11 items from 2010
The second strong film from this Hong Kong new wave filmmaker this year, after Rotterdam’s Night and Fog, proves that even if I lost track of Hui after her first couple films, her contemporary work is of supreme craftsmanship and expressive control of drama and mise-en-scène. This film really purrs in its first half, where Hui calls up the social message melodrama of Night and Fog for a lesbian romance as packed with didactic basic human equality messages as it is sharp, clear-eyed drama. With considerable agility the film follows two old flames (Sandra Ng and Vivian Chow) who bump into each other at a single-mothers pregnancy meeting and re-kindle their past relationship. Hui follows them as they trek up and down Hong Kong’s hills at night, not quite willing to follow one or the other into one of their apartments for the night, »
Reviewed at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.
You wouldn't be wrong to think "All About Love" feels a bit like how American films dealt with gay subject matter in the 1980s - with caution and reserve, indulging in soft focus and the occasional swell of a sappy love song in the background. But it should be remembered, of all the good ones at least, that they were building towards bigger breakthroughs with deceptively simple stories that served to lift gay characters to the level of straight ones in like-minded films.
This isn't to say that one should grade Ann Hui's romantic comedy on a curve, since it's a well-told story that stands on its own. But it's important to note Hui's struggle to film it without censorship in her home country of China, where it will be banned from ever playing in public since the suggestion of two women falling in love is too bold, »
- Stephen Saito
Ann Hui's latest romantic comedy All About Love stars Vivian Chow and William Chan as two young lovers who meet online, have a one night stand, and then find out they're going to have a baby. Unsure how to deal with this unexpected news, Vivian Chow's Anita decides that she might be a lesbian. We have your first look at this hilarious and touching coming-of-age story with three exclusive photos, which you can check out below:
Anita (Vivian Chow) meets 19-year-old Mike (William Chan) online, and gets pregnant unexpectedly after their first date and one-night-stand. She is torn between having an abortion and keeping the baby. Macy (Sandra Ng Kwan Yue), a lawyer by profession, is bi-sexual and fears commitment. Her two good friends Eleanor (Joey Meng) and Wai Wai (Jo Kuk) are eager to find a loving partner for her. Robert (Siu-Fai Cheung) runs an advertisement company next door to Macy's office. »
It's late so I'm not writing much of a post here.. Maybe I'll update tomorrow.
Full list after the break via Variety.
Contemporary World Cinema
* "Even The Rain," Iciar Bollain (Spain/France/Mexico)
* "22nd of May," Koen Mortier (Belgium)
* "African United," Deb Gardner-Paterson (U.K.)
* "Blessed Events," Isabelle Stever (Germany)
* "The Edge," Alexey Uchitel (Russia)
* "Lapland Odyssey," Dome Karukoski (Finland)
* "Late Autumn," Kim Teo-Yong (South Korea)
* "Matariki" Michael Bennet (New Zealand)
Rachel Weisz in The Whistleblower The Toronto International Film Festival has added even more films to their line-up today as the complete line-up was announced, which ended up causing the festival's server to crash, but I was lucky enough to get in and get out before missing out on the information.
First off, the festival's Mavericks line-up is quite interesting, which includes a series of guest presentations and this year will see Edward Norton interview Bruce Springsteen, NBA All-Star and native Canadian Steve Nash will present his hour-long film Into the Wind, Apichatpong Weerasethakul will talk with the audience as his Cannes Palm d'Or-winning film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives was just added to the Masters programme, Ken Loach and Paul Laverty will be interviewed by Michael Moore on politics and cinema and Philip Seymour Hoffman will have his own panel. Also on hand will be Bill Gates, »
- Brad Brevet
I was wondering why Peter Mullan's Neds wasn't included in Venice. I was wondering why the Midnight Madness section didn't name Koen Mortier's latest. I was wondering why Cannes regular Bent Hamer wasn't in Cannes. Tiff's Cwc section has all three high profile items, plus Venice Film Festival's Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichard) and Three (Tom Tykwer). Reichard will participate in Kelly Reichardt in a Mavericks discussion about the behind the scenes of her process. Here is the entire line-up: 22nd of May Koen Mortier, Belgium World Premiere The director of Ex-Drummer returns with an artful meditation on political violence. A security guard fails to prevent a horrific explosion in a shopping mall, then lives through the aftermath as a series of overlapping what-ifs. Africa United Debs Gardner-Paterson, United Kingdom World Premiere Africa United tells the extraordinary story of three Rwandan children and their bid to achieve their lifelong »
The sophomore film from the director of Ex Drummer, Swedish thriller Bad Faith, Pablo Trapero's Carancho (my personal favorite film from Cannes 2010), Tsui Hark's Detective Dee, Tom Tykwer's Three and a host of others populate one of the more exciting lineups for the Tiff Contemporary World Cinema Program in recent years. Here's the complete lineup:
22nd of May Koen Mortier, Belgium World Premiere
The director of Ex-Drummer returns with an artful meditation on political violence. A security guard fails to prevent a horrific explosion in a shopping mall, then lives through the aftermath as a series of overlapping what-ifs.
Africa United tells the extraordinary story of three Rwandan children and their bid to achieve their lifelong dream - to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Football World Cup in Johannesburg.
Aftershock Feng Xiaogang, China North American Premiere »
[Thanks to our friend Josh Hurtado for providing an advance look at the schedule.]
It is July. For me this means gearing up for my annual marathon movie event, the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. The organizers have been tossing hints at titles out via facebook and Twitter, but yesterday they finally let the cats out of the bag.
This year Affd is screening 30+ features as well as their usual shorts programs. I'm pretty sure this may be their biggest festival ever in terms of variety. The schedule looks great, with some really awesome titles and some surprises (which are almost always my favorite part!). Affd has a newly redesigned website that makes it easy to explore the titles, watch trailers, make your own schedule, and learn about the events. Facebook friends and Twitter followers are always the first to know about cool events and news, so be sure to check them out there as well as the official site for all the latest! »
[Once again thanks goes to the incomparable Diva Velez, for the following interview - one which was edited down from an hour long conversation... oh, to have been there, fan boys...]
The Lady Miz Diva: Mr. Yam, you started your acting career under contract with the Hong Kong television network Tvb... Simon Yam: Ah, it was a long time ago! Lmd: Yes, but so many well-known actors like yourself have come from Tvb. Sy: Yes, right, including many famous directors and actors and actresses all come from Tvb. Lmd: What did you take away from your time there? What did you learn then that you use today? Sy: Being on time! Actually, I didn't, I learned being on time from my father, who was a policeman. They're always on time. I learned manners from Tvb. And how to be energetic; cos in the old days we'd shoot today and then we're dubbing and then we're editing and then the third day, we do this again. This was the routine of before. This was horrible. So when you are sick, you need to do the work. »
Before going into my Women Directors Tracking which I have vowed to continue until women reach a parity with men in the film business and Latino Directors groove, I want to thank Howard Feinstein for watching the most obscure films of Rotterdam to find the jewels! Scratching Below the Surface for Some Rotterdam Fest Gems - indieWIRE. Kudos! I wish I could have seen these!
Howard spotted this one: "A young woman named Rusudan Pirveli brought to the 'Bright Future' section Susa, another story of hard financial times. 'The Lost Generation' is represented here by the absent father of an adolescent boy, who, working for his mother, sells bootleg vodka in bottles. Sadly, he lives under the delusion that dad’s return would ease his and his mom’s hardship. Like Koguashvili, Pirveli eschews unnecessary authorial intervention: Both directors understand all too well that they are living amidst powerful, »
I didn’t know what I was missing until I saw it right in front of me. Beaten and exhausted by 8 days at Rotterdam, I decided to end the festival on a high genre note with Tsui Hark’s Hong Kong “new wave” third film, Dangerous Encounters: 1st Kind. After being neck-deep in contemplative films for a brief but intense period of viewing, I had forgotten what the influx of young blood into Hong Kong at that time (including John Woo and Ann Hui, the latter of whom has a quite good film at the festival) meant: hunger. Hark’s screed—as it indeed can only be described as that—is a blood-shot, parasitic work of extreme angry energy and invention, fueled by MTV new aesthetics and Hong Kong problem solving, and ends up thrillingly shoving the our faces in the nihilistic and extremely bitter and paranoid culture of youth »
11 items from 2010
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