)

Aspects of Japanese CinemaWintertime 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!

There’s also the London Korean Film Festival going on at the ICA, more news on that to follow…

2010 Terracotta Film Festival – London

Little Big Soldier
Little Big Soldier
This year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival is back on in London. The main venue will be the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, which will also be holding parties to celebrate the festival.

Clear your diary between the 6th to the 9th May for films from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Thailand.

Highlights include:

  • Jackie Chan’s Little Big Soldier
  • Bodyguards and Assassins
  • Accident
  • Fish Story (truly superb!)
  • Antique

Head on over to the official Festival website to register and to keep up-to-date with alls things Terracotta.