Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Asian Film Award (HK) - The Results

Asian Film Award

On March 20, 2007, the Hong Kong International Film Festival will roll out the red carpet for the Asian Film Awards (AFA)....


The Results :

Best Film - The Host (South Korea)
Other nominees: Curse of the Golden Flower (Chinese mainland / Hong Kong), Exiled (Hong Kong), Love and Honor (Japan), Opera Jawa (Indonesia / Austria), Still Life (Chinese mainland)

Best Director - JIA Zhangke (Still Life - Chinese mainland)
Other nominees: Hong Sang-soo (Woman on the Beach - South Korea), Jafar PANAHI (Offside - Iran), Johnnie TO (Exiled - Hong Kong), TSAI Ming-liang (I Don't Want to Sleep Alone - Taiwan / France / Austria), Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL (Syndromes and a Century - Thailand / Austria / France)

Best Actor - SONG Kang-ho (The Host - South Korea),
Other nominees: CHANG Chen (The Go Master - Chinese mainland), RAIN (JUNG Ji-hoon) (I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK - South Korea), Shahrukh KHAN (DON - India), Andy LAU (A Battle of Wits - Hong Kong / Chinese mainland / Japan / South Korea, WATANABE Ken (Memories of Tomorrow - Japan)

Best Actress - NAKATAI Miki (Memories of Matsuko - Japan)
Other nominees: GONG Li (Curse of the Golden Flower - Chinese Mainland / Hong Kong), KIM Hye-soo (Tazza: The High Rollers - South Korea), LIM Soo-jung (I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK - South Korea), MIYAZAWA Rie (Hana - Japan), Zhang Ziyi (The Banquet - Chinese mainland / Hong Kong)

Best Screenwriter - Mani HAGHIGHI (Men at Work - Iran)
Other nominees: HONG Sang-soo (Woman on the Beach - South Korea), OISHI Tetsuya, KANEKO Shusuke (Death Note: The Last Name - Japan), SOHN Jae-gon (My Scary Girl - South Korea), Prabda YOON (Invisible Waves - Thailand / The Netherlands / South Korea / Hong Kong), ZHANG Cheng, YUE Xiaojun, NING Hao (Crazy Stone - Chinese mainland / Hong Kong)

Best Cinematographer - KIM Hyung-goo (The Host - South Korea)
Other nominees: Andrew LAU, LAI Yiu-fai (Confession of Pain - Hong Kong / Chinese mainland), LIAO Pen-jung (I Don't Want to Sleep Alone - Taiwan / France / Austria), Sayombhu MUKDEEPROM (Syndromes and a Century - Thailand / Austria / France), WANG Yu (The Go Master - Chinese mainland)

Best Poduction Designer - Tim YIP (The Banquet - Chinese mainland / Hong Kong)
Other nominees: CHO Keun-hyun (Forbidden Quest - South Korea), KUWAJIMA Towako (Memories of Matsuko - Japan), Patrick TAM, Cyurs HO (After This Our Exile - Hong Kong), WADA Emi (The Go Master - Chinese mainland)

Best Composer - Rahayu SUPANGGAH (Opera Jawa - Idonesia / Austria)
Other nominees: JEOG Yong-jin (Woman on the Beach - South Korea), Peter KAM (Isabella - Hong Kong), IM Giong (Still Life - Chinese mainland), TERASHIMA Tamiya (Tales from Earthsea - Japan)

Best Editor - Lee CHATAMETIKOOL (Syndromes and a Century - Thailand / Austria / France)
Other nominees: KIM Sun-min (The Host - South Korea), Angie LAM (Dog Bite Dog - Hong Kong / Japan), PARK Gok-ji, JEONG Jin-hee (A Dirty Carnival - South Korea), Patrick TAM (After This Our Exile - Hong Kong)

Best Visual Effects - The Orphanage (The Host - South Korea)
Other nominees: Angela BARSON, CHUNG Chi-hang (Curse of the Golden Flower - Chinese mainland, Hong Kong), DTI (Digital Tetra Inc.), ETRI (The Restless - South Korea), OHYA Tetsuo, KAMIYA Makoto, ONOUE Katsuro (The Sinking of Japan - Japan), YANAGAWASE Masahide (Memories of Matsuko - Japan)

Asian Box-Office Star - Andy LAU


Monday, March 19, 2007

Cinema du Réel - Prizes

Cinéma du Réel (Paris)

- Cinéma du Réel Grand Prize, with the support of Procirep : SANTIAGO by João Moreira Salles (Brazil)
- Short film Prize : LE BRUIT DU CANON by Marie Voignier (France)
- Joris Ivens Prize: EN LO ESCONDIDO (Ceux qui attendent dans l’obscurité) by Nicolas Rincón Gille (Belgium)
- Scam International Prize : MAXI XUEXIAO (L’Ecole de cirque) by Guo Jing and Ke Dingding (China)
et à AND THEREAFTER II (Et après II), de Hosup Lee (Corée du Sud).

See previous post related to it : here


Sunday, March 18, 2007

[Fragments] - Blog

A new blog of Fragments is now online. The presentation published in the brochure for the special programme "Focus on China Doc" screened at Directors Lounge 2007 has been added.


[Fragments] - Screening of Chinese Films

March 21st - April 2nd 2007
8th edition of Asian Cinema festival of Tours (France). A selection of Chinese documentaries will be presented on Sunday, April the 1rst 2007.

14:15 : People of the Yangtze River (chang jiang shang de ren), Wei Tie, 2005, 28 '.
14:50 : Carriage (che xiang), Xu Xin, 2004, 18 '.
15:45 : Outside (wai mian), Wang Wo, 2005, 86 '.

More info here.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

[DL] - The Fish and the Ring

Here is another video that was screened at Directors Lounge 2007 in Berlin and can now be watched online via DL Television.

The Fish and the Ring by Flotser !

The Fish and the Ring by Belgian artist Flotser tells a story of love, hate and broken dreams. A fairy tale with all the ingredients that makes cinema a dream factory. Note that the Fish and the Ring is interwoven with several short animations by Flotser. Enjoy a glimpse of Flotser´s Repertory Theater.

Watch now here !


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cinema du Réel - Paris

Cinéma du Réel, International Documentary Film Festival 9-18 March 2007, Paris. 29th edition

Since its creation in 1978 by the Bibliothèque publique d’information, Cinéma du réel has developped into a major documentary film festival, a reference event in which the public as well as the professionals discover new films and new filmmakers, in which today’s documentary filmmaking confronts with the best of documentary cinema history. Workshops and special events complete a program supported by a numerous and enthusiastic audience.

This year a special programme in the non-competitive section with the latest Jia Zhangke's film, Dong (and special screenings with Still-life) and Le Papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise (Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers) by Rithy Panh, is planned. Both will be present too.


Asian films at the International Competition section :
- Aki Ra’s Boys (Lynn Lee, James Leong, Singapore, 2007)
A museum in Cambodia, exhibiting the ravages of land mines. Here, tourists can fearlessly relive the images of war, touch the instruments of death (mines, grenades, shells, fragmentation bombs) and marvel at man’s limitless ingenuity in the matter. Their guides are youngsters who have been maimed by these explosives. For these children, Aki Ra has become their family, providing a home where they can fulfil themselves, learn, play, and live their youth to the full despite being handicapped. website
- An Actor Prepares (Kanu Behl, India, 2006)
Amit builds castles in the air. He has one sole ambition: to become an actor and break into Bollywood. But no matter how often he rehearses the lines of his favourite films, does physical exercise, goes to auditions, calls the film studios, nothing works out for him. The appointment that would launch his career is not forthcoming. But his time is running short: his parents cannot afford to keep him indefinitely. A soothsayer predicts his success, but not before five or six years...
- And Thereafter II (Hosup Lee, South Korea, 2006)
Ajuma was a war bride of an American GI in South Korea. She followed her husband to the USA. She is now a widow. She speaks English reluctantly, likes gambling to the local casino. When interviewed, she responds bluntly to the filmmaker. Although he shelters behind the ironic tone of his captions, his “character” always wins. In many ways, And Thereafter II is reminiscent of Shohei Imamura’s History of Post-War Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess. The fundamental likeness lies in the affection linking the filmmaker to his character, with the result that he is no longer the witness of a story he recreates for us, but a central character of his narrative. His heroine is not a deep-buried memory, but rather part of a forgotten history.
- Giac mo la cong nhan (Worker’s Dreams) (Phuong Thao Tran, Vietnam, 2006)
Each morning, thousands of country girls who have come to seek their fortune in Hanoi set out on foot from the suburbs wending their way through the cars and motorcycles. They are off to work or in search of a job in the El Dorado of the booming Japanese-run factories. Neither the sinister picture these young women paint of globalisation, nor their ordeals dampen their determination or their appetite for life. Convinced of their rights and strengthened by their sense of justice, they set out to conquer this globalised world with their indignation, an unshakeable confidence and a certain mischievousness. website
- Kien (Dao Thanh Thung, Vietnam,2006)
Kien was expelled from the Hanoi Fine Arts College, as he was HIV positive. Painting has become his refuge. His friends try to express their compassion, but suffering cannot be shared. “If we cry in the same glass, our tears do not mingle.” The film is like these friends, convinced that if people knew Kien’s story they would no longer reject him, that their attitude to his HIV would change and that, if his suffering were better understood, it would be somewhat alleviated. Kien agrees to tell his story, but only off camera. Kien refuses the filmmaker’s tears. It is only when the filmmaker realises his approach is mistaken that, step by step, the film like the phoenix rises out of the ashes and comes face to face with its real subject. website
- Match Made (Mirabelle Ang, Singapore, 2006)
On the one hand, the poverty of the Vietnamese peasants and, on the other, the dynamism of Asian capitalism. These two ingredients are at the root of a flourishing trade in Ho Chi Minh Ville: the marriage agencies. There, the rich Chinese from Singapore or Taiwan can buy a wife to match their needs. The agency takes everything in hand, from recruiting village girls through to the “auditions” in a hotel room, from the administrative formalities to the wedding ceremony, from compensation for the parents to the fresh young bride’s passport, from the medical certificate to the souvenir photos.
- Maxi xuexiao (Circus School) (Guo Jing & Ke Dingding, China, 2006)
The Shanghai Circus School is a state-run school where the kids work hard. The trapeze, tightrope, and acrobatics... in the wings, the magic of the show gives way to reality, one in which body and mind undergo relentless training. Suffering is embedded in the physical exercises, the daily routine, the diet, and an iron discipline. The children find it difficult to put up with this barrack-style existence, which reflects more their parents’ wishes, or resignation, than their own aspirations. At the end of the line, for the little trapeze artist and the young gymnast, comes success. Yet, is it all really worth it? The camera’s unswerving eye follows the children and teachers, who are pursued by an “obligation to reach results” largely inspired by “values” tinged with nationalism, and by “competition” management. website
- Senkyo (Campain) (Kazuhiro Soda, Japon, 2006)
No-one understands what pushed this “dynamic businessman” (in the stamp and coin trade) to enter politics. Neither does one learn much more about his three-point “programme” (more nurseries?). All that counts is that his name and party be endlessly repeated, “because beyond three seconds, the electors remember nothing you tell them”. The candidate has not only to assume his own campaign expenses, but also unflinchingly bear his lieutenants’ reprimands and humiliations: he never does anything well! The film nonetheless finds its “Jiminy Cricket” in the candidate’s wife. While agreeing to assist her husband and play the perfect, not-yet-desperate housewife, she offers consistent resistance, which finally breaks out into open rebellion and “speaking some home truths”. website


Monday, March 05, 2007

Notes on some films

4:30 (Royston Tan, Singapore, 2005)
After 15, 4:30 deals also with youth in contemporary Singapore, but focuses on the relationships between a boy, Xiao Wu and a depressed Korean man who occupy the same appartment even though they never utter a word at each other. The film depicts their loneliness, their incapacity of communicate, it's mainly taken from the boy's point of view and I must admit that some scenes reminded me of Eric Khoo's films, particularly the scene when the son is at school class which is shot in the same manner than in Tan's segment Talk to Her and the general tone, the pacing, the minimalist composition, the loneliness of the characters, isolation and absence remind of Tsai Ming-liang's style.
official website
His next film is a musical feature film, 881 see more news here

Mee Pok Man
(Eric Khoo, Singapore, 1995)
Mee Pok Man is named after a cheap fish noodle dish, Mee Pok, that he sells at a local stall where prostitutes, pimps regularly come. He's a silent, recluse man. His love to a prostitute, Bunny, whose only wish is to get out of this situation in any ways, becomes more and more of an obsession. The depiction the daily life of those characters in a modern urban environment is quite raw, bleak without any artifice and a bit morbid towards the end. Even though the characters are rather pathetic, it still works.
official site

My Mother is a Belly Dancer (Lee Kung-Lok, HK, 2006)
For some reasons I was expected something more original, however the film makes a change with its social content from the usual HK production. A group of wives, "see lai", (in other words, "sloppy housewives suffering from loss of youthfulness, beauty, and passion" see Focus Films website) living in a council estate decides to learn how to dance oriental belly dancing which causes or bring up some social family tensions.
Each character is well-played, and the film seems quite fresh but it still lacks of something to make it more innovative and deeper.

After this Our Exile (Patrick Tam, HK , 2006)
Another Focus Films, the film makes the return of the new-wave HK director, Patrick Tam and deals with family matter in a social context, and moreover with father and son relationship.
The film stars Aaron Kwok (better in any other roles he did, but still..), Charlie Young (no much presence here). Great cinematography by Mark Lee Ping-Ban (HHH's cinematographer).

Eternal Summer (Leste Chen, Taiwan, 2006)
I was so disappointed by it, perhaps this film is good for a very young adolescent audience in search for naive romance, and the omnipresence of piano or violin is too overdone.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

HK International Film Festival

The 31st HK International Film Festival 20.3-11.4.2007


The fetsival opens with Eye in the Sky by Yau Nai-hoi with Tony Leung Ka Fai, Simon Yam, Kate Tsui, Maggie Siu and Lam Suet and with I am a Cyborg, but that's Ok by Park Chan-wook on the 19th.
The other Galas will present The Go Master by Tian Zhuangzhuang (Gala Awards) and Bubble Fiction : Doom or Bust by Baba Yasuo (Gala Premiere). A focus on Herman Yau and a special programme on Li Han Hsiang (see) are also planned.

Asian Digital Competition

Betelnut (Yang Heng, China) see
Mid-Afternoon Barks (Zhang Yaodong, China) see
The Elephant and the Sea (Woo Ming-jing, Malaysia) see
Love conquers all (Tan Chui-mui, Malaysia) see
Things we do when we fall in Love (James Lee, Malaysia) see
Tuli (Auraeus Solito, Philippines) see
The Woven Stories of the other (Sherad A. Sanchez, Philippines) see
No Regret (Leesong Hee-il, South Korea) see

Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries
Asian films :
Homeless FC (James Leong, Lynn Lee, HK) see
The Bimo Records (Yang Rui, China) see
Final Score (Soraya Nakasuwan, Thailand) see

Reality Bites

Long Way You Run (Mark Chan, China) link
Who is Haoran ? (Yang Yishu, China) link
Tarachime (Naomi Kawase, Japan) link
Campaign (Soda Kazuhiro, Japan) link
Village People Radio Show (Amir Muhammad, Malaysia) link
Stories from the North (Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand) link
a.k.a Nikki S. Lee (Nikki S. Lee, USA) link

Chinese Renaissance

The Obscure (Lu Yue, China) see
Bliss (Sheng Zhi Min, China) see
The Case (Wang Fen, China) see
Luxury Car (Wang Chao, China) see
The Other Half (Ying Liang, China) see
Thirteen Princess Trees (Lu Yue, China) see
Tuya's Marriage (Wang Quanan, China) see

Indie Power

Dark Matter (Chen Shi-Zheng, USA) see
One Way Street on a Turntable (Anson Mak, HK) see
The Basement (Liu Hao, China) see
Distance (Wei Tie, China) see
Ma Wu Jia (Zhao Ye, China) see
Raised from Dust (Gan Xiaoer, China) see
Refrain (Cui Zi'en, China) link
Xi'An Story (Fruit Chan, HK/China) link
Look of Love (Ueoka Yoshiharu, Japan) link
Before we Fall in Love Again (James Lee, Malaysia) link
Dancing Bells (Deepak Kumaran Menon, Malaysia) link
Autohistoria (Raya Martin, Philippines) link
Geo-Lobotomy (Kim Gok, Kim Sun, South Korea) link
The Last Dinning Table (Roh Gyeong-tae, South Korea) link

Crossing Boundaries ; Fiction and Documentary in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Before the Flood (Li Yifan, Yan Yu) link
Dong/Still Life (Jia Zhangke) link

Hong Kong Panorama

Undercover (Billy Chung) link
A Mob Story (Herman Yau) link
Tickets (Brian Hung, Nishio Hiroshi..) link
August Story (Yan-yan Mak) link
Dog bite Dog (Cheang Poo-soi) link
Exiled (Johnnie To) link
Wo Hu (Marco Mak) link
After this Our Exile (Patrick Tam) link
Heavenly Mission (James Yuen) link
Confession of Pain (Andrew Lau, Alan Mak) link
Protégé (Derek Yee) link
The Postmodern Life of my Aunt (Ann Hui) link


Thursday, March 01, 2007

[DL] - some works online

Some of the video works screened at Directors Lounge in Berlin, this year are online at DL TV.

• download program, poster and flyer here
• videos (more to come) :
Erik Urlings, NL Exit Exit 16 min 5s, DV, 2006
Devis Venturelli, Italy, Io Sono Il Vento 14 min, DV, 2006