In the past few months, I have been to 4 film festivals, seeing quite a number of films. First it is the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival (SFAFF) in March, and then it is the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and then IFVA, and at last the San Francisco International Film Festival...
SFAFF was kinda fun, and the best thing about it is the cheap ticket price... have been attending this fest for quite a few years, this time thank to my job, got some priviledges and caught up with a preview screening of "Dark Matter". Not a bad film but definitely not as good as I expected. Another one I saw was mainland film "Summer Palace", a bold but controversial depiction of the youth's life during the 80s and 90s... a banned film in china.. nicely directed by lou ye.
HKIFF just reminded me of a big carnival... lots of cool films from around the world... maybe coz of nostalgia, i picked quite some hk and chinese films to see, like "eye in the sky", "pye-dog", "protege", "luxury car" and a romanian film "the death of mr. lazarescu"... all of them are not bad, especially "the death of mr. lazarescu"...hidden gems from east europe.. (perhaps not really unknown as it won at cannes in 2005)
IFVA is rather small but still interesting. Aside from my own screening, gotta check out some shorts from other asia countries... wouldn't say there was any surprise, but you could definitely feel the passion of the filmmakers...
at last back to SFIFF, which i have been attending since 2000 something... this year, again, thank to my job, gotta see films for free and attend cool events, some of the stuff i saw are "heavenly king", "the other half", "amour legende" and "hows your fish today"...was trying to see "praprika" but didn't get in... also managed to attend the "five-o storytelling event", interesting but feeling so distant...all of the films are great, too bad i couldn't find time to watch the extended version of "after this our exile", espeically after director Tam's personal recommendation, as he told me it is the definite and only version he approved, despite both versions being edited by him.
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