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A Road Stained Crimson - Raindance
Director: Tetsuhiko Nono
Cast: Hirofumi Arai, Jun Murakami, Niinobu Ryomei

You know the drill. Lonely motorbike mechanic used to be professional killer. Tries to move on with his life. Ends up killing people anyway. Just your average Japanese thriller.

Why does Ken (Hirofumi Arai) want to quit his old profession? Who is Yoko, the older woman he lives with? And what exactly did his father do to get himself killed?

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Raindance 2012 - Short Films Preview

One of the things I’m always terrible at when going to film festivals is checking out the short films. I see a couple, sure, I make a point of catching the animated selections, but otherwise it normally comes down to watching the ones that I’ve been recommended.

So I’m making a conceited effort this year at the 20th Raindance Film Festival to watch more short films – and hopefully, in turn, recommend some to you so you don’t miss out on them either. When’s a better time to start than now? After sifting through the programme of 138+ shorts with a fine toothcomb (well, mouse and keyboard), I’ve already got myself a must-see list.

Here are 10 shorts you should see at Raindance 2012. The best thing about them? They all come with their own selection of other shorts, so you get something like nine bonus other films for every one that takes your fancy.

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Sundance London announced its line-up earlier today. Featuring UK premieres of 14 selected films from this year's Sundance Festival, the brand new event will treat British moviegoers to Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York, Paul Dano's new film, For Ellen, America's-biggest-house documentary, Queen of Versailles, and others.

Also introducing a range of music gigs to the Sundance brand, founder Robert Redford promises that the event will bring the best of indie cinema to British audiences. You know, like that other excellent indie film festival we get every year in London. The one with the Sundance-inspired name. Raindance Film Festival, you may recall, opened last year with the UK premiere of Mike Cahill's Another Earth, which wowed audiences at Sundance several months earlier.

Of course, there's nothing to say we can't have both events every year (increased exposure for indie filmmakers is a very good thing), especially with Sundance's reputation and dedicated US focus. But there is one key distinguishing feature of Sundance London: the price.


Here's a breakdown of the numbers:


Sundance London logo   Raindance Film Festival 2011 logo


The O2 Arena


Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus


Inaugural Year



Inaugural Year




US indie films



Indie films from around the world 



4 days



2 weeks


Number of Films



Number of Films



Ticket Price

£250 (+£12.50 booking fee) - festival pass

£140 (+£9.80 booking fee) - four films in a day (for 2 people)

£175 (+£12.25 booking fee) - 10 film pass

£50 (+£4 booking fee) - one film and a gig


Ticket Price

£149 - festival pass 

£10 - evenings and weekends

£5 - weekdays before 5pm



Average Price Per Film



Average Price Per Film



£18.75 per film? That's a bit steep when you put it next to £55 for 11 films at last month's FrightFest Glasgow, or Raindance's £1.58 per film average for 2011's festival.

The movie line-up looks exciting, the inclusion of music (including Placebo) is promising and The O2 does have one heck of a massive cinema screen, but Robert Redford will have to do something pretty special to convince folks that a four-day event involving 14 films is worth £175 + exorbitant booking fee.


Individual tickets for films (not just music events) would be a good start. £18.75 for a UK premiere isn't bad - but you shouldn't have to pay for 10 films to get that price. I just hope that the booking system involves flying monkeys or unicorns.

Sundance London runs from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th April. Here's the full line-up at the official site. It's undoubtedly a big event for the UK cinema calendar, but can you afford to go?  


6 Raindance films you can see in cinemas in 2012

Do you remember Raindance? All those months ago in September? Maybe you've forgotten what films you saw at the festival, maybe you missed it entirely, but the good news is that while America gets excited about Sundance, you can catch some Raindance Film Festival movies in UK cinemas in 2012.

It's great to see theatrical releases secured for some of the festival's more interesting and challenging productions. When I spoke to Raindance filmmakers in September, some were still crossing fingers over British distribution and could only confirm a release date in israel.

But now, there are 6 Raindance films lined up for cinemas around the country this year. Here they are:

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After the success of our recommended 10 films you should see at Raindance Film Festival 2011 (and you've obviously seen/are going to see all of those, RIGHT?) we've run around the Apollo West End like crazy people and seen a variety of interesting, odd and wonderful stuff.

We also missed a lot of movies off our first list of suggestions, but all is not lost: there are still a few days of Raindance premieres to go.

So now we've had enough time to plan our final weekend of festival goodness, here are five more films you should try to catch before Raindance Film Festival 2011 ends.

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“Ladies and gentlemen. I’d like you to meet Giles. He’s quick to learn, eager to please. He doesn’t get tired. And he goes off like a firecracker,” says Holly. Then she takes off all her clothes and shags him on the living room floor in front of a group of excited housewives.

Welcome to Sydney, world capital of sex and hookers. Apparently. Jon Hewitt’s X is a thriller set in the seedy underbelly of the Australian city. And things couldn’t be seedier if the movie starred Peter Stringfellow eating a bag of seed covered in linseed oil and planting flowers in the garden.

No wonder veteran prostitute Holly (Viva Bianca) is looking for a way out.

Into this world strays Shay (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), the kind of naïve young girl who gives money to any hungry girl she sees on the streets and doesn’t know what to do once she’s in a client’s car. Of course, everything comes crashing down around her extremely short skirt when she agrees to help Holly out in a threesome with a rich gangster, only to end up witnessing to a murder.

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Montevideo - A Taste of Dream (Raindance)Montevideo is the romanticised whimsical tale of the first Yugoslav national football team and their journey from the streets of Belgrade to the first World Cup in Uraguay. The film has done incredibly well in its homeland of Serbia, and is their foreign language entry for the Academy Awards - it's also rather brilliant.

The tale is told through the eyes of Stanoje, a kid who hero worships his older friend 'Tirke' Tirnanić - he has skills and fantastic hair. Enter 'Mosha' "He was great, even when football was small" Marjanović, the talented rich kid everyone fawns over. He comes with a cart load of trouble, living the footballer lifestyle long before Best or Ronaldo.

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Standing near the entrance of the lovely Apollo Cinema West End, people keep pushing past to get to the world premiere of A Thousand Kisses Deep. But as the foyer fills up, I'm busy talking about jazz and time travel - as you do, if you're chatting to Dana Lustig, director of tonight's intriguing romantic drama.

The interview was equally interesting, even if it was conducted amid a gaggle of visitors walking between us right near the top of a stairwell. And, to make matters more chaotic, old friends kept popping up to say hello. (Her friends, I should add - I'm not that popular.)

But Dana stayed to chat, sharing her passion for London, music and Dougray Scott. And then Dougray himself arrived and hijacked the whole thing. As you do, if you're Dougray Scott.

Here's what happened:

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Trailer: Another Earth

Director: Mike Cahill
Cast: Brit Marling, William Mapother and Jordan Baker
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: Friday 2nd December

In ANOTHER EARTH, Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s Astrophysics Program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs (William Mapother), has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child.

On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined.

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