December 17th, 2010
I haven’t finished a series of film festival entries in about a year and a half now, so I figured I should end that streak now, especially there’s only three films left to write about:
HaHaHa (2010, South Korea, Director: Hong Sang-Soo): I’m sure that Hong Sang-Soo is a real swell guy to hang out with, but I’d never let him meet any girl I go out with. HAHAHA should be familiar to anyone who’s seen Hong’s movies: Dysfunctional relationships, inter-connecting character, and a whole lot of drinking. The film’s amusing, though a little long, repetitive, and slightly insignificant when it’s all over. Fans of Hong will love it, and those afraid of his rough edges may enjoy it too.
My review of Merry-Go-Round is already on LoveHKFilm, so check it out
Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010, China, Director: Zhang Yimou): With this and A WOMAN, A GUN, AND A NOODLE SHOP, Zhang Yimou has become for me a director who makes really brilliant parts of a movie that never quite add up. This simple pure romance film is the best thing Zhang has done since RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES, though it’s still rather flawed because it doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s condensing way too much of a long novel. Nevertheless, if I have to choose between big-budget Zhang Yimou and simply Zhang Yimou, it’s pretty easy to see which one I’d choose.
Note: Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I am absolutely gaga over lead actress Zhou Dongyu, but it’s because she was lovelier in real life than she was in the film.
That wraps up another year at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. It is still absolutely my favorite time of the year, and I hope to watch even more films at next year’s edition!
Next: LET THE BULLETS FLY review!