If you're a fan of Eastern cinema then try and read this post with a defibrillator handy because the Firecracker film festival lineup is one of artery exploding brilliance.
We'll try and ease you into it gently by simply stating that it runs from the 8th to the 18th of September and makes its home at the Curzon Soho, Curzon Mayfair, Genesis Whitechapel and Gate Notting Hill. The festival will also... oh fuck it. SONNY CHIBA TRIPLE BILL people!
Sonny Chiba! The man that first turned Londonist's head eastwards when the rest of the country was listening to Jonathan Ross waffle on about Jackie Chan. The man that kept Tarantino happy when he was still an unloved geek, the man who stole Kill Bill and more importantly the man that brought Clarence and Alabama together in True Romance. If you haven't seen GI Samurai then we pity you. Everyone needs a little time traveling Samurai action in their lives. Imagine The Philadelphia Experiment but actually watchable complete with tanks and helicopters vs. angry men on horseback with lots of arrows. Cult does not do this film justice and it's just been sort of remade with a big budget and probably lots of CGI... go see Sonny Chiba and rethink the word 'cool'.
Other films that you'd be foolish to miss include The Bodyguard, A Bittersweet Life, Running Out of Time I & II, Samaritan Girl... oh hell it's ALL good.
You can preview the lineup and read about tickets and venues right here.
That fact that the follow up to Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle is actually one the weaker movies on the bill should tell you something of how we feel about this festival.
While the rest of the world is growing more concerned about the threat of a SARS epidemic leave it to Thailand to turn the whole thing into a zombie movie with a George Lucas twist. Sars Wars has to be a HOT ticket.
Go see Crying Fist and they'll even give you free beer. Damn.
That's how you put on a festival.