OFFICIAL LEAFF SELECTION  

Odeon Leicester Square | Ham Yard Hotel | Curzon Soho

 

 

 

LEAFF’s official selection champions the very best films from contemporary Asian filmmakers. This year’s stellar line up is packed full of guest appearances and Q&A sessions, allowing UK audiences the opportunity to engage with East Asian cinema and culture on a personal level. Our ambition is to highlight the growing collaboration in the region by crossing cultural and cinematic borders, and bridge the gap between East and West.

 

 

 

 

 

< Opening Gala >

Thursday 20 October, 7:30pm |  Odeon Leicester Square

 

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       The Age of Shadows |밀정| Kim Jee-woon | UK Premiere | 2016 | 140mins | South Korea

followed by a Q&A with director Kim Jee-woon

 

The 1920s, when Korea has fallen under Japanese rule.

Lee Jung-chool (SONG Kang-ho), a Korean police captain in the Japanese police force, is given a special mission to infiltrate the armed resistance fightingfor Korean independence. He approaches Kim Woo-jin (GONG Yoo), a leader of the resistance. These two men who stand on opposite sides of their historicalera, each knowing the identity and intentions of the other, become close without revealing their inner thoughts. Meanwhile intel is being leaked on bothsides, and no one knows who the informants are. Members of the resistance meet in Shanghai to obtain explosives that will be used to destroy facilities ofthe Japanese Headquarters in Seoul, while the Japanese police follow them and gather in Shanghai. The pursued and the pursuers, locked in an operationwhere each side uses the other and is thrown into a confusion of secret enmity and conciliation. Meanwhile, a train carrying explosives passes the borderand heads towards Seoul… 

 

 

 

< Closing Gala >

Sunday 30th October, 7:00pm | Ham Yard Hotel

 

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Three | 三人行 | Johnnie To | 2016 | 87mins | Hong Kong

followed by a Q&A with director Johnnie To

When three disparate souls—a doctor desperate to redeem her reputation (Vicki Zhao, RED CLIFF), a policeman who will go to any length to seek out justice (Louis Koo, TRIAD ELECTION), and a criminal with a gunshot wound to the head (Wallace Chung, DRUG WAR)—are thrown together in the hustle and bustle of an emergency room, a hospital descends from a pristine sanctuary to an explosive battleground. Bullets fly in international award-winning director Johnnie To’s (DRUG WAR, EXILED, ELECTION) latest showdown between cops, robbers, and everyone else caught in the crossfire. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< Film Talk: Dir. Johnnie To >

True Grit: Crime, Gangsters and Justice in Hong Kong Cinema with Johnnie To

Monday 31st October, 6:30pm | China Exchange

 

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A Hong Kong native who grew up in Kowloon Walled City – a former nest of crime in the city – Johnnie has specialised in creating films that show a grittier side to Hong Kong life. His characters – corrupt police officers; romantic thieves; and mad detectives take us on journeys into the complex underworlds of Hong Kong and provide a different perspective on the place and its people.  

He is known for repeatedly working with the same actors and for his depictions of urban crime. Johnnie joined the television industry as a teenager. Over his 40 year career to date, he has progressed from messenger boy to the committee of the Cannes Film Festival (2011).  

On 30 October, his latest film, Three, will be presented at the closing gala of the London East Asia Film Festival. After the screening, he will join us for a talk at China Exchange. 

This event will be in Cantonese and English. 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Beautiful 2016 | 美好合一 2016 | Jia Zhangke, Nakata Hideo, Alec Su, Stanley Kwan | 2016 | 95mins | China, Hong Kong 

Saturday 22nd October, 3:30pm | Curzon Soho

Jia Zhangke brings to this edition of the Beautiful series The Hedonists, an engaging drama about several unemployed Shanxi coalminers looking for work. In Somewhere in Kamakura, Nakata Hideo enlists Kawaka Kyoko, who immortalizes the youngest sister Kyoko in Ozu’s Tokyo Story, to play an 80-year-old who suddenly receives a letter from her first love. There is more than square dancing, but also life’s pains and glories for the middle-aged women in Alec Su’s documentary The Beijing “Ladies”. Stanley Kwan casts an impassive eye on a film crew in a recording studio in One Day in the Lives of…with a diva, a young director, his lovelorn assistant…

 

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Tunnel | 터널 | Kim Seong-hun | 2016 | 126mins | South Korea

followed by a Q&A with director Kim Seong-hun 

Sunday 23rd October, 2:45pm | Curzon Soho

 Jung-soo (HA Jung-woo), the manager of a car dealership, is in a cheerful mood on the way home from work thanks to a big order that he has just received. Then suddenly, the tunnel he is driving through collapses, and he is trapped inside. The only thing he can see around him is concrete wreckage, and all he has to sustain himself is 78% of his phone’s battery, two bottles of water, and his daughter’s birthday cake. With the news of a major tunnel collapse, South Korea is thrown into panic and the government rushes to put together a rescue plan. Dae-kyung (OH Dal-su), leader of the rescue team, tries various means to access the tunnel, but work proceeds at a frustratingly slow pace. Meanwhile, Jung-soo’s wife Se-hyun (Doona BAE) sends him messages of support through the only radio station he can hear under the tunnel, and she keeps up hope that he will return alive. Ultimately, the slow rescue effort causes a setback to the construction of a nearly complete tunnel nearby, and public opinion becomes divided over whether to proceed with a rescue effort that seems doomed to fail.

 

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     Creepy | クリーピー 偽りの隣人 | Kiyoshi Kurosawa | 2016 | 130mins | Japan 

Sunday 23rd October, 8:45pm | Curzon Soho

 

“That man is not my father… He’s a total stranger”

Fear and horror starts with a shocking confession from a neighbour’s daughter

Based on a novel by Yutaka MAEKAWA, Creepy follows ex-police detective and criminal psychologist Takakura, who moves to a quiet suburban town seeking peace and quiet, but soon begins to suspect that his neighbour is a psychopath who comes into people’s household and takes over their lives.

Kiyoshi KUROSAWA, who recently won Best Director for Un Certain Regards section at the Cannes Film Festival 2015 for his drama Journey to the Shore turns to a totally different direction with this “creepy” psychological thriller. Bringing in a great ensemble cast of leading actors/actresses in Japan, KUROSAWA who also co-wrote the screenplay has been quoted as saying: “Each actor exudes a mysterious delicacy and ferocity, which the camera has somehow been able to capture. The end result is this breath-taking thriller.”

With its gripping suspense and riveting story, Creepy marks Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the horror genre with a horrific thriller so intense that audiences around the world will shiver in fear.

Do you really want to know who your neighbours are?

 

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  The Map Against the World | 고산자 | Kang Woo-suk | 2016 | 129mins | South Korea 

followed by a Q&A with director Kang Woo-suk

Monday 24th October, 6:00pm | Curzon Soho

At a time when maps weren’t readily accessible for the public, ‘Gosanja KIM Jeong-ho’ (CHA Seoung-won) sets out to walk across the Korean peninsula to make the Daedongyeojido – the Great Map of the East Land, with hopes of providing an accurate and accessible map for the ordinary people.He has all but forgotten about his daughter KIM Sunsil, who grew to be 16 years old in his absence, as he focuses on completing his map.  People say he is crazy, but driven by his goal, KIM Jeong-ho endeavors to complete the template for woodblock printing of the map. However, Daewongun, the King Father (YU Jun-sang) seeks to take KIM Jeong-ho’s map to gain the upper hand in his power struggle with the House of Kim of Andong. 

 

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Harmonium | 淵に立つ | Kōji Fukada | UK Premiere | 2016 | 118mins | Japan 

Monday 24th October, 8:30pm | Curzon Soho

Toshio hires Yasaka in his workshop. This old acquaintance, who has just been released from prison, begins to meddle in Toshio’s family life.

 

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  Nessun Dorma | 兇手還未睡 | Herman Yau | 2016 | 90mins | Hong Kong

Monday 24th October, 3:30pm | Curzon Soho

Former math prodigy Fong Mo Chit (Andy Hui) is now a math teacher in a primary school, living the life of an ordinary man until his wife’s suicide plunges him into depression. Unable to take care of his dog, Fong decides to leave it with Beloved Pets, where he befriends the founder Jasmine Tsang (Janice Man) during his visits.

Jasmine comes from a rich family and though she lives a worry-free life, she has yet to find its meaning. Under pressure from her family, she agrees to a marriage of convenience. A week before she’s to marry Vincent Lee (Lam Ka Tung), who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, she gets cold feet, partly due to Vincent’s history of womanizing and partly because she can’t get her mind off Fong. On a rainy night, she decides to leave the city and look for Fong in the countryside to find out if he shares her feelings. Only then will she have a reason to try to live the life she wants. Unfortunately, Fong is unwilling to commit.

Having been rejected, the heart-broken Jasmine drives home alone when she is attacked and passes out. When she finally comes to, she is shocked to find herself stark naked and locked up in a room. During her confinement, her captor doesn’t seem to sleep at all and she often hears the theme song Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s masterpiece Turandot…

 

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DE LAN | 德蘭 | Liu Jie | 2015 | 89mins | China 

Sunday 30th October, 12:45pm | Curzon Soho

Wong is a loan officer. On his way to the village, a Tibetan girl, De Lan, fascinates him. He knows she is finding her missing relative, just like him. As his work doesn’t go well in the village, he lives in De Lan’s house, and then he finds out De Lan was already married with Rigchin. One day, a young Tibetan man comes to De Lan’s house with a woman. Wong figures out this man is the one De Lan looked for all the time. But he can’t understand why De Lan starts crying. How many lovers does De Lan have? When Rigchin hints Wong he doesn’t mind he joins in them, Wong is lost……

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Bangkok Nites | バンコクナイツ | Katsuya Tomita | 2016 | 183mins | Japan, France, Thailand, Laos

Sunday 30th October, 2:45pm | Curzon Soho

Bangkok, an endlessly expanding megalopolis. In its heart is ThaniyaRoad, a red-light district, frequented by Japanese men. Luck is one of the reigning queens there. Living alone in a luxury apartment, she provides for her large family in the northeastern provinces, near the Laotian border. One day Luck comes across Ozawa, a Japanese client with whom she had fallen in love five years earlier. An ex-soldier with the Japanese Defense Army, he barely ekes out a living, and has a modest room on skid row. When Ozawa has to go to Laos, she accompanies him to introduce him to her family and childhood friends. During this short stay, weary of his life in Bangkok, Ozawa starts dreaming of a quiet life in this little village, but becomes aware of the scars left by colonialism.

 

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