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A look at the 2013 Terracotta Far East Film Festival line-up

Three Korean films including the hit thriller The Berlin File are included in the line-up for this year’s Terracotta Festival. Saharial reviews the schedule.

Terracotta 2013 banner

It’s that fantastic time of the year again when the Terracotta Film Festival hits London, and the line up announced last week is really exciting, especially when tied in with the expansion of the festival to 10 days and four clearly defined sections: a retrospective, Current Cinema, Terror-Cotta (Prince Charles Cinema 6th –10th June) and Spotlight on Indonesia (ICA 11th – 15th June).

The Retrospective

To celebrate and commemorate two of Hong Kong’s finest stars, Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, who died ten years ago in 2003, a trio of their films will be shown, two running concurrently with the main festival. ‘Rouge’ and ‘Happy Together’ precede the main events of the day with ‘Days of Being Wild’ showing in May as part of the Film Club. It’s a great opportunity to see classic cinema on the big screen and shouldn’t be missed!

Current Cinema

A nice even spread between Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Thailand, this section is guaranteed to be the most popular. The opening film from Hong Kong is the award winning ‘Cold War’ from new directors Sunny LUK, Longman LEUNG and a star cast including Aaron KWOK, Tony LEUNG and Andy LAU (6th June):

7th June has a definite indie feel to it with ‘Love Me Not’ (Hong Kong, Gilitte LEUNG) [], ‘When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep’ (Taiwan, HOU Chi-Jan) [], ‘Young Gun in the Time’ (S. Korea, OH Young-doo) [] and ‘Karaoke Girl’ (Thailand, Visra Vichit VADAKAN) []. Of all of these the Taiwanese film is the one I would be most excited to see as I had heard of it before and it was on my list of ‘must watch’ films from Asia.

Saturday 8th June: an exciting mix of the epic with ‘The Assassins’ (China, ZHAO Yiyang) and the touching ‘A story of Yonosuke’ (Japan, OKITA Shuichi) []. Following on from those contrasting tales we have ‘Drug War’ (Hong Kong/China, Johnnie TO) whose director has excellent cinematic pedigree [] and the finally ‘The Berlin File’ (S. Korea, RYOO Seung-wan). It looks like another superb thriller from the director of ‘Arahan’ which is a personal favourite of mine:

9th June. If you haven’t yet been worn out by the excitement, (but why would you be with such visual goodies), the last four films on the Sunday are ‘See You Tomorrow Everyone’ (Japan, NAKAMURA Yoshihiro) [], ‘A Werewolf Boy’ (S. Korea, JO Sung-hee) [], ‘The Bullet Vanishes’ (Hong Kong, LAW Chi Leung ) [] and finishing off with ‘The Land of Hope’ (Japan, Sion Sono) []. I am so excited to be able to see ‘Bullet Vanishes’ as it stars one of my all-time favourite Hong Kong actors and singers (Nicholas Tse), and along with ‘Werewolf Boy’ and a new Sion Sono I think Sunday is a day to look forward to very much. The Sion Sono film is the last film of Natsuyagi Isao who sadly passed away on 11th May after suffering from pancreatic cancer.


For those of the darker persuasion, Terror-cotta takes place on Friday 7th June and runs all night, starting at 11.30pm and finishing in the early hours of the morning. Showing classics such as ‘The Ghost story of Yotsuya’ [], surreal contribution ‘Belenggu’ [] with its knife throwing rabbit, cautionary tale ‘Countdown’ [], indie contribution ‘Henge’ [] and the more practical ‘Zomvideo’ [] it’s almost a certainty you’ll not want to sleep! Terror-cotta is produced in association with Film Four Fright-fest and all films are under the one ticket. All or nothing people – not for the fainthearted!

Spotlight on Indonesia

This new section, taking place at the ICA between 11th and 15th June, focuses on films from Indonesia as a way of highlighting the hidden gems of a country that might not have yet been explored.

Whilst the schedule has yet to be determined, the current list of films is as follows:

  • The Dancer (Sang Penari) [], set in 1960’s Indonesia and in the Javanese banyumasen dialect spoken mainly in Central Java.
  • What They Don’t Talk About When the Talk About Love [] which is set at a special needs boarding school for the visually impaired.
  • Opera Jawa []. Produced as part of the New Crowned Hope Festival, this is a traditional tale told via Modern and Traditional music and dance.
  • Lovely Man [] the story of a reunion between a girl and her father who is a transvestite sex worker in the city that takes place over one night.
  • The Blindfold [] a story about Islamic fundamentalism and its effect on three youngsters drawn into its organisation
  • Postcards from The Zoo which looks like an utterly charming story of a girl brought up in a zoo:

You can book individual tickets or a pass for the whole of the contemporary event already and the pass will include the master lasses which, judging by last yer, are well worth attending. The participants have yet to be announced…


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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