68th Venice Film Festival

31st August to 10th September 2011

The 68th Venice International Film Festival, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, will run at Venice Lido August 31st through September 10th, 2011.

The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote all the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance. The Festival includes retrospectives and homages to major figures as a contribution towards raising awareness of the history of cinema.

Marco Müller is the Director the 68th edition. He has been heading the Venice Biennale’s Cinema section since 2004.

For further information see here.



19 August – 8 September


Lee Sang-il


Shuichi Yoshida, Lee Sang-il

 Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eri Fukatsu, Masaki Okada, Hikari Mitsushima, Kirin Kiki

Yuichi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a construction worker who has lived his entire life in a dreary fishing village. With no girlfriend or friends, he spends his days working and looking after his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Meanwhile, Mitsuyo (Eri Fukatsu) also lives a monotonous life pacing between the men’s clothing store where she works and the apartment where she lives with her sister. When the two lonely souls meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeping from Mitsuyo: Yuichi is the one suspected of killing the woman whose body was found at Mitsue Pass only a few days before…

As Yuichi and his new lover try to elude the police, the events that led up to the murder and its aftermath are revealed. We learn the stories of the victim, the murderer, and their families – stories of loneliness, love hotels, violence and desperation, exposing the inner lives of men and woman who are not everything they appear to be.

Who is the true “villain” here?

For more information and booking click here.


East London Tour Guide for the 2012 Olympics

In preparation for the Olympic games in 2012 this training course/module might appeal to you.

Train as an East London tour guide in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Birkbeck, University of London is to offer a new module on East London tour guiding in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

The ten-week course has been officially endorsed by the five Olympic Boroughs, and will be held at the Museum of London in Docklands and the Bishopsgate Institute on Tuesday afternoons, starting on Tuesday 4 October. It is designed to give students hands-on training in guiding, together with an introduction to the history of East London.

The course is run by John Finn and Chris Everett, who each have ten years’ experience as badged guides and who regularly work for both the Museum of London and the London Metropolitan Archives. As well as learning practical skills, such as how to construct a walk and carry out research, students will visit sites such as West India Dock and Olympic Stratford, and learn about key phases in East London’s history, such as the Roman era, the Huguenot immigration and the Second World War. The tutors will discuss how the city has been shaped by migration and settlement from the 1880s to the present day, and examine the area’s radical past, taking in such seminal events as the Match Girls’ Strike, the Docks Strike, and the activities of the Anarchists, Suffragettes and Socialists.

At the end of the ten weeks, students will undertake a short practical exam and a presentation (with a 2,500 word research portfolio). Completion of this module qualifies the student for 15 CATS points, which are credit points recognised by Birkbeck, the Open University and the University of East London. CATS points in this and further programmes of study in London history can contribute to the equivalent of the first year of an undergraduate degree.

The cost of this module is as little as £115 for applicants who qualify for concessionary rates. A limited number of full bursaries are also available for students who have no previous higher education degree or who are in receipt of state benefit.

For further information on how to enrol contact Mike Berlin at Birkbeck on m.berlin@bbk.ac.uk or 020 7631 6647

Japanese Cultural Experience Day

Saturday, 3rd September 2011   10:00am – 16:00pm

Large Meeting Room 
Nippon Club 
2nd floor
Samuel House
6 St. Albans Street
London SW1Y 4SQ

£30.00  including  lunch and materials

Booking Deadline  26th August 2011

This is your opportunity to try for yourself a selection of Japanese cultural traditions!
The Japan Society is delighted to welcome Mrs Taeko Fujii from Kyoto, to lead a special Japanese Cultural Experience Day. Mrs Fujii is a tea ceremony and ikebana instructor, belonging to the Urasenke International Association and the Ikenobo school. She teaches aspects of Japanese culture at Wakayama University and other institutions and, as an instructor for WAK Japan Co., she coordinates programmes enabling foreign travellers to experience Japanese cultural traditions.

Provisional Programme
10:30 ~ 12:00    Ikebana Workshop: become an artist with flowers!
12:00 ~ 13:00    Lunch (Japanese obento)
13:00 ~ 14:00    Japanese Bookbinding Workshop
14:00 ~ 15:30    Tea Ceremony – a practical workshop

In tandem with the practical workshop experience, Taeko Fujii will explain aspects of Japanese culture which underpin these traditions.

Ikebana Workshop
Ikebana is very different from the Western art of flower arranging. The tools it requires are flowers, a container and your own ability to create form. This lesson will give you an introduction to the basics of ikebana.

Japanese Bookbinding
Traditionally, Japanese books are not bound using glue, but are stitched. Can you tell where the binding thread begins and ends? How do you hide joins in the thread? Unfamiliar even to many Japanese people, here is your chance to learn the techniques of watojibon.

Tea Ceremony
Tea ceremony is frequently spoken of as a ‘complete art’. In just a moment, cha no yu helps you to escape from the cares of everyday life. The flavour of the tea depends on how it is made. This introductory session will give you the chance to make tea and to appreciate its flavours.

The event is open to beginners as well as those with prior experience. Japanese nationals are also welcome. Numbers are strictly limited, so please hurry to reserve your place. When booking, please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements

To book, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330,emailevents@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form

London International Animation Festival

The London International Animation Festival proudly showcases the whole spectrum of creative animation, showing that animation is for everyone…

Founded in 2003, LIAF aims to dispel the popular misconception that animation is just cartoons for kids by screening the broadest possible range of intelligent, entertaining and provocative current films on offer from all around the world as well as retrospectives and specialised sessions from countries and animators who don’t normally elicit such attention.

Our annual 10-day Festival in August and September includes gala premieres, retrospectives, Q&A’s with filmmakers, workshops, audience voting, and the Best of the Festival screening. Since this year LIAF has become much more than an annual Festival – we are programming more events, tours, screenings and masterclasses all year-round to as many cities and countries that invite us. LIAF strives to be the best, and we do so with a very small, very dedicated staff.

LIAF: Schedule

If you are passionate about the richly nuanced cultural experiences which the Festival so consistently provides, please consider becoming a LIAF MemberBenefactor or Partner to help us to run the best Animation Festival in the UK.


Take Care of My Cat (2000)

Korean Film Night

Take Care of My Cat (2000)

Jeong Jae-eun

In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school. When one of the groups, upwardly-mobile Hae-ju, moves to Seoul, the other girls deal with the loss in different ways. Feeling most rejected, shy Ji-yeong finds comfort in her new friendship with rebel Tae-hee.

September 08, 2011

Multi Purpose Hall, KCCUK

How to save money in London

The aim of this post is to provide some suggestions in how to save money in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I hope you’ll find it useful.


Central London dwellers miss out many supermarket offers as only big chain supermarkets such as Sainsbury and Tesco have branches here and they mainly have a smaller range of the most popular and more expensive items. Outside the central area there are larger branches together with those of Morrisons and Asda. All of these run special offers and one of the cheapest ways of getting perishable goods is to shop just before closing time especially on a Sunday afternoon, usually before 4.oo pm or 5.00 pm. Other good options are supermarkets such as Netto, Aldi and Lidl (best known as ‘no frills’ supermarkets) to be found in the inner and outer suburbs and are generally cheaper than the well known stores though the range of products is more limited.


They have struggled in recent years in the face of rising cost and competition from supermarkets selling cheap clothes and fruit. The most central is Berwick Street in Soho, where there may be a chance of picking up unsold food very cheaply at the end of the day. Other more famous markets such as Petticoat lane and Portobello Road now cater more for visitors than for local bargain hunter.

’99p’ and ‘Pound’ Shops

These chain in the last few years have become a familiar sight, except in central London. They offer branded grocery and other goods at much less than other outlets and are also a good source of many household goods. The thing to be aware of is that a few items, because of the standard price, might be dearer than some special offers elsewhere, but they are still well worth a visit for the bargain hunter.

Clothes & Charity Shops

Charity shops are to found on every high street. However, those in the central areas have higher prices and really are more for visitors interested in ‘retro’ clothes. The shops run by national charities often have a corporate and inflexible pricing policy which doesn’t seem to take into account the location. Best bargains are to be found in shops linked to a specific local charity; prices are lower as the managers generally have more discretion. The stock is more mixed as all donations come to that shop rather than being rotated amongst several branches.

Other good places to buy cheap clothes such as t-shirts, underwear and sock, mainstream shops such as Primark and Asda offer the best value, and you can be certain that what you want will almost certainly be in stock.


Londoners have two free morning newspapers on weekdays. The metro carries brief news stories along with TV listings and sports stories, while City AM is very much business orientated. The Standard has been free for a few years and is circulated from about 3 pm. It contains more in depth news and is more politically balanced than in the ‘paid’ days. Local areas have free weekly issues ranging from virtual advert sheets to those such as Camden New Journal which takes a campaigning line with wide coverage of local issues.

If you want internet access, most libraries offers up to an hour free each day to members.


Travelling is very expensive in London. If you do need to travel often it may be well worth getting an Oyster Card. An Oyster Card will reduce the cost of each bus fare (the cheapest way of travelling in London is by bus) from the extortionate £ 2.20 single to £ 1.30 and you will pay a maximum of £ 4.00 a day for an unlimited number of bus journeys. Day travelcards are cheaper after 9.30 am on Monday to Friday and all day at Weekends and Bank Holidays if you need to use the tube, but can avoid the morning peak.

I hope in the next few weeks to add more suggestions and I’m happy to add yours. Please write to five.countries@yahoo.com and let me know your tips in how to save money in London.

Everything happens for the first time – Katsumi Omori

19 August 2011 – 02 September 2011

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London

Everything happens for the first time is the first solo exhibition in the UK by Katsumi Omori, a leading Japanese photographer.  For the last ten years, Omori has undertaken a project to photograph the challenging subject of Cherry Blossom, symbolically important in Japan, and revered for its short and brilliant blooming season. He followed the Cherry Blossom this spring from Tokyo and Urayasu to Fukushima, and various other areas that severely suffered during the Tsunami, earthquake and nuclear plant accidents in March.

For more information, please click here.