Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Palace

Summer Palace by Lou Ye, China, 2006.

synopsis : China, 1989. Two young lovers play out their complex, erotic, love/hate relationship against a Chinese volatile backdrop of political unrest. Beautiful Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her boyfriend to study in Beijing, where she discovers a world of intense sexual and emotional experimentation, and falls madly in love with fellow student Zhou Wei. Their relationship becomes one of dangerous games, as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom.
Cannes 2006.
Download the press kit in English

Brief notes : With a duration of almost 2 and half hours, the film does feel its length and surely it could have been shortened. The music also could have been less been used, some scenes are unbearable because of the dramatized music (piano and violin are really too much), other aspects which I found quite awkwardly used : the history background, which unfortunately felt too far from the purpose of the film, as if dropped from nowhere, it needed to be more developed. Otherwise, the acting is fine, the sex relationships - one of the reasons of the ban - are well dealt which makes a difference from the usual mainland Chinese films, and some characters and some parts are more appealing and stand out more. However Suzhou River remains far more interesting in all kinds of aspects and is much better handled.


Sunday, May 27, 2007


Naomi Kawase received the Grand Prize for her film, The Mourning forest (Mogari no mori, Japan) and Jeon Do-yeon received Best Actress Award for Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang-dong (South Korea).

Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang-dong, with Jeon Do-Yeon, Song Kang-Ho. 2007. South Korea.

synopsis : Sin-ae moves with her son Jun to Miryang, the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to come to herself and set out on new foundations, another tragic event overturns her life.
link to festival's page.

The Mourning Forest by Naomi Kawase, with Shigeki Uda, Machiko Ono, Makiko Watanabe, Kanako Masuda, Yohichiro Saito, 2007, Japan.

synopsis : Shigeki lives in a small retirement home. He feels comfortable and happy here with the other residents and the gentle and caring hospital staff. Machiko, one of the home’s staff pays special attention to him. However she is secretly haunted by the loss of her child. After celebrating Shigeki’s birthday Machiko decides to take him for a drive in the countryside. Making their way along the scenic back-roads the car is forced into a ditch by a land-slide and it is here that they embark on their journey of discovery together. As Shigeki determinedly heads off into the forest, Machiko has no choice but to follow. After two exhausting days trudging through the dense wood they finally arrive at Shigeki’s wife’s tomb.

link to festival's page.

The Prix France-Culture is awarded yearly by French national public radio during the Cannes Festival to a filmmaker for career achievement. The 2007 prize went to Cambodian Rithy Panh "for the intensity of his work and his commitment to the presentation of Cambodia's cinematographic memory." Charlotte Rampling was president of the jury.

Cannes website.


Monday, May 07, 2007


Directors Lounge
Memory in Motion
art in the public space, Munich, end of July 07

Directors Lounge website

. Memory In Motion – new ways of commemoration

Memory In Motion will present media art that seeks for new ways of remembrance by using the public space as a stage to challenge the neglecting of history with artistic means. The urban space, that makes history visible as architecture, offers the opportunity to connect artistic questioning with concrete history.
Memory In Motion is an intervention into the public space that question the handling of the past, the construction of historiography, the attribution of identity, social and ethnic codes and their reflection in society right there where such a basic discussion should start: in the public.

Public space is not a fixed space, it is everywhere, constantly in change, consequently we will be a project in motion, using different spaces for different works and different questions.

. Memory In Motion – call for proposals

We welcome any proposal for Memory In Motion, be it a site specific work or an existing film, installation, whatever that could fit into the concept. Get in touch and we´ll send you the link to the project pages.

. Memory In Motion – accompanying program

Memory In Motion will be accompanied by related screenings, we hope to realize a catalogue and/or a DVD to document the whole project.