3 items from 2015
If there is such a thing as casual gravitas, then Hou Hsiao-hsien embodies it. Arriving in the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Busan, South Korea, where his martial-arts epic, “The Assassin,” is making one of many stops on the festival circuit, the 68-year-old Taiwanese director whom many consider to be the world’s greatest living filmmaker radiates a calm, and calming, authority. Wearing a beige baseball cap and black zip-up jacket, and pausing occasionally for a quick cigarette, he speaks with the sort of earthy eloquence and modesty that his admirers have come to recognize in his movies, with their elusive, slow-building narratives and unassumingly beautiful images.
“It’s not easy for people to grasp the film fully the first time around,” Hou admits with a chuckle, communicating in Mandarin through an interpreter. “But you can’t wait for the audience. I can’t help but make films the way I do. »
- Justin Chang
What do we gain from a film festival? As I fly back home, what am I taking away? Memories we made together, yes, work we accomplished, yes, and from the films: is there something different we get out of seeing them the way we did? Something we would not have found at home? What films will stay with us? We can guess but not know for certain. What from those films is now part of us, if anything? I think there are more questions than I’m asking, and multiple answers to each, but during this year’s Berlinale I contemplated in a strictly personal way, “what happens to me at film festivals?” I’m moved a little bit here and there, I learn something occasionally, I recognize beauty I would have otherwise not seen, but what else?
I grew up an only child, and retreated into cinema at a young age, »
- Adam Cook
With only two features under his belt, Norwegian director Joachim Trier remains at the forefront of notable upcoming directors, his 2006 debut Reprise snagging him Best Director at its Karlovy Vary premiere, beginning a notable festival circuit tour before snagging Us distribution. In 2011, Trier reunited with screenwriter Eskil Vogt for an adaptation of Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s novel Le feu follet, relocated to Norway and titled Oslo, August 31st, which also starred lead Anders Danielson Lie (check out our video interview with the filmmaker). Trier’s latest, Louder Than Bombs, is an international coproduction and his English language debut, a project announcing its leads Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne back in 2013 when filming was supposed to take place in New York that fall. Initially unable to secure complete funding, the project was temporarily shelved, but would thankfully »
- Nicholas Bell
3 items from 2015
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