Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Asia Film Financing Forum

Asia Film Financing Forum


The Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has announced its selection of 25 Asian film projects. With veteran and up-and-coming filmmakers from all across Asia participating, HAF is a co-production market that brings together filmmakers and financiers with a mission to facilitate co-productions and co-ventures.

Organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and co-organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong, Kowloon & New Territories Motion Picture Industry Association Ltd. (MPIA), the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum will take place from 20 - 22 March 2007 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, opening with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Asia's leading entertainment market, Hong Kong FILMART. HAF expects to welcome approximately 600 film professionals comprising of international film financiers, bankers, producers, buyers, film funding bodies and distributors.

.25 Film Projects selected for HAF 2007 (20 - 22 March 2007)
.Project selection comprises of a mixture of local and Asian projects from 8 territories

To download the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) Project Book : here
To see the list of the 25 film projects : here
To name a few :
At The End of Daybreak (HO Yuhang, Malaysia)
Bema's Tear (Francis Ng, HK/Mainland China)
Blown by The Typhoon (YING Liang, Mainland China)
The Good, the Bad and the Weird (KIM Jee-Woon, South Korea)
The Last Hour (Lou Ye, Mainland China)
Night-fragrant Flower (KORE-EDA Hirokazu, Japan)
Now Showing (PANG Ho Cheung, HK)
One Night in Beijing (Zhang Yuan, Mainland China)
Palace Days (Xu Jinglei, Mainland China)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Red Rose and White Rose (Mabel Cheung, HK)
Shuang Xiong Hui (Jia Zhangke, HK/Mainland China)
Tea of the Desert (LU Yue, Mainland China)
Tokyo Sonata (KUROSAWA Kiyoshi, Japan/Hong Kong/The Netherlands)


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some Korean films (bis)

Last batch as after a while a change is needed or boredom, lassitude will come....

No Mercy for the Rude (Park Cheol-hie, 2006) with Shin Ha-kyun (Save the Green Planet...).
Killer (he has no name) is a mute hitman, a killer, who masters knifes and decides to kill only rude people in order to have a surgery to recover his voice.
Another crime/comedy movie which contains a certain dose of dark humour and of a rather graphic violence, the film could almost remind in somehow of Park Chan Wook, but here the pace is quicker and the film less flashy, and less stylish especially in its aesthetics, editing and cinematography, which, personally, makes it more enjoyable. Again the film is also worth for the performance (expressive) of all the cast, and particularly the main actor and the marginal/eccentric characters, which each one is well developed. The added voice-over which translates the thoughts and personal answers of Killer doesn't overload the film, on the contrary it contributes to its tone and pace. Overall, a rather enjoyable film, well directed and an impressive debut.

The Scarlet Letter (Hyuk Byun, 2004). A mystery/thriller with several sub-plots, the film starts more like a thriller side with the investigation of a murder of a husband, which leads to a psychological mystery with the mysterious widow while the love relationships between the detective and his wife and his lover, two women too stereotyped in the fact that they are too opposite, is deepened developed, which in the end makes the film too unbalance (without counting the long scene in the car boot). Good performance again though.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

some Korean Films

After a week, full of craziness and sleepless nights, I guess I needed to charge up the batteries and just relax and watch easy, entertaining films. I found that Korean films, and precisely crime, thriller Korean films are rather suitable for such a mood.
Although they seem to be rather alike and I will surely forget them in a couple of weeks - or perhaps even in a few days, there is still a certain thrill that keeps me distracted despite my sleepy, almost somnolent state. It's rather ironical watching crime, semi-action films during these moments...

So Sunflower (Kang Seok-beom, 2006), Cruel Winter Blues (Lee Jeong-Beom, 2006), Tazza : The High Rollers (Choi Dong-hun, 2006), all made in 2006, all dealing with the gangster, crime world, and all focusing on the character development, and usual themes su ch as individual destiny & fate, friendship/brotherhood, characters with a heavy past, revenge, betrayal and so on... However all are very well-played, especially Sol Kyung-Gu in Cruel Winter Blues (whose outstanding performances in Oasis or Peppermint Candy by Lee Chang-dong were already very noticeable), it's a pity that the film slipped into a melodramatic ending, the film offered good character studies even though the story is known. A bit more cliché, however very well-executed, was Tazza : The High Rollers, a film about gambling and gamblers based on a comic which takes all the ingredients of a film noir (non linear narrative structure with flashbacks, voice-over, typical characters such as the femme fatale, the greedy, corrupted ones....) but succeed in keeping the pace all way to the end. Sunflower was probably the less good one and less "original" but shares with Cruel Winter Blues the anti-happy ending ...

Finally I watched JSA (Park Chan-wook, 2000) with Song Kang-ho (another excellent Korean actor, often plays in Park Chan-wook, and in Kim Ji-woon such as in The Foul King, but also Memories of Murder, Green Fish and receltly in The Host, and in the next Lee Chang-dong's film..), Lee Byung-hun (A Bittersweet Life by Kim Ji-woon) and Lee Yeong-ae (the Lady Vengeance). So with a solid cast, interesting script and well-craft storytelling, the film is as good as expected.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Golden Bear to Tuya's Marriage

Chinese film Tuya's Marriage (Tu ya de hun shi ) by Wang Quan'an received the Golden Bear of Best Picture this year's Berlin Film Festival.

From Berlinale's site :
Living conditions are deteriorating for those who lead a rural existence in north-western Mongolia. China's industry is expanding - even into this inhospitable region - and the government is pressurising Monoglian shepherds to give up their nomadic way of life, move to the nearby towns and settle down as farmers.
Beautiful and self-confident Tuya refuses to leave her pastureland. She'd rather stay here with her disabled husband, two children and one hundred sheep, and continue to pursue a life of privation in the endless expanse of the steppe. But all the hard work begins to take its toll on Tuya. Her husband Bater tries to convince her to divorce him, but Tuya refuses to comply even with his wishes. One day, she falls ill and for the first time begins to consider a divorce, because this would enable her to find someone to help her to look after Bater, the two children and their one hundred sheep. However, none of her suitors are prepared to take on Bater - until Tuya's old classmate Baolier arrives on the scene. Having found a very nice nursing home for Bater, he persuades Tuya and the children to move to town. But, far away from the steppe and separated from his family, Bater finds it impossible to get used to life at the home. In desperation he slashes his wrists. When the news reaches Tuya, she realises that the time has come for her to act ...
Director Wang Quanan: "My mother was born in inner Mongolia, not far from the film's location. This is why I've always liked Mongolians, their way of life and their music. When I learned about the extent to which massive industrial expansion is turning the steppe into a desert, and how local administrators are forcing the shepherds to leave their homelands, I decided to make a film that would record their lifestyle before it all disappears forever."

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Monday, February 05, 2007

[DL] The Program & everything else

Directors Lounge Directors Lounge tv DL 2007 magazine DL 2007 program

Program, timetable and everything...

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Rotterdam Film Festival - awards

Love Conquers All by Tan Chui Mui (site) has been awarded at the Rotterdam Film Festival, the film received also a prize at Pusan 2006.

"The screenings have taken place, the discussions are over, and the awards are finally in. This year’s VPRO Tiger Awards jury, chaired by Toronto International Film Festival director Piers Handling, took an unusual decision to award the VPRO Tiger Awards to four films, rather than the usual three. On Friday night in de Doelen, Tan Chui Mui’s Love Conquers All, Pia Marais’ The unpolished, Claudio Assis’ Bog of Beasts and Morten Hartz Kapler’s AFR, were honoured by the 36th IFFR. To reach their decision, the jury saw 15 Tiger films by first or second-time directors. An impressive eight of these were world premieres, four were international premieres, three European premieres, and two had received HBF support. "

"LOVE CONQUERS ALL, a disturbing romance from Malaysia, is one of the two HBF-supported films. “Classical in style and structure, it is a film which speaks to the heart,” said the five-person jury in a joint statement... "

"Other awards announced Friday night included the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award, the FIPRESCI award and the KNF (Association of Dutch Film Critics) awards. NETPAC chose Hirosue Hiroyama’s tense psychological drama FOURTEEN, citing its “insight into psychology and generational barriers, and its bold analysis of a complex culture”. FIPRESCI selected Rafa Cortes’s YO, quoting its intense depiction of one man’s struggle to acquire an identity. The KNF (the jury of Dutch film critics) chose US filmmaker Nina Davenport’s OPERATION FILMMAKER, a documentary film which follows an aspiring film director in Baghdad. “The director is constantly challenging herself and the viewer to reconsider Western opinions on cultural differences,” states the KNF jury. The award enables the winning film to be subtitled in Dutch to help it achieve distribution in the Netherlands. "



Friday, February 02, 2007

Focus on China Doc - Berlin

During the Berlinale, and the craziness of the big festival, there is a place where we can chill out, see some rare, unknown works, watch some different films by video-artists, independent filmmakers, talk with anybody until the morning, or stay silent in the corner if the mood is such, just simply have some good time and watch some good works from different parts of the world.

This year, there is a special on Chinese films. All the specials at Directors Lounge see here.
This special line-up comprises of several long features and short videos and illustrates the singularity and the richness of the independent Chinese documentary in a concise manner.

Presentation to download (in pdf file) in English , in French, in German.

Dream Walking (meng you) – Huang Wenhai (2005, 86 mn)
Beyond Sound (da yin) – Li Wake (2005, 30 mn)
People of the Yangtze River (chang jiang shang de ren ) – Wei Tie (2005, 28 mn)
Outside (wai mian) – Wang Wo (2005, 86 mn)
Paigu (paigu) – Liu Gaoming (2006, 106 mn)
Carriage (che xiang) – Xu Xin (2004, 18 mn)

info here

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