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"It's The Only Way To Survive"

             Terracotta Far East Film Festival 2013

Official Guide cover

Yes Terracotta is with us once again ,this year the Festival is larger and spans two weeks .Joey and his team have pulled out the stops to bring you a varied selection of films from Hong Kong,South Korea,Japan,Thailand and Indonesia. 

 

The Prince Charles Cinema , where the first weeks films screened

 

The first week of the show is traditional Terracotta fare  with the Prince Charles cinema in London's Leicester Square hosting four days of film . 

From Tuesday the 11th of June the festival shifted to the ICA cinema in Pall Mall for a special selection of films from Indonesia .

In-between all this you have the Hong Kong  and Indonesian receptions ,a couple of director masterclasses from Gilitte Leung and Ryoo Seung -Wan (aka Ryu Seung Wan)  and a music party on Saturday night at Rathbone place plus a Japan underground party on Monday 10th near Aldgate .

 

So all in all there's something for everyone at this years Terracotta Far East Film Festival.

 

                                              The Films

There's a vast array of films on  offer to see which started on the 6th June at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square in London's West End. The films in highlighted in blue are the ones K.I.T.G. have attended .

Reviews will be published for these and a few others which are already featured on site or are available to us being that they are older films like Days of Being Wild and The Assassins (released on region 3 DVD very recently and reviewed on site already) ,So on with the show so to speak. 

 

Wednesday 29th May 

Pre Festival Terracotta Film Night

Days of Being Wild - 1990 - by Wong Kar Wai  - Hong Kong

Thursday 6th June 

Rouge - - 1988 - by Stanley Kwan -Hong Kong

Cold War - 2012 - by Sunny Luk - Hong Kong

Friday 7th June 

Happy Together - 1997 - by Wong Kar Wai - Hong Kong

Love Me Not  - 2012 - by Glittie Leung - Hong Kong

When a Wolf falls in love with a Sheep - 2012 - by Hou-Chi-Jan - Taiwan

Young Gun in the Time  -2012 - by Oh Young-Doo - South Korea

Karaoke Girl - 2012 - by Visra Vichit Vadakan - Thailand

 

Terracotta Horror All-Nighter 

In association with Film Four FRIGHTFEST

Countdown - 2012 - by Nattawut Poonpiriya - Thailand

ZomVideo - 2011 - by  Murakami Kenji - Japan

Belenggu - 2012 - by UPI - Indonesia

Henge - 2012 - by Hajime Ohata - Japan

The Ghost Story of Yotsuya - 1959 - by Nakagawa Nobuo - Japan

 

Saturday 8th June 

The Assassins - 2012 -  by Zhao Yiyang- China

The Story of Yonosuke - 2012 - by  Okita Shuichi - Japan

Drug War - 2012 - by Johnnie To -  Hong Kong /China

The Berlin File - 2012  - by Ryoo Seung Wan - South Korea 

 

Sunday 9th June 

See You Tomorrow Everyone  - 2012 - By Nakamura Yoshihiro - Japan

A werewolf Boy - 2012 - by Jo Sung-Hee - South Korea

The Bullet Vanishes - 2012 - by Lo Chi Leung - Hong Kong / China

The Land of Hope - 2012  -  by Sono Sion - Japan

 

All the above films screened at the Prince Charles cinema .

 

Tuesday 11th June 

The Dancer - 2011 - by Ifa Isfansyah - Indonesia

Wednesday 12th June 

Lovely Man - 2011 - by Teddy Soeriaatmadia - Indonesia

Thursday 13th June 

What they don't talk about when they talk about Love - 2013 - by Mouly Surya

- Indonesia - 

Friday 14th June 

Postcards from the Zoo  - 2012 - by Edwin - Indonesia/Hong Kong / Germany/China

Saturday 15th June 

Opera Jawa - 2006 - by Garin Nugroho/ Arturo CP Arswendi - Indonesia /UK / Netherlands / Sweden 

The Blindfold - 2012 - by Garin Nugroho - Indonesia 

 

All above films screened at the ICA in Pall Mall

Below are some overviews of the films, and in some mini reviews to .It's impossible for us to cover each and every film and we are trying  to keep the content relevant to the site  where possible. But some films just deserve that extra look .

               Days of Being Wild - 1990 - Wong Kar Wai

 This Wong Kar-Wai film from 1990 stars many of the times leading lights in the Hong Kong Film industry .It evolves around Yuddy ( Leslie Cheung) whose a playboy. He is known for entering relationships with woman and then brutality rejecting them to move onto his next victim so to speak. The films premise is that it tells the story of various characters of their rejection and how they cope with it.Some suffer depression while others have other agendas.  It's not done to in your face but in subtle ways to get the mind thinking. 

It's no action film ,but one all Hong Kong Cinema fans should see as it's a defining moment in Hong Kong Cinema's Golden Age.

The film was also part of the remembering Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui focus of the festival. Two fine actor/actress whose life ended early.

 

                  Rouge  - 1988 - Stanley Kwan

 Rouge is one of those films that anyone craving the Hong Kong action of the 80's and 90's would for most part avoid. But for a few things, for one it starred Leslie Cheung  who at that time was big business in the industry ,his roles in A Better Tomorrow 1&2 as KIT had brought him many fans ,he was also a successful Canto-pop star.

The second was Anita Mui a Pop diva of the Canto pop scene who also broke out into film.

Most of her roles where in the action Martial arts genre but their where quite a few romantic and comedy features to. Many in the West would know her for her roles in Jackie Chan's Drunken Master 2 , Rumble in the Bronx and Miracle.  Mui was a great entertainer singer and professional dancer dubbed the Madonna of Asia.

Our third reason to see the film would be at that time is that Jackie Chan produced the feature and his stunt team was on hand for the action work in the film.

Rouge follows the life of a Aristocrat gentlemen played by Leslie Cheung (Pang) and a Courtesan named Fleur, the two enter into a love affair which in their circles in the 1930's was frowned upon. In a pact they decide to commit suicide so that they may be together for ever. They both commit the task at hand and Fleur ends up at the celestial plain awaiting for Pang's arrival.

She actually waits fifty years ,she decides to go back to Hong Kong (in spirit of course) to find out what happened . Of course Hong Kong has changed and her task is complicated and she's about to find out the hard truth as well. 

My first experience of the film was when Channel Four did a Hong Kong Ghosts and spirits season ,Rouge was one of the films shown along side Spooky Encounters and Esprit 'DeAmour aka Spiritual Love.

Anita Mui passed away in December 2003 ,she was suffering with Cancer which was known to be heredity as her sister had passed away earlier of the same cause. 

Rouge is a great film no one should avoid whatever style of cinema they are into. And to be honest any film with Anita in is a joy to watch as your watching a true and passionate professional perform .

The same can be said for the late departed Leslie Cheung as well ,he was a versatile actor and singer who gave his all on screen ,it's just unfortunate that out of camera life is not so easy .

The films shown at Terracotta this year are a fitting tribute to two of Hong Kong's leading stars whose lives where lost so early on.

 

 

 

                       COLD WAR - 2012 - Sunny Luk

Cold War was the Opening film to the festival ,it was also sold out before we could get tickets (my own fault really ,i should have known) , any way Cold War is a new Cop /Crime action film from director Sunny Luk . The film stars Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka-Fai and a special appearance by Andy Lau. 

The film is regarded as the most high profile of all cop dramas from Hong Kong since the Infernal Affairs trilogy ,which starred Andy Lau. 

The film was nominated for 12 awards at the recent Hong Kong Film awards and walked away with nine of them. 

The film is a heist type movie ,it evolves around a hijacked police van which is carrying the latest tech and five of the forces top officers. 

We will have a review on site soon as the film is available on Region 3 DVD already ,so when our import arrives we will review it either here or on Shoot'em in the Head.

 

             Young Gun in the Time  - 2012  - Oh Young Doo

Young Gun in the Time is South Korean film about a private detective who stumbles on a plot to steal a time machine when he encounters a young lady who arrives at his office.  This was the first of the films we attended and i must say we where pleasantly surprised .Full review up Now.

 

 

 

 See the full review ,click the above  screenshot

                     ZOMVIDEO - 2011 - Murakami Kenji

 

The Horror all -nighter featured a range of films, (just did not have the staying power to go for it) but Zomvideo is a film that appeals to our sense of madness ,look out for a review on site in the future. As soon as available media is released .

 Below video is quite Graphic.be warned.

 

 

                     The Assassins - 2012  - Zhao Yiyang

Chow Yun-Fat stars in this period drama which in effect is a love triangle.With epic battle scenes The Assassins also ventures deeper into what a man will do for the love of a woman and what a woman will do for the love of a man. 

Full Review of The Assassins is up on site now

Click poster to see review

                          Drug War - 2012 - Johnnie To

 

Any new film from Hong Kong director Johnnie To is always a joy to see. In this Hong Kong /Chinese filmed thriller  Johnnie To explores the world of drug trafficking.

Louis Koo stars as  drug lord Timmy Choi who gets captured by the police ,in exchange for for lenience  on his sentence he helps the police by going undercover to help trap the never seen Uncle Bill, a big fish that could rock the drug world with his capture.

Thing is  does Timmy have another agenda ? it will be up to Captain Zhang Lei ( Sun Honglei) to keep on eye on Timmy and hope that he's not leading them on a wild goose chase.

 Review now live on Shoot'em in the Head now!

 Drug War Review

                 The Berlin File - 2012 -  Ryu Seung Wan

Ryu Seung Wan's latest offering is a gritty espionage thriller filmed in Europe. The Berlin File opens with a Arms deal that goes wrong  and explodes into  a full blown espionage thriller where the North and South  Korean's,Arabs , Russians and the CIA are mixed up in huge scandal  involving secret bank accounts,defections and double agents.  Filmed for most part in Berlin Germany which gives the film it's gritty European feel which is very reminiscent of the Bourne Identity films.

Director Ryu also commented at the Festival how South Korean film ''SHIRI'' inspired him slightly ,The Berlin File could even be a sequel to said film but ten years after Shiri. 

In both films Han Suk Kyo plays a South Korean agent , and characters played by him both films could be the same but just many years apart.

To be honest Shiri is a must see film, it was probably one of the first Korean films i saw and still have my VCD copy of the film. 

 

Pictures of Director Ryu Seung Wan at Terracotta 5

 

 

 

 

Check out the full review of The Berlin File on site Now!

                       A Werewolf Boy -2012-Jo Sung-Hee

Set in Korea in the 60's A Werewolf Boy surrounds to young misfits who become friends. Suni  ( Park Bo-young) and ger family move toa new home in small village .

In the garden they find a young boy ( Song Joong-ki) living like a animal . The family decide to take him in and Suni decdies to train him to human life using a dog training book.

But when danger is detected by the young lad his beast like instincts kick in becoming a terror to the locals.

This was another film we failed to get to, but again a review will appear as soon as our Import copy arrives. 

 

 

                       The Bullet Vanishes - 2012 - Lo Chi-Leung
 
 
The Bullet Vanishes features two of my favorite stars Lau Ching Wan ( Life Without Principle, Black Mask ) and Nicholas Tse ( Bodyguards and Assassins,Dragon Tiger Gate) are two cops with a different way of doing things. When the two join forces to catch  a serial killer whose bullets vanish on impact. .Directed by Lo Chi-Leung the film plays a lot like a Sherlock Holmes story with Lau as the investigative Sherlock like character and Tse as his partner Watson. The only difference being is that Tse Character is a bit more gun-ho . see the review here
 
 

 

 

 

                        A Land of Hope  -  2012 - Sono Sion

Sono Sion is one Japan's most prolific directors, his films touch on many life based emotions.  Himizu shown at last years Terracotta was harsh look at the life of two teenagers confronted by the hardships of having to fend for themselves where their family lives are nothing more then mental torture. 

The film as a whole was quite depressing but hard hitting. 

Another year and another entry from Sono Sion at Terracotta 5 . Though the film is based on the aftereffects of a nuclear disaster when a earthquake hits  Japan , set in a fictional city it of course is looking at the recent events in Japan.

It evolves around a family whose torn apart when the younger siblings evacuate to a safe zone and the parents decide to stay with their home .

It's not one we saw at the show but we will catch up with it when Third Window films release the film later in the year on DVD.

So look out for our review then.

 

                                       The Final Conclusion

This year we did not get to see as many films as we did last year , but then i think last year we had more films to view that fitted within the sites criteria ,even though we do cover all films at these festivals. In the end it was what appealed and what i new i could actually sit through. Of course Cold War was one we missed and the Horror night was something i considered but new i would just fall asleep (I'm no spring chicken) The only films i was vaguely interested in seeing was The Werewolf Boy (Just did not get up early enough on Sunday to see that one) and even though i did wonder about seeing the closing film at the Prince Charles , The Land of Hope by Sion Sono, i kept thinking how depressing last years Himizu was by the same director. It was one of those films that stuck in your head for days ,just not what i wanted.But we  will catch A Land of Hope on DVD when it releases.

But like i said some of the films we had seen years ago  ,you know what we think about Days of Being Wild and Rouge from above ,The Assassins we had already seen on DVD so there was no need to see it at the festival considering we review all films on a projector screen  in our own screening room with DTS sound. 

The film that stood out an grabbed us for sheer surprise ,not just for story but quality for the budget was South Korean Sci Fi comedy Young Gun in the Time.

Our next film in the list would have to be Johnnie To's Drug War which painted a stark picture of China's drug trade and the performance of Louis Koo which was quite brilliant. 

Once Again Terracotta have pulled out all the stops to create a varied and friendly  festival ,we even picked up a couple of DVD's to review in the future to. 

Even though the Indonesian leg of the festival did not appeal as the range on films on offer where not to our criteria or tastes.

See you all next year at Terracotta 6

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