It’s nearly time for this year’s Terracotta Film Festival and it’s bigger and better than ever! The Terracotta team has always worked hard to bring otherwise inaccessible Asian cinema to the UK and the 6th-15th June sees the 5th Terracotta Film Festival take place with two weeks chock a block full of exciting films from all over East Asia. This year, the Festival will be held at two locations, week one (6th-9th June) taking place at old ol’ Prince Charles Theatre in Soho and week two (10th-15th June) at the ICA, London. Week one sees a very special ‘In Memory of Leslie Cheung & Anita Mui’ section where the two Hong Kong legend are honoured, as well as a selection of Terracotta’s current top picks in Asian cinema, and for those with a strong stomach, the Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter! Week two then throws the spotlight onto Indonesian cinema, introducing London to Indonesia with a fantastic selection of films suited for all tastes. As well as films, the festival will also be holding their ever popular master-classes and special guest appearances which will all be revealed soon!
All information regarding this year’s line up as well as where to buy tickets etc, can be found on the official website here. You can keep up to date with all current the Festival news by subscribing to Terracotta via the following: facebook page, pinterest and twitter. If you want to join in the fun and share your thoughts, don’t forget to use the official twitter hashtag #TFEFF13.
Also make sure you check out Terrcotta’s exciting competition where you could win a trip to Hong Kong! All you need to do is submit a 3 minute film, in any format and filmed on any device, with the theme of ‘Asia in London’, simples! The winner will also get the world premier of their film at the Festival, pretty damn cool! Full details of this amazing competition can be found on the official website.
So here at Korean class MASSIVE, we took a look at the Korean line up for this year’s Festival. Terracotta have not disappointed and presents us with three awesome South Korean films we are super excited about!
A Werewolf Boy (2012)
Director: Jo Sung-hee
Cast: Song Joong-ki, Park Bo-young, Yoo Yeon-seok
South Korea / Korean with English subtitles/ 125 min / 2012
“Korean fantasy romance in the line of Edward Scissorhands with a traditional fairytale structure. A touching and entertaining coming-of-age story depicting feral innocence confronted to the jaded experience of the modern world. Flashback in the mid-1960s, teenage girl Suni (Parl Bo-young) just moved to a peaceful village. Hidden in the garden appears a veritable “wild child” (Song Joong-ki) who can neither read nor speak, and attacks whatever food is placed before him. He is a werewolf boy who lives in isolation. Suni and her family decide to take him in and the young girl begins to civilize the mysterious wolf boy using a dog-training manual and attempts to teach him how to behave like humans. She opens her heart to the innocent boy who is also tamed by the first person to take interest in him. However when threatened, despite a peaceful nature, he lets loose his bestial instincts and becomes the subject of the villager’s fears. Director Jo Sung-hee’s previous film, the post-apocalyptic ‘End of Animal’, stood out at the 54th BFI London Film Festival in 2010 for its odd but eerie atmosphere. For his first mainstream commercial feature, Jo teamed up with Kim Soo-jin the producer of THE CHASER and took the box office by storm.”
This was a huge blockbuster in South Korea however, it got a few groans at the male dominated Terracotta Press Conference… Werewolf Boy stars South Korean heartthrob Song Joong-ki and if you hadn’t already guessed, it is more female orientated. It has often been described as Twilight-esque but these comments are mainly from people judging the film merely by its poster and title. Although it’s not exactly A Werewolf in Paris when it comes to comparing with other werewolf films, it’s still a fantastic watch and doesn’t border on the Twilight vibe at all. At essence, it’s a sweet tale of young love – the story of an abandoned boy found, who then embarks on a journey of being tamed and “civilised” with some supernatural elements thrown in. If you’re a girl, there’s about a 99.9% chance you’ll enjoy this film. This film got the double thumbs up from the Korean Class MASSIVE resident grouch who hates feel-good films and makes wretching noises at the thought of romance films, so come on guys, give it a try!
This film will be shown on Sun 9th June at 15:45 and you can purchase tickets here.
The Berlin File (2012)
Director: Ryoo Seung-wan
Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Gianna Jun, Han Seok-gyu, Ryoo Seung-beom
South Korea / Korean with English subtitles /120 mins / 2012
“Fast moving espionage thriller pitting North Korean and South Korean agents in Berlin, drawing in the CIA and arms dealers. Stationed in Berlin, North Korean secret agent and weapons trader Pyo (Ha Jung-woo, THE CHASER) and his embassy staffer wife Ryon (Gianna Jun, MY SASSY GIRL), lead risky lives. When an arms deal with an Arab organization is exposed, Pyo’s intuition tells him that North Korean security is compromised. With his wife now also suspected of defection, his adversaries closing in, Pyo’s loyalty between wife and country are tested. Stunning action, suspense, betrayals in the setting of the most fascinating city in Europe. Director Ryoo said he wanted the film to focus on the solitude and sorrow of those who live as secret agents. The New York Times hailed its “exhilarating action set pieces,” adding that Ryoo “brings his brand of muscular action and quicksilver agility to the shifting battleground of international espionage.”
This is a film we’re very excited about. It’s been a big hit not only in South Korea but has also been receiving global recognition. With a plot that promises to have more twists and turns than a slinky, this is a film for lovers of suspense, thrills, and spy games. Ryoo Seung-wan brings his usual intensity in this gritty and gripping film, nick-named Korea’s Bourne Identity. This film is sure to be a hit with the masses and a brilliant choice to introduce the UK public to South Korea as a fine example of current Korean Cinema.
This film will be shown on Sat 8th June at 20:00 and you can purchase tickets here.
Young Gun In The Time (2012)
Director: Oh Young-doo
Cast: Hong Young Geun, Ha Eun Jung, Choi Song Hyun
South Korea / Korean with English subtitles / 95 mins / 2012/ co-presented with Sci-fi London
“The director of INVASION OF ALIEN BIKINI returns with a quirky, low budget time travel romp filled with sex shops, machine gun hands and Hawaiian shirts. Detective Young-Gun (Hong Young-geun) specializes in frivolous cases, due to his money woes. One day, a beautiful woman comes to his office and asks Young-Gun to kill a man. Young Gun doesn’t want to become a hitman, although the money just might be an incentive. But before the detective has time to make up his mind, the girl dies in a car accident. Traumatized over her death, he decides to investigate her background and gets caught up in an evil organization plot to snatch a time machine. Director Oh has become an expert at defying budget limitations. A regular in the fantastic film festivals circuits with previous films, Oh won the Grand Prix at 2011 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival which enabled him to explore the sci-fi genre with a bigger budget. “Young Gun in the Time is a fun and slick neo-sci-fi noir from a filmmaker who clearly adores genre cinema.” – Modern Korean Cinema.com ★★★★”
Film about time travelling with Hawaiian shirts? We’re there! Here Terracotta shows us what they do best, bringing us the best of the unknown. Living in the UK, we really rely on Film Festivals such as Terracotta and LKFF to help us discover new films and here Terracotta shows us just how hipster they are by bringing us something totally cool, indie and so not mainstream. Brought to you by the Director of Invasion of Alien Bikini, Oh Young-doo’s latest project will no doubt be just as fabulously eccentric. Being on a low budget has never stopped Oh from providing some hilarious laughs, and this film choice certainly seem quirky and we’re expecting lots of fun, nonsense and slapstick action, what more could you want?
This film will be shown on Fri 7th June at 18:50 and you can purchase tickets here.
This year’s selection of South Korean films is a great mix. Action, thrills, comedy, romance – there’s truly something for everyone! We can’t wait for this year’s Terracotta Film Festival, possibly the biggest yet with a whole two weeks of films from all over East Asia. There is a lot to check out so make sure you visit the official website here for the full line up. Here we’ve only highlighted the 3 Korean films out of a list of over 25 films! We personally can’t wait to also check out a few Thai films on the list especially Countdown featured in the infamous Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter, and it’s also our chance to discover Indonesia Cinema for the first time! With a bit of something for everyone, we’re sure the crowds will be piling in so don’t miss out and buy your tickets PRONTO!