Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pusan International Film Festival

PIFF, another big, reputated film festival, will be held from 2006. 10.12 to 2006. 10.20.

Considering the huge list of films and amount of sections (with a Korean Cinema today, Korean Retrospective...). I will mention Chinese films (Mainland, HK, Taiwan).
The festival will close with Crazy Stone by Ning Hao (China/HK) who previously directed Mongolian Ping Pong. This modern comedy was made possible by the Asian New Director Project, sponsored by Andy Lau. This project FOCUS: First Cuts involves new and upcoming directors from across China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. webpage view trailer

A Window on Asian Cinema
This year's section features 39 films from 14 countries. link
After This Our Exile by Patrick Tam (HK) with Aaron Kwok, Charlie Young WP website
Bliss by Sheng Zhimin (China) first feature film as director.
This is a film that ruminates over the meaning of family and insists that meaning should include understanding, love, and unconditional support for blood ties. The film was also selected at TIFF and Locarno.
Do Over by Cheng Yuchieh (Taiwan) first feature film
This is all about dreams. Everyone wishes for happiness and has a new dream with which to greet the New Year. Will these dreams come true every time?
I Don`t Want to Sleep Alone by Tsai Ming-liang (Taiwan) already been selected in several film festivals..
Luxury Car by Wang Chao (China) selected in Certain regard, Cannes 2006.
Mingming by Susie Au (HK) feature directorial debut WP with Zhou Xun, Daniel Wu
Ming Ming is a 21st Century martial arts princess and lady Robin Hood who steals for love.
My Mother is a Belly Dancer by Wong Ching Po and Lee Kung lok (HK) IP website
When do typical Hong Kong housewives, living in public housing estates, become "See Lai", sloppy housewives suffering from loss of youthfulness, beauty, and passion?
Summer Palace by Lou Ye (China)
The Chinese Botanist`s Daughters (China/France) by Dai Sijie
The Heavenly Kings by Daniel Wu (HK) - docu-fiction style which I didn't get into
The Postmodern Life of My Aunt by Ann Hui (HK) selected in several other film festivals
The Road by (China) WP by Zhang Jiarui who directed When Ruoma Was Seventeen and Shangri La (quite conventional but well directed and photographed).
When we think of Chinese films that have addressed the topic of the Cultural Revolution, for the most part, we think of the Lost Generation. One thing that [The Road] departs from is this stereotype.

Also on this section Before We Fall in Love Again by James LEE (Malaysia) who previously directed the excellent The Beautiful Washing Machine, 4:30 by Roystone TAN (Singapore), Hana by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Nightmare Detective by Shinya Tsukamoto, Syndromes and a Century by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Opera Jawa by Garin Nugroho (Indonesia) which seems to be a promising film, Rain dog by Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), a film selected in several film festival (Ho Yuhang also directed Min, which I personally disliked), To Get to Heaven First You Have to Die by Djamshed Usmanov (Tadzhikistan/France) and others...

New Currents
In this year`s [New Currents], nine of the 10 films from seven countries have their world or international premieres at PIFF. Even though Asia`s film industry continues to expand and the number of opportunities for the debut of new directors is growing due the popularity of digital films, more directors does not necessarily mean that the film environment supporting them is also improving. link
Betelnut by Yang Heng (China) first feature film, Asian Premiere (was selected at vancouver)
A film about the rather banal lives of two teenaged delinquents. Unlike many teen films that portray the passionate love and energy of youth, this film draws a portrait of two disempowered people without much of a future. The everyday lives of these two teenagers – who steal motorbikes, extort money from kids, and engage in hapless fistfights – are drawn by Yang Heng like a sun dappled landscape.

Distance by Wei Tie (China) WP first feature film
An urban dream abruptly cut short. Director Wei Tie conveys the sharp disjuncture that lies between reality and dreams in contemporary China by charting Zhu Ming`s migration from the countryside to the city and his efforts to get a job. Through a style that is closer to documentary than drama, he portrays China`s reality in rich detail.
Previously directed some shorts, including People of Yangzi.
Eternal Summer by Leste Chen (Taiwan) WP
A queer cinema with the twist of a coming-of-age film? Or a coming-of-age film with the twist of queer cinema? With college looming ahead, relations between childhood friends Jonathan, Shane, and Carrie, undergo subtle changes.

Also
Driving with My Wife`s Lover by Kim Tai-sik (South Korea), Just Like Before by Mike Sandejas (Philippines), Love Conquers All by Tan Chui Mui (Malaysia), The Railroad by Park Heung-sik (South Korea), The Summer of Stickleback by Mayu Nakamura (Japan), The White Silk Dress by Luu Huynh (Vietnam), Wool 100% by Mai Tominaga (Japan).

Wide Angle
Wide Angle, a section of wider range of film genres from short, animation, documentary, experimental film and more, consists of challenging films that go beyond the world of feature films. link
798 by Shen Xiaomin (China)
“Dashanzi 798,” a neighborhood in Beijing, has a reputation as a mecca for Chinese contemporary art. However, that is a reputation that has emerged only in the past few years. Shen Xiaomin portrays the lives of artists who work and live in 798, creating art and holding exhibitions.
Also presented at the HK Asian Film festival 2006.
Age of Rapairing Hymen by Cui Jian (China) short.
A young lady, who has just quarreled with her boyfriend and had an abortion surgery, feels at loss about the hymen complex. She decides to find answer from her mother and grandma.
Fact by Zhang Lu (China/Korea) short
A happening that already happened is a fact. And any happening that didn`t happen yet will eventually become a fact. The spaces inside and outside the screen are also facts. The numerously repeated meetings and partings between men and women are all parts of a fact.
Meat Days
by Hsieh Wen-ming (Taiwan) short animation
In a chaotic time of men eating men. Ah Orr is a prostitute who exchanges meat everyday to bring food for her child and a sick husband.
My Football Summer by Yang Li Chou (Taiwan) IP
This documentary centers on the dreams, struggles, and challenges of a group of footballers in junior high school. The football team at Meilun Junior High School in Taiwan`s Hualien County trains diligently for the national championship and finally reaches the finals.
Paloma Blanca by Yin Kyawk Dad (Taiwan) short
Pigeons are used for gambling in many countries. These poor birds suffer all their lives without ever knowing why. In this short film, the pigeons are played by humans, with the expectation that people would learn to feel the way pigeons do.
Stone Mountain by Du Haiban (China/Korea) WP
From a remote village in the northeast of China, Old Cao, Little Cao, Yu and Zhang make a living by mining granite. Life is dull and hard, work from dawn to dusk.
The Bimo Records by Yang Rui (China)
[The Bimo Records] is an amazing movie in that it presents flowing pictures so that gets audiences confused with the genre, a documentary or a highly polished film drama. This movie is produced for four years to cover the minor tribe living in Sichuan, China.
The Quiet Happiness by Lien Yi-chi (Taiwan) short
A boy bought one album entitled “The Quiet Happiness”, but to find no sound coming out from his CD player at all. Couldn`t stand being fooled, he demanded to get a refund by all means -- till the moment he truly heard the sound of happiness.

Midnight Passion
[Midnight Passion] is the newest section added to this year`s official program. From horror to drama, it boasts various genres with high entertaining value. link
A Chinese Tall Story by Jeff Lau (HK)
The Heirloom by Leste Chen (Taiwan)

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