Thursday, January 25, 2007

International Film Festival of Rotterdam

International Film Festival of Rotterdam (24.01 - 04.02)
Impressive line-up, many Asian films and especially from Malaysia and Philippines, countries from which the films will be surely very noticeable and distinguished this year in film festivals. Two filmmakers in focus : Abderrahmane Sissako and Johnnie To.

VPRO Tiger Awards Competition
- How is your fish today? by Xiaolu Guo, China 2006, international premiere
Road movie in which a scriptwriter and the protagonist in his film, a murderer, travelled to the most northerly point of China to meet each other eventually in silence. Fiction and reality flow together. link
- Ju-yon-sai (Fourteen) by Hirosue Hiromasa, Japan, 2006, international premiere
Sensitive and refined drama in which experiences from the puberty of a female teacher and a piano student reflected in the world of the younger generation they have contact with. link
- Love Conquers All by Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia, 2006, European premiere
Sensitive and unspoken mood sketch of the inner world of a young woman who falls into the hands of a big-city lover who turns out to be a pimp in Kuala Lumpur. link

Cinema of the Future: Sturm und Drang
- Betelnut by Yang Heng, China, 2006
Two kids share love, desire and boredom in a long hot summer on the banks of a river in Hunan, three hours by plane plus three hours by bus from Beijing. Even the camera doesn’t move… Yang Heng’s debut is beautifully photographed, wonderfully acted and ultra low budget. It has already won prizes in Pusan and Nantes. link and see here
- Autohystoria by Raya Martin, Philippines, 2007
Idiosyncratic and rather uneasy film by a great talent. A film like a dream. A work of art that is occasionally difficult to get hold of, with a tangible heart. link
- Balikbayan Box (work in progress) by Mes De Guzman, Philippines, 2007
A kid in the Filipino countryside. Everything is smaller and poorer than Cinema Paradiso, but the VHS cinema also appeals to the imagination. Innocence is soon lost and death is closer. Not everything is idyllic under the palm trees. link
- Before We Fall in Love Again (Nian ni ru xi) by James Lee, Malaysia 2006
Chang’s wife has disappeared and no one knows where she went. After a while, Tong drops by. He was her lover, but doesn’t know where she is either. In these circumstances, both men can’t think of anything better to do than compare experiences. Who was she really? Simple and subtle, occasionally ironic, but above all deeply romantic and melancholic. link
- Dancing Bells (Chalanggai) by Deepak Kumaran Menon, Malaysia, 2007
A girl really wants to learn to dance. Classical Indian dance. Isn’t easy if you grow up without a father in Brickfields, the rundown Indian district of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. And then your brother ends up going astray. Realistic in a way that the Italians have forgotten about. link
- Dog Days Dream (Hayabusa) by Ichii Masahide, Japan, 2006
A hot summer in a small apartment. A young couple with menial jobs they also lose. And no air conditioning. That is all this young Japanese director needs to make a very funny black comedy. link
- Driving with My Wife's Lover (Ane-eui aein-eul mannada) by Kim Tai-Sik, South Korea, 2006
Self-assured, fresh feature debut starts as a revenge-drama-cum-road-movie: deceived husband gets in the taxi of his wife’s lover one sweltering hot day. While the man hesitates about revealing his identity, the film changes its tone. Complex character study about trust, betrayal, desire and identity. link
- The Elephant and the Sea by Woo Ming Jin, Malaysia, 2007
An elephant has disappeared and its owner must live without it. The sea has withdrawn again, but the after-effects are tangible and visible. The inhabitants of a coastal village make the best of it, legally or not. A characteristic feature film. link
- The Matsugane Potshot Affair (Matsugane ransha jiken) by Yamashita Nobuhiro, Japan, 2006
Family tragedy, fraternal quarrel or crime story? The Matsugane Potshot Affair is all three. A curious collection of apparently independent plots comes together when a gold bar and a head are found in a small provincial town. Suspense, black humour and tragedy all in one. By the maker of Linda Linda Linda. link
- The Other Half (Ling yi ban) by Ying Liang, China, 2006
Xiaofen works as an assistant in a law firm, but has as many problems as her clients. The latest film in in vérité style by the talented Ying Liang, last year one of the major surprises in the Tiger Competition with Taking Father Home, is both socially and psychologically complex. The position of women in today’s China is examined. link
- Rain Dogs (Tai yang yu) by Ho Yuhang, Malaysia, Hong Kong, 2006 link
- Raised from Dust (Ju zi chen tu) by Gan Xiao'er, China, 2007
Like his debut, The Only Sons (IFFR 2004), Gan’s second film is set in a Christian community in rural China. With his sharp eye for landscape and his fellow countrymen, he manages to draw great emotional eloquence from a simple story about an impossible dilemma. Modest and spiritual. link
- Real Online (Ching teng jou hsien shih) by John Hsu, Taiwan, 2005
Hilarious virtual comedy. For the screening at the festival, the Chinese pirate copy of YouTube has been removed. Entirely in the spirit of the film that ignores every single law of film, and certainly any that decide whether something is nice or not. link
- Todo todo teros by John Torres, Philippines, 2006
Basically an artist is also a terrorist, the protagonist thinks in an unguarded moment. And if he is a terrorist after all, then he might just as well be one. Not an instant product, but an experimental feature in which diary material is brought together to form an intriguing puzzle. link
- Weed by Wang Liren, China, 2007
Echoes of Kieslovski’s Dekaloog sound in this inventive and strikingly stylised drama of decline. About a simple day-wage slave in the suburbs of Beijing who falls for the girl who lives opposite, even though everything points to the fact that her profession is not the most honourable. link

Cinema of the World : Time and Tide
- After This Our Exile (Fu zi) by Patrick Tam, Hong Kong, 2006 link
- Anxiety (Gubra) by Yasmin Ahmad, Malaysia, 2006 link
- The Bet Collector (Kubrador) by Jeffrey Jeturian, Philippines, 2006 link
- A Dirty Carnival (Bi-yeol-han geo-ri) by Yoo Ha, South Korea, 2006 link
- Forever Flows (Nirontor) by Abu Sayeed, Bangladesh, 2006 link
- Half Moon (Niwemang) by Bahman Ghobadi, Iran, Iraq, Austria, France link
- I Want to Dance (Kaishuiyaotang, guniangyaozhuang) by Hu Shu, China, 2007 link
- The Journey (Yatra) by Goutam Ghose, India, 2006
- Living in Fear (Song trong so hai) by Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam, 2006
- My Mother Is a Belly Dancer (See lai ng yi cho) by Lee Kung Lok, Hong Kong, 2006
- On the Wings of Dreams (Swopnodanay) by Golam Rabbany Biplob, Bangladesh, 2007
- Sankara by Prasanna Jayakody, Sri Lanka, 2006
- Squatterpunk (Iskwaterpangk) by Khavn, Philippines, 2007 link
- Stories from the North (Reanglao jak meangnue) by Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand, 2006 link
- Strawberry Shortcakes by Yazaki Hitoshi, Japan, 2007 link
- Summer Palace by Lou Ye, China, 2006 link
- Western Trunk Line (Xi gan dao) by Li Jixian, China, Japan 2006 link
- Zero Zone (Shoonya) by Arindam Mitra, India, 2007 link

Maestros : Kings & Aces
- Bakushi by Hiroki Ryuichi, Japan, 2007 link
- Dong by Jia Zhang-ke, China, 2006 link
- Hana (Hana yori mo naho) by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Japan, 2006 link
- Heremias (Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess) (Heremias (Unang Aklat: Ang Alamat ng Prinsesang Bayawak)) by Lav Diaz, Philippines, 2006 - 540' link
- I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Hei yan quan) by Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan, France, Austria, 2006 link
- In the Shadow of the Dog (Nayi neralu) by Girish Kasaravalli, India, 2006 link
- M by Hiroki Ryuichi, Japan, 2006 link
- Offside by Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2006 link
- Opera Jawa by Garin Nugroho, Indonesia, Austria, 2006 link
- Paprika by Kon Satoshi, Japan, 2006 link
- Retribution (Sakebi) by Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Japan, 2006 link
- Scream of the Ants (Shaere Zobale-Ha) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, India, France, 2006 link
- Still Life (Sanxia haoren) by Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong, China, 2006 link
- Syndromes and a Century (Sang sattawat) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, France, Austria, 2006 link

Rotterdämmerung see here
- Aachi & Ssipak (Aachi wa Ssipak) by Joe Bum-Jin, South Korea, 2006
- Freesia (Freesia - Bullet over Tears) by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, Japan, 2007
- The Host (Gue-Mool) by Bong Joon-Ho, South Korea, 2006
- Nightmare Detective (Akumu Tantei) by Tsukamoto Shinya, Japan
- No Mercy for the Rude (Ye-ui-up-nun-gut-deul) by Park Chul-Hee, South Korea, 2006



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