The third annual London East Asian Film Festival opens this Thursday, and this year’s edition looks to be bigger and better than ever.
Opening on the 25th of October with Kim Tae-gyun’s Dark Figure of Crime, the London East Asian Film Festival continues to earn its reputation as the most celebrated champion of East Asian cinema and culture. Running for 11 days, the festival will include a selection of movies from 13 countries including – on top of the usual suspects – North Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Dark Figure of Crime will be the festival’s opening offering, and is a psychological thriller based loosely on the events in an episode of Unanswered, a Korean television show about unsolved crimes. the movie focuses on the confrontations between a detective (Kim Yoon-seok) and a criminal (Ju Ji-hoon) who has confessed to numerous murders. Its closing gala, however, will be with something a little bit different to its gritty opening: the family comedy-drama Ramen Shop. By Singaporean director Eric Khoo, the film deals with a young man (Tsuyoshi Ihara) who looks into the life of his deceased parents, and goes on a culinary trip through Singapore.
Between that time will be a number of programmes curated by Festival Director Hyejung Jeon, as well as Festival Advisors Roger Garcia and Mark Adams, Programme Consultant Damon Wise and Programmers Jasper Sharp and Ruth Linton. Outside of the usual Official Selection, the festival will provide an actor focus on Kim Yoon Seok, explore Taiwan’s cinematic history, look at Nara’s International Film Festival, offer numerous documentaries and showcase Stories of Women.
I will be attending once again, and attempt to cover as much of the festival as possible with at least one review a day, as I look to get a taste of everything LEAFF 2018 is offering. With 60 films over 11 days, there’s something for everyone, if you’re looking for an interesting glimpse of North Korean cinema with Comrade Kim Goes Flying, or a look at Myanmar you haven’t before in 14 Apples.
You can find LEAFF’s entire programme, as well as buy tickets for the screenings, here.