Venue: Prince Charles Cinema, London
Further Info: http://www.princecharlescinema.com/
**UK PREMIERES / EUROPEAN PREMIERES / INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES / WORLD PREMIERES**
Chinese / Hong Kong
The stars, the stories & the showcase that is Terracotta… A bit of background and a lead up to Mini Mini’s experience of it all in 2011:
I’m so into my Asian movies of late so why didn’t I ensure that I caught the beginning of this festival? [Actually, I contemplated getting there for the signing by Breathless star, Kim Kkobbi on the Saturday afternoon but this was not to be]… Still, I feel I made up for it in many ways. See these related articles:
It’s Saturday afternoon, turning into evening. I was definitely going to see at least one of the Terracotta movies this weekend, even if it killed me – which, of course I hoped it wouldn’t!
I was even more determined to attend, as I’d still never visited this much mentioned cinema, The Prince Charles. Ironically, I’m now a member!
There was such a lovely crowd – of Asian and CaucAsian 😉 – at this event. I got talking to two different individuals, who both told me that they also attend the Fright Fest. Having two people here telling me that piece of info should have given me more of a sign to what kind of movie I was queuing up for – or more like ‘huddled up for’, in a confined space – but oh well… a unique venue nonetheless.
The film in question:
Following this film I wandered over – after ever so slightly debating not to go – to the Terracotta Cafe, a makeshift gathering point just for this festival. It’s conveniently, and perhaps one could say ironically Asianally above, & a part of a pub in Chinatown. This is where was to be the festival party.
On arrival there was much smiling and karaoke. I’m not one to be too impressed by karaoke, but put on by Far Easterners or at least ‘for’ them how could I refuse?! I mean, the Far East is the part of the world where it originated and is enjoyed the most.
There were, of course film stars, a director or two and other film professionals from this year’s various Terracotta film premieres. If I didn’t recognise an individual I was kindly informed later on.
I was doing, again my very best [but ultimately, as you will read, not really my ‘very’ best] to keep off the alcohol but decided to have a vino. Why? Partly due to myself not knowing anyone – so at least I’d have my one true friend… joke… – and partly because I fancied one. Oh and I thought I had earned it… but could that too be read as a sign of alcoholism? Nooooo!
As I was purchasing and confirming to myself to get a drink, I got talking to a laaaady. Perhaps that also swayed me to not be tee-total on this night, but ironically… she wasn’t drinking! Oh dear, I fear I’m digging myself a hole here.
Soon it was time for the end of the day and night.
First up on this day was the brilliant…
Then… A few technical hitches meant much waiting around for the next film. What was it?! “Karate Girl”…!
Now, this movie although contains the word ‘karate’ and of course is about such a genre [well, duh!] it would therefore not normally interest me greatly, but many people present were excited about this film. After all, it features a pretty, young, talented champion in one particular type of karate. It was also a World Premier, and like quite a few of the movies at this Terracotta Far East Film Festival, it was to include a Q & A & possibly an introduction by the main star [such Q & A’s being most prominent on this very last day of the festival…more on that later**]
Whilst technicalities were occurring between “Red Light Revolution” and “Karate Girl” [or “K.G.” to give it it’s official abbreviated title] I wandered off with newly found friend to grab coffee – well, this was to be a long day – and got back to the Prince Charles cinema in time to catch main star, & karate champion Rina finishing up her brief introduction to the film.
So, after hearing Rina utter words along the lines of how many injuries she incurred whilst filming I put my photo-taking equipment [ok, iPhone] away and took a seat inside this auditorium.
The film began…in black & White…
… But was all as it seemed…? See here:
Due to the overrunning of Karate Girl, it’s Q & A (complete with Rina high-kicking on stage) as well as getting the very large audience – one of the largest of the festival I gather – out of the auditorium and getting the place checked inside, the programme was a tad ruined.
However, it just meant that the Prince Charles and event organisers had some catching up to do. They did this by starting the following film, “Gallants” swiftly after. I had been ‘reliably’ (?) informed that due to health & safety and/or other reasons the venue require at least twenty minutes between showings.
This was not to be…
Instead, I entered the auditorium, stepped on a film director or two’s toes. My friend advised – after doing the very same – that the director Tak Sakaguchi was one of these! Anyhow, having sat down and missed the first couple of minutes of Gallants, and possibly an introduction this could explain the relatively downbeat views in the following review of it:
My 3rd break of the day, ahead of the 4th and final film and this mini film marathon lark was beginning to suit me, despite any tiredness felt. Incidentally, in these breaks I and most others had been completing a scorecard for movies resenting.. Marks out of 10… [Ultimately, the viewers choice turned out to be “Red Light Revolution”]
But for the following and final offering, and for both myself & the festival itself I had given it the highest marks compared to all others I’d provided. I believe I gave it a 10.
That film was the arty, artful and artfelt [if there were such a word], Milocrorze, A Love Story (Mirokurôze / ミロクローゼ). It really does have to be seen to be believed – but for now, I hope my mini mini review (below) offers some insight into it’s wondrousness [note: only my opinion]…:
Following the marvel which is “Milocrorze…” it was time to make note and take stock of a few aspects picked up on at Terracotta Fest. First up is the fact that the popularity of the word Capricious seems to have increased. I heard it spoken at least twice at this festival, by Asian or maybe more specifically by the Chinese and Japanese film-makers. Either this, or I’m less learned than I thought.
A brief mention of the Terracotta Cafe and it’s shenanigans. Although I missed Kim Kkobbi, I did manage to catch Rina Takeda for a brief greeting along with a photograph taken with her. Sam Voutas, Tak Sakaguchi and others were also present at the Terracotta Cafe, as was karaoke. Yep, what a combination… Karate, Karaoke and Kid-like behaviour.
It was smashing and heartwarming to witness all the stars mingling, singing, signing, sparring & getting along famously – with one another and members of the public – none more so than Tak! [who knew he was such a great singer?!]
That’s about it for Terracotta 2011, suffice to say that Terracotta 2012 couldn’t come round fast enough. And that is ironic, considering how long it’s taken Mini Mini to complete this review… Indeed, a year has passed & ever so quickly.
Terracotta, I’ve missed you.
Mini Mini Festvities:
Find trailers for these films and other Mini-er Movies here at:
Oh, and yet another film featured in 2011 albeit I didn’t catch it until after the festival.
That film is:
Here’s to many more years, beginning with this one:
See You Later, L’asia.