Terracotta Film Festival 2014

It’s another year and it’s another film festival! I didn’t lose my phone this time. XD
Terracotta Film Festival was back on the 23rd May for another week of films for all of us film geeks. Asian film geeks that is. Thankfully I already had a week off so I could watch a couple of movies during the week and most on the weekends. Well the good films were on the weekends which was ok for me.
Also a big change this year was that the seats were unallocated… no need to book an actual seat. You could sit wherever you like this time. Cool!!
Terracotta Film Festival 2014
The first film I watched was Unbeatable. A Hong Kong film starring Nick Cheung (Hong Kong star). It was a very, very good film. I haven’t seen a good Hong Kong movie for a long time. There was hardly any dubbing, the story line was great where Nick Cheung played a 2 medal champion who went to prison because of illegal gambling. He came out and became a person in debt taxi driver. One day a guy from China whose father became bankrupt wanted to earn some money for me, so he asked Nick to become his master to learn the art of boxing and defence. Fantastic movie. I would recommend to Hong Kong film fans.
My ticket for Unbeatable

On the Friday I watched The Face Reader, a Korean film. This one was supposed to be on the Sunday but was swapped around, and I got a chance to book another film to watch. Anyway, this film is set in the olden days where an old man could read people’s faces to see if they were corrupt, why their love lives were so bad or just very good people. One day he was sought by a business lady who was also a face reader to earn some money. His son left him and his uncle to become a governor in the royal palace, this gave the father a chance to leave his home and become a face reader for the public. He solved a crime in the meantime and became the King’s governor… Anyway, it was quite sad towards the end, I shed a few tears. Boohoo.

Commitment was on Saturday. This is a great South Korean film depicting the North Korean spies. A lot of Korean fans came to this one, and I enjoyed it very much. A boy of 18 becomes a spy because his father was abandoned by the motherland. The son had to complete a mission (killing other North Korean spies) before returning back home to go back to his sister. It gets a bit emotional. It’s funny at the beginning and I completely love it!!

I had a break between this film and the next one… I walked and ate a lot…

The Snow White Murder Case was on Saturday evening. I thought this was going to be a scary Japanese film, but it wasn’t. It was quite funny where a reporter was trying to solve a murder case using Twitter and the internet. The interviews of the witnesses and the people who knew the “killer” were very funny. I didn’t have a great view of the film because the person in front was blocking my view of the subtitles. Good film if you like crime comedies.

I watched Firestorm on Sunday afternoon. Not tired yet… but unfortunately this film really tired me to death. I love Andy Lau, but sometimes don’t you think we have too many films that are similar to Inferno Affairs. Too much I think. This film is about a crook who comes out of prison and restarts robbing banks with other crooks. Andy Lau plays the “good” cop but gets caught being a bit bad… It becomes really boring towards the end, it was a very long ending, and I yawned more than expected. I didn’t enjoy it, sorry. ¬,¬””

Judge! ジャッジ was the last film at the Terracotta Film Festival!! This is an hilarious film about an advertising director tells his employee to take his place in an international advertising competition. I love adverts (as most will know) and that’s why I wanted to watch this film. It was funny because it was of a Japanese guy who didn’t know much English and was set out to win this competition. There is a lot of cheating and funny gay moments. Probably the best funny film during the week!
Before the film Judge!
At the end of the film Judge! it was interview time with the film director Akira Nagai. This is his first film, and it is mainly based on his experience as an advertiser in the real world. The person who wrote the script was a also a first time film writer. The film was made to attract younger people to become advertisers although it could embarrass you one day in the future… I hope Akira Nagai makes more films!! All the best!!
Akira Nagai at the Prince Charles Cinema

Interview with Akira Nagai

Come back again Terracotta Film Festival!!  (Why can’t it be held twice a year?!).

Terracotta Film Festival 2013

You know what? I wish there were more Asian film festivals or a cinema dedicated only to Eastern Asian films in London (if there are cinemas I haven’t seen any in Central London). I think I would go there every month if that were the case! ^_^

My SG4 phone had some good pictures (which I didn’t back up using Google+), but unfortunately it was stolen, so for this post I have added some film trailers from YouTube and some backup pictures I had already uploaded elsewhere… (I’m lucky to have had a bit of graphics training!)…
Screenshot picture of The Prince Charles Cinema
that I managed to grab from my Instagram online…
So it’s my first time going to this film festival, which I believe started in 2009 and this year it ended on June 15th 2013. Originally I was going to watch three films, but the one on the Friday was at a time I couldn’t make. 😦 So I booked two films – The Berlin File and The Bullet Vanishes. One Korean one Chinese… But then I got a message from a Twitter follower @gwai_zhi whose friend said that The Story of Yonosuke was a good movie. So I booked for that one too!! ^_^ One Japanese, one Korean and one Chinese (Cantonese version)!!

I went on the third day into the film festival. The first film I watched was The Story of Yonosuke. This film is based in the year of 1987, where a young guy named Yonosuke Yokomichi arrives in Tokyo to go to university and meets all these different people during his time there. During the film it flashes forward into the future of his friends when they all start remembering him. I thought the film was quite hilarious for a Japanese film, as most of the Japanese films I have seen are either scary, very dramatic or a bit boring. It was a sad ending for the main character, and it’s too bad we didn’t see what his future consisted of, but for his friends he met during univeristy, they did ok! I’m not spoiling the rest of the film. So you must watch it. 😀

In between the next film I had 3 hours to spare so I went out to eat at Tokyo Diner (that will be in the next post) and then I looked around…

The second movie I watched was The Berlin File during that evening. This time a Korean movie. OMG!! This film is amazing. It’s about a North Korean spy who gets set up and is said to be a traitor to his mother country by another North Korean spy! Wow!! There were elements of a James Bond style versus The Bourne Identity type of movie with loads of kung fu fighting and guns. An aspiring film methinks. There was a lot of conspiracy, betrayal and treachery, and I loved it (well it is mainly based on North Korea versus South Korea, and mainly about weapon exchange and secret bank accounts… Woooo)! There was also some humour from the guy playing the South Korean detective who reminded me of the character Colombo with his squinty eyes and long jacket but he had a cigarette instead of a cigar… It was all shot in Berlin too. 🙂

The director of the film Ryoo Seung-Wan gave an interview at the end of the film. I was actually quite surprised that he was there!! ^_^ There was a question from the audience asking if there would be a sequel to The Berlin File as it was an open ending, and the director said no there won’t be, he wants it left to the audience’s imagination. This question has been asked a lot in South Korea too!! Heheheh… Aww, that’s a shame! Thankfully I had a backup picture of the interview!
Ryoo Seung-Wan being interviewed at the Terracotta Film Festival 2013 – sorry for the bad quality!
Anyway, after the interview, we all left, and I was quite close to the director… He is quite short. And for some reason I don’t get star struck, and I didn’t ask for his autograph… Anyway, I took a picture of him and his interpreter as they were going out…
Ryoo Seung-Wan and his interpreter making a move to the party that night
During this second film I watched a clip of A Werewolf Boy (another Korean movie), so when I got home I booked a ticket for this film too!!! Hahahaha… So I have ended up watching four films two weekends ago… ^_^


On the fourth day of the festival, I of course went to watch A Werewolf Boy. Not many people went to watch this film. This is quite a hilarious film at the start where a family move to the countryside as the eldest daughter of the family had lung problems. She meets a boy who grew up there, but doesn’t know he is a werewolf when he becomes angry. Plus he was an experiment of the previous owner of the house… Can’t spoil too much of the film as you should definitely watch it. But be aware, it will set you off in tears towards the end of the movie… I could hear a lot of women crying, and the guy who sat in front of me, I could see him wipe a few tears away!! It’s a must-watch film for all the emotional geeks out there!! T_T … As I understand a bit of Korean, I noticed some of the subtitling was missing… Like when the girl says Oppa (meaning elder brother) that wasn’t translated, it’s probably just to simplify the film and make people read quickly…

The last film for me was The Bullet Vanishes starring Lau Ching Wan and Nicholas Tse as the supporting actor. For me this was a typical Hong Kong style movie of fighting, slowing motion scenes, a bit of love and drama. Subtitling was a bit bad (although I wasn’t paying too much attention to it). Don’t understand why translators have to cut the actual meaning of a sentence. Didn’t like too much of the dubbing used, as they hardly synced with the actor’s and actresses’ lips (you can see this in the trailer below). I felt in this film that the supporting actor Nicholas Tse was more of the lead actor as he seemed to have got all the best scenes especially with the love scenes with Yumiko Chen. So any Nicholas Tse fans out there, you will love this film…!! Lau Ching Wan is always great. I’ve watched him in lots of HK TVB dramas, so I know his acting skills are always in tip top shape. ^_^ The Bullet Vanishes was felt to be like a Sherlock Holmes mystery in the film industry. It is. But a bit more adventurous in terms of there being more of Watson than there was of Sherlock. ¬,¬” The film is also similar to Johnathan Creek, the British TV drama show… Work out the mystery, and tell us about how you solved it in your own time kind of film…!!

All in all, it was a very good weekend, until I was pick pocketed (that’s what I really believe, but I may have dropped it, and that person felt that he/she didn’t want to return it). My brand new Samsung SG4 (only used for 3 weeks) was “lost” not “stolen” according to the police, as I have no proof to say it was stolen… Anyway, a replacement phone is on its way and I already have my replacement SIM card… Just a shame that I have lost all the pictures!! And as much as I love China Town, pay a lot of attention to the people surrounding you, take care of your belongings and DON’T show off your brand new items even if it is in the cinema!! Pickpockets live in the West End! T_T

Website: http://terracottafestival.com/

p.s. The film festival went to another location after that weekend…

The Woman in Black

Pic of the poster taken outside of the cinema

I have wanted to watch the stage version of The Woman in Black for a while, but when I saw the trailer for the film, starring Daniel Radcliffe in December 2011 (and was waiting for Sherlock Holmes II to start), I became ecstatic and decided I must watch this film no matter what I was doing in February! 

What a moment that was!! ^_^

No doubt I am a faaaaan of Daniel Radcliffe from watching all of the Harry Potter movies. In this film, he has undoubtedly grown up for this role, but probably not mature enough to be in a father role. The film version (as always) is different from the book (which I have not read yet – but there’s a synopsis on Wiki), and also different from the stage version. Every few moments in the film there was a scary moment. My heart was pounding, nerves rattling and you could feel everyone’s tension in the cinema (even though it was noisy from people reaching into their popcorn and sweet bags). At several points I had my scarf wrapped around my mouth to stop me from screaming out loud. Hahahah, that’s how good the film is! I even thought towards the end that this is better than The Ring (Japanese version) – which I thought was scary! But nope, The Woman in Black ultimately won the spooks war (for now).

I recommend this film for anyone who likes a scary film but it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I won’t spoil any more now… so watch it, watch it, watch it!

My Geeky Rating: 4.9/5 ^_^ (It lost a 0.1 mark for Radcliffe’s matureness for the role – but he is definitely a great actor!)