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Friday, December 26, 2008

Ye Che (Night Train)


Definitively the film style of the Chinese Sixth Generation of movie directors is breathtaking and this film by Diao Yi Nan is amazingly emotional just with images that can generate strong emotions in viewers. I was totally in awe while watching the fantastic compositions with mainly a blueish palette that complemented the story of loneliness, meaningless lives and a woman that’s trying to wake up from the nightmare that her life is.

This is only the second movie by Diao Yi Nan but definitively is one director that I’ll follow as I hope that his next movies have to be as magnificent as this one, especially because this movie has a mundane but impact full story told in the most awesome and beautiful way. Telling a mundane story perhaps makes him a little different from Jia Zhang ke, that by the way is one of many that Diao Yi Nan thanks in the movie.

What you will see as a story in the screen is about a female court baliff with her grim job not hardening her, even after years of dealing with women awaiting execution. Every weekend the widowed woman makes a long train ride to the city for the Good Luck Matchmaking dance where she has forgettable and unfulfilling encounters. But after she executes a condemned woman her life changes forever when she finds one man that perhaps will liberate her from her miserable life. Yes there is a narrative and that’s what you will see in the screen, but as I mentioned the film is about loneliness, meaningless lives and I’ll add a little about justice and living in western China.

Unbelievable breathtaking magnificent outdoor settings that Diao Yi Nan captures with truly awesome cinematography, outstanding frame compositions, great long takes, very little dialogues and a very slow pace that allows to see every detail and definitively intensifies the thrilling effect when the woman, Wu Hongyan, meets the man, Li Jun. Honestly, it’s impressively good. Bravo!

The film was screened in competition at the 2007 Cannes in the Un Certain Regard program and won three awards in the 2008 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinena, for Cinematography, Best Actress and the Jury Special Award, also won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Warsaw International film fest.

Obviously I strongly recommend this film to all that enjoy the work of the Chinese Sixth Generation of film directors, to those that have seen the work of Jia Zhang ke and to those that are not familiar with any of the above I suggest to give it a try as the movie has a story that can be easily understood, but be aware that there is no traditional ending you will have to choose the end you wish.

Big Enjoy!!!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

9th Asian Film Awards Winners


The 9th Asian Film Awards (AFA) ceremony was held at The Venetian Macao last night, commemorating another year of excellence in Asian cinema. The 9th AFA was jointly organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), and its constituent partners – Busan Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival and Hong Kong Film Festival.

Hong Kong pop star, and breakout actress Ivana Wong opened the 9th AFA ceremony with a heartfelt singing performance. Later, South Korean band Infinite entertained guests with an energetic musical set, which was then followed by loud applause from their dedicated fans.

Overall, Mainland China’s films stole the show, winning awards in 10 categories out of 14, including 3 out of the 4 major accolades. This year’s coveted Best Film Award went to Blind Massage. Other major winners this year include Ann Hui who took home the Best Director award for The Golden Era. Liao Fan beat out other nominees for the Best Actor Award for his role in Black Coal, Thin Ice. However, it was South Korean Bae Doo-na who was awarded Best Actress for her stunning performance in A Girl At My Door.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

9th Asian Film Awards Nominations


Recently the Asian Film Awards Academy announced the 74 nominations of 42 films from eight (8) countries. Winners will be selected by a jury that comprises 14 film industry professionals and critics; the awards ceremony will be held on March 25 at The Venetian Theatre in Macao.

Inaugurated in 2007, the Asian Film Awards celebrates excellence in Asian cinema through the annual presentation of awards to the many diverse talents and films that make up the dynamic film industries of the region. Founded by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival in late 2013, the AFA Academy aims to promote, develop and enrich Asian cinema, its talents and audiences by organizing the AFA and a diversity of other programs across Asia through working closely with film, arts and culture partners from around the world. This year AFA received over a thousand films from 34 countries across Asia.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Winners


As happened to me last year, this year was not able to see the awards ceremony live -which upsets me as this ceremony is very ceremonial, so different to what we see in in the west. Nevertheless can't deny that I'm very pleased that the movie of one of my favorite directors won the top award -which wasn't difficult as there were two of my favorite directors competing head to head-. Yes Andrey Zvyagintsev acclaimed Leviathan won the top award and to not upset Palme d'Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan (and me), the jury gave him the Best Director award for Winter Sleep.

As we know these awards recognize and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest-growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world’s film output. 2014 was a very good year for the are as produced many of the year greatest world films that were honored in Cannes and continued to collect multiple awards around the world.

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Saturday, May 04, 2019

72nd Festival de Cannes Official Selection


Second Update on May 4th, 2019.  In the past couple of weeks organizers announced diffrent juries members, new films in the official selection plus the Cannes Classics films.  As expected it's official, Cannes has enough Hollywood clout and will shine attracting international press more than well, before Tarantino's film was announced as part of the selection.  On a more local shinning no doubt Kechiche's latest trilogy installment becomes news in France.  Sigh.

As the competition films become all known have to agree with those saying that's been a long time since fest had such a strong lineup.  Yes, it's a strong lineup with films by master-filmmakers from Europe, America and Asia; unfortunately there is not even one film from Latin American filmmakers but well, they're present in other sections.  Worth mentioning that lineup strength comes not only from well-established great filmmakers but also from directors from a younger generation that in the past have shown their potential, in the present their films suggest to be top quality and I'm sure have a very bright future.  

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Saturday, March 09, 2019

2019 Cannes Possible Films - The Buzz


As happens every single year, Cannes buzz starts during the Berlinale and gets louder when Berlinale ends.  But this year there are good news, buzz seems to be a lot more intersting than last year as there are some strong filmmakers with movies ready to be screen in competition, out of competition, any other fest section or parallel section.

Then we have to consider that after 2018 fiasco, smaller changes could make fest a lot more interesting and well, better.  No one will forget that thanks to French movie theaters owners, Netflix was banned and Roma was not accepted.  So, Roma went to La Biennale only to win the Golden Lion and the rest is history.  Much buzz (or is just plain gossip?) is going around about the discussions between festival organizers and Netflix but know problem is not Thierry Fremaux, who almost lost his job in 2017 due to this issue; problem is with the board of directors where there are a few movie theaters owners.  Soon we will see the end to current year discussions and hopefully, Neflix films are included in competition and elsewhere or the 2018 story will repeat and films will again end-up in Venice to their truly delight.

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