21st Raindance Film Festival: Our Pick of the Bunch

To expand what we cover on the website, we are going to start incorporating something new to make thegeekshow.co.uk a more vibrant and varied place to visit. From now on we’ll be making the best use of our copious resources to cover the more interesting news and events that just don’t fit in with the show. To mark this addition to the website, we’re looking at the 21st Raindance Film Festival. We’re big fans of Raindance, who are not only champions of the short film and do it yourself filmmaking, they are europe’s biggest independent film festival. This year they are also having a set of screenings dedicated to Asian cinema, as curated by our friends over at Third Window Films. To commemorate this years event, I’ll be picking out some of the best looking titles and when you can see them.

Here’s that interview that Harry conducted at the Manchester Comic Con, with Raindance head honcho Elliot Grove.




Sticking with the familiar first is Junya Sakino’s feature debut Sake Bomb. Sakino’s film is one that I can vouch for, unlike many entries on this list that just stick out for their concept or some other aspect. Sake Bomb, I’ve actually seen. Fitting in with the mumblecore tradition, this comedy drama sees Gaku Hamada head to America to find out why his one true love left him. Sounds cute, doesn’t it? Well add in to that a particularly scabrous look at racism within the Asian community, a clever text in an endlessly lovely and charming film. Review up in coming days.

Playing with DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE. See on – September 28th at 2.30pm & October 3rd at 3.45pm




Another title curated by third window films, and another which we’ll have a review of, Lucky. Ryohei Watanabe’s debut film was the Winner of the Entertainment Award at the PIA Film Festival, and it’s also nominated for the best debut feature at Raindance. As for what it’s about, it follows the dysfunctional relationship of Japanese teenage girls in high school whilst being entirely honest about these girls’ lives. Along with the awards attention, third windows seal of approval and some dark changes in tone and story. This mix of Heavenly Creatures and All about Lily Chou-Chou sounds nothing shy of fascinating. Review up in Coming Days. See on – September 28th at 2.30pm & October 3rd at 3.45pm


midsummer nights tango“According to Aki Kaurismäki, tango was invented in Finland. Three Argentinean Tango musicians travel to Finland to find out the truth behind the outrageous claim”. Part of the Raindance strand, the very idea that the tango originated in Finland is fascinatingly audacious. An intriguing documentary that looks to be one of the highlights of the Raindance strand, and as important its light-hearted relief in a year of severe documentaries. Looking at you here, Act of Killing and Blackfish. Wednesday 2 October 6:00pm


The Search for Simon“In 1979 David Jones’ younger brother Simon, aged 7, disappeared without a trace and was never seen again. 34 years later David is still looking. This is The Search for Simon”. That isn’t what piqued my interest, what got me on board was the credentials of the cast who’ve starred in everything from Monty Python to the ABCs of Death, via Star-Trek Deep Space 9. And the director who’s directed an episode of everything on British TV, he’s really that prolific and diverse. Resembling the vastly under-rated FAQ about Time Travel and comes with praise from some highly respected names from TV and film. Tuesday 1 October 8:45pm.


convenience“Two friends try to rob a petrol station, but are so useless that they end up working there all night. Two men, three hostages, no crisps”. That Blurb alone reminds me of the hilarious and under-rated Korean action comedy, Attack the Gas Station (which really needs a distribution deal in the UK). Add in some great British talent from this is England, Four Lions and … Erm… Eastenders and you have a quirky little comedy that could be a charmingly British bit of fun. Saturday 5 October 7:15pm


philomirrophobiaIgnore the title that’s more than a mouthful, what’s fascinating about this film is that it’s a depiction of the Chinese art world. In 2012, one of my favourite films of the year was the documentary Ai WeiWei Never Sorry. Now Ai WeiWei is part of a revolutionist collective of artists who stand up against the state. In that documentary, many other names were mentioned who got a much rawer deal than the acclaimed artist in question. In Philomirrophobia, painter Yuke Qin questions his own coming out through the medium of experimental film. The experimental aspect, like art itself, is successful though the eye of the beholder rather than grander critical assumptions. Nevertheless, revisiting this fascinating landscape of artists and politics is something that is sure to deliver. Sunday 6 October 12:15pm


mad-ship“A Norwegian man, mad with grief, embarks on a quixotic mission to build a ship and sail out of the prairie dust bowl at the height of the Great Depression”. Think Mud or Beasts of the Southern Wild mixed with Terry Gilliam and you’re not far away from the Mad Ship. It’s yet another example as to why Canadian film makers are hitting highs that other countries can only dream of. They are more than just David Cronenberg, you know? One of these days, this nation of mad genius film makers will get the credit they deserve. Friday 4 October 7:15pm


black-square-theThe words “NOMINATED FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE” helps put this one of this list. But it’s inclusion on that list isn’t everything; look at the Oscar’s to see how little Nominations actually mean. What makes this much more appealing is the fact that it’s a Chinese realist fantasy about themes like identity, with strange black squares hanging over Beijing. For surreal Asian cinema, Japan has been the place to go; China is divided up between the solemn and the bombastic. Sure, it’s directed by Japanese director Hiroshi Okuhara, but the very existence of this movie marks it out as a highlight. Saturday 28 September 5:30pm


court-of-zeusGen Takahashi’s last film, Confessions of a Dog, was so brutal in its depiction of the corruption in the Japanese police that it was banned. Banning is usually reserved for explicit sex or violence, or both, to be banned for such representation is amazing in the 21st century. His new film, the Court of Zeus sees Takahashi turn his eye towards the Japanese justice system. Catch it now, because if it’s anything like his earlier film you won’t get the chance to CoZ for a long time either. Sunday 29 September 4:45pm

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