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Archive for October 26th, 2010

The Golden Rock - 2010 HKAFF Day 4 Edition

After a packed weekend, only two films for night 4 of the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival

Asian Shorts 1 - This program consists of 6 short films, totaling about 75 minutes:

Now - A 2-minute short film made by friend Edmund Yeo for Prada is short, nice-looking, and to the point. Not much else to say about that.

The Artist and His Magic - 8-minute short film is shot with 3d animation and still photography. Looked ok, but abstract “story” didn’t do anything for me.

Heaven and Hell - Risky Liu returns from his previous bad publicity incident for this strong one-take film based on the Liu Yi Shang story. The camerawork could be a little better, but it’s still quite well-made for what it is.

Shinda Gaijin - This short from Waseda University starts off with some good dark humor, but ends kind of flat. Wonder what the family of Lindsey Hawker would think about this film (look her up).

Kids in the Dark - This short film from Mainland China simply shows two people sitting in an apartment writing notes to each other. The director obviously forgot content.

Crimson Jade - KJ director Cheung King Wai’s first foray into dramatic narrative is beautifully shot some powerful images. Half an hour works fine for his quiet, minimalist style, but would not sustain feature length. Anti-drug message feels a little insincere, but otherwise a strong short film.

Paprika(2006, Japan, directed by Satoshi Kon) - Satoshi Kon’s final film is light on story, but heavy on imagination. Some really strong images and great ideas keep this entertaining sci-fi mystery immensely entertaining. Animation format feels fully utilized, and great pacing for a wild ride. Wish I had caught this earlier.

Tomorrow: Tadanobu Asano in VENGEANCE CAN WAIT

The Golden Rock - 2010 HKAFF Day 3 Edition

The second consecutive day of three films sadly didn’t match the previous day’s stuff, but some interesting stuff nevertheless.

The Time To Live The Time To Die (Taiwan, 1986, director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien) - Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s autobiographical film about his childhood is slow, ponderous, and lack a clear story. It is 138 minutes connected by moments, and some of them are quite good. Like I tweeted in August about several Iranian films, this is a film that I can admire, but can never truly like.

Let the Wind Carry Me (Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2009, directed by Chiang Hsiu-chiung and Kwan Pun-leung) - This documentary about this year’s retrospective focus Mark Lee Ping-Bing is a fascinating look into a more normal cinematographer (Wong Kar Wai’s comparison of Lee and Christopher Doyle is spot on). However, it feels like it’s strictly for film buffs, with interesting tidbits about Lee’s technique. Still, strictly for film buffs and aspiring filmmakers only.

My Ex-Wife’s Wedding (China/South Korea/Hong Kong, 2010, director: Lee Kung-Lok) - Fun commercial fluff has a strong MTV style, a very polished look, plenty of expensive stuff, and an Aloys Chen Kun mugging it up as a comedic lead. There are plenty of things that this sometimes ridiculous romantic comedy, but it manages to make itself likeable all the same. The surprisingly honest Q&A with producer Daniel Yu and writer Szeto Kam-Yuen helped make me like the film better as well. Nothing special, but nothing too embarrassing, either.

Tomorrow: Some short films, and Satoshi Kon’s PAPRIKA

 
 
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