Events, Japan, News, Screenings, UK

Remember Fukushima, a charity screening of Mitsuko Delivers

On March 11th, 2012, exactly a year after the earthquake which caused so much damage to Japan, Third Window Films will be hosting a charity screening of Yûya Ishii’s Mitsuko Delivers at the ICA, London, to raise awareness for the people of Fukushima.

Adam Torel, managing director of Third Window Films, said in the press release for the event: “A year on and Japan still lies in a state of destruction and confusion. In Fukushima, with the ‘unseen’ damage of the nuclear situation, the emotional scars of the people still living there are unimaginable. There is a certain stigma arising about both Fukushima and its people with the topic itself becoming ‘off-limits’. People are feeling isolated and this can’t be made to happen. Japan is one nation and to recover from this awful tragedy we need to help give voice to the people of Fukushima and keep them strong.”

“It is my personal feeling, that staying strong mentally will keep the body strong, and a state of happiness and good spirits can overcome almost anything. Despite the heavy occasion, I want to show a light-hearted film so that people can be cheerful and that these spirits can be passed along to the people of Fukushima who in turn can be happy in the face of adversity.”

Third Window films, together with Pictures Dept., Bitters End, Dongyu, Rapid Eye Films and Joint Entertainment, produced celebrated directors Sion Sono’s Land of Hope, a film modelled on the situation in Fukushima, at the end of last year.

100% of Third Window Films’ profits of the screening of Mitsuko Delivers will go to a Fukushima-based charity. Third Window Films will also be selling DVDs at the event, with 100% of their sales also going to charity.

» Buy tickets from the ICA’s site.

Alongside the Fukushima charity, Third Window Films are also giving away 100% of ticket sales of all Japanese films playing in their East Winds Film Festival to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund.

Events, Festivals, News, Premieres, Screenings, UK

Pan Asia Film Festival 2012

Returning for a fourth year, the Asia House Pan-Asia Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the best in new Asian cinema, from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific, covering the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

Once again there’s a solid line-up of films being screened from 8 to 18 March, including: 11 Flowers, from Beijing Bicycle director Wang Xiao-Shuai; Lee Yoon-Ki’s Berlinale 2011 Golden Bear Nominated Come Rain, Come Shine; Tom Lin’s Starry, Starry Night; a world premiere for Shivajee Chandrabhushan’s One More, followed by a Q&A; and Naomi Kawase’s project 3.11 A Sense of Home, a response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the Tohoku region of Japan on 11 March 2011.

What really caught my eye was another chance to see Sonthar Gyal’s impressive The Sun-beaten Path again, last screened as part of the London Film Festival.

» Screenings will take place at Asia House, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumiere. Find out more about Pan Asia Film Festival 2012 and book tickets.

Art / Exhibitions, China, Events, Japan, News, Screenings, UK

Confessions of an Otaku @ Asia House

Video artist David Blandy unravels his obsession with Chinese and Japanese pop culture in conversation with Japanese manga artist Inko on Thursday evening at Asia House, London, at 6:45pm.

From philosophical conversations concerning Bruce Lee to the quandary caused by loving Anime and being the grandson of a veteran of the Japanese concentration camps, Blandy will discuss the misrecognitions, mistranslations and revelations in Kung-Fu flicks, Manga and computer games. Asia House will be screening the London premiere Anjin 1600 (2012), ‘Japanese Space Opera’ and Child of the Atom (2010).

Blandy uses video, performance and comics to address how identity is constructed, investigating our relationship to the mass media and cultural heritage. Blandy won the Times/South Bank Show Breakthrough Award in 2010.

Inko was born in Kyoto, Japan, and has been working as a Manga artist, and as a culture and language ambassador with SOAS.

» Book tickets from Asia House.

China, Hong Kong, Japan, News, Releases, UK

Bumper reissues from Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema collection this Monday

Sure, while some of you out there might thinking more about the following day’s celebration (Valentine’s wot?) Eureka Entertainment are putting out a bumper package of previous releases in brand new ‘dual format’ editions (i.e. DVD and Blu-ray!), many of which have been hard to get hold of in either format since the Sony Distribution Warehouse fire…

Amongst the many releases, there’s Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai’s brilliant collaboration Mad Detective, which includes a Q&A with Johnnie To at the Cinémathèque Française Johnnie To retrospective, exclusive cast interviews shot during the Far East Film Festival featuring Lau Ching Wan and Lam Suet, and an interview with Johnnie To for the French theatrical release.

There’s the fourth feature by internationally acclaimed auteur Jia Zhang-ke, The World, available on UK DVD for the first time. Extras include: Tony Rayns on THE WORLD, a new and exclusive video introduction to the film by scholar and critic Tony Rayns; Made in China, a 65-minute documentary on the making of The World, and The World according to Jia Zhangke, a 24-minute video interview with director.

Also released…

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008, with extras including a Making Of documentary, a Q&A and Première footage shot in Tokyo in September 2008.

Kon Ichikawa’s (Alone Across the Pacific, Tokyo Olympiad) The Burmese Harp, nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and honoured at the Venice Film Festival in 1956. Extras include newly translated optional English subtitles and an exclusive video interview with scholar and filmmaker Tony Rayns.

Shohei Imamura’s (Profound Desires of the Gods, Pigs and Battleships, Warm Water Under A Red Bridge) Vengeance Is Mine based on the true story of Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) and his murderous rampage which sparked a 78-day nationwide manhunt. Extras include audio commentary by noted critic and filmmaker Tony Rayns; a video introduction by film director Alex Cox; and original Japanese theatrical teaser and trailer.

All releases come with booklets including interviews and new essays.

Now, whether these make appropriate romantic presents… well, I’ll leave that up to your own discretion… :)