SciFi Japan

    Terracotta Far East Film Festival Returns to London – 12-15 April 2012

    Author: Imogen Reed Official Site: Special Thanks to Claire Marty London, England -- ever the hub of Japan/Asia related goings-on -- is once again going to house the Terracotta Far East Film Festival, which -- as everyone should know -- plays host to some of the most exciting films to come out of Asia. Their official website may currently contain the barest of information, yet word on the street is that it’ll be the biggest and brightest iteration of the festival yet. With the festival reaching the shores of the UK, Japanese culture enthusiasts don`t need to worry about booking flights to Kyoto as they can immerse themselves in far Eastern film on their own doorstep.

    A New Face Along with the new dates for this year, there have been further substantial changes (the venue remains the same -- the festival will be returning to the venerable Prince Charles Cinema), chiefly the logo and colour scheme for the festival itself; quite fetching, one might say. This branding change was undertaken in an effort to incorporate the wide range of movies, genres, styles and tastes that the Terracotta Festival has come to stand for. This move was spearheaded by the design team at What Is Bobo, the official design sponsors of the festival itself. Robyn Larkin, What Is Bobo’s director, posited that the idea behind the logo makeover was to reflect the “diverse range of films that the festival is dedicated to screening” and that every aspect of the logo -- such as the colour -- comes into play here, proclaiming that the logo’s colour “comes to life as it combines with imagery and plays on the theme of close up pixelation as the viewer gets deeper into the festivals films”. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this facelift and one can only hope that others will feel the same. The logo’s visually pleasing colours and crispness of design certainly cannot be faulted. Terror Cotta Any substantial details are few and far between, but what we do know is exciting enough. Sources indicate that the fourth Terracotta will once again bring with it a wide and exciting range of movies, just as we are used to. On top of this, another Late Night Horror event is also planned: Terror Cotta -- aptly named and fortuitously so, as the Friday of the festival is also Friday 13th April, a date that should be familiar to horror movie fans the world over. Word is that this year’s horror event will expand to a triple bill! Intriguingly horrifying times are hopefully ahead for this year’s festival.

    MY WAY Cosmetics and speculation aside, what has been recently confirmed is that the festival will open with MY WAY (?? ??, Mai Wei, 2011) and close with HIMIZU (???, 2012). MY WAY is a hugely-anticipated Korean war epic -- from the same director that gave us the explosive SHIRI and TAE GUK GI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR. That’s right; the festival opens with a movie by box-office legend Je-kyu Kang! Fans of his previous works and fans of grandiose war epics are bound to be delighted. The production of MY WAY can be attributed to an impressive triumvirate of countries: Japan, China and Korea. All countries have had some input here, bringing together a stellar cast, including Dong-gun Jang (of BROTHERHOOD and THE WARRIOR’S WAY), Joe Odagiri (star of SHINOBI), and Bingbing Fan (BATTLE OF WITS star). The epic takes place over and during the Japanese front of WWII and includes the Battle of Normandy.

    HIMIZU HIMIZU is Shion Sono’s (director of LOVE EXPOSURE) addition to the festival, as well as being its closing film. Having had its world premiere at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, HIMIZU has achieved widespread praise and success. The story is derived from a manga of the same name and follows the lives of two teenagers, eking out a somewhat moribund existence in a post-tsunami Japan. The pair decide to commence a campaign of violence that sees them meting out their own form of justice on those they perceive to be evil-doers. HIMIZU places Shota Sometani (star of TV series PRINCESS GO), Tetsu Watanabe (known for voicing Yama-inu in PRINCESS MONONOKE), and Fumi Nikaido (GAMA NO ABURA) in the starring roles.

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