China becomes a true rival of Hollywood. Although the main participants of this race are still the blockbusters, non-mainstream Asian filmmakers are on their heels, proving that one can beat even the Avengers.
This year's edition of the New Horizons IFF presents the latest works of Tsai Ming-liang, Zhu Shengze, Bi Gan and Zhang Lu. Festival passes are now on sale.
Your Face: long takes, close-ups, simple stories. But a true master such as Tsai Ming-liang can create a deeply moving work even with the simplest pieces of the cinema puzzle. Focusing mainly on elderly people, the director allows his stars to talk: people in this documentary recall only single events, but they speak of the things that have shaped their lives. By observing their faces, the director dwells upon the phenomenon of truth. Is it hidden in the words, unintended blink of an eye, limited eye contact, sudden grimace or in a still face? The image is accompanied by Ryūichi Sakamoto's music. Amongst the faces Tsai shows us, we will certainly find the most important one - the face of Lee Kang-sheng.
Present.Perfect.: the winner of the International Film Festival Rotterdam is a found footage, i.e. a movie composed of live streams found on the Chinese Internet, which are extremely popular in this country (with half a billion users of such platforms). A seamstress, disabled street artist, transsexual woman, girl in a wheelchair and others share the details of their lives with their followers not concerned about being under constant surveillance of strict cyber-censors. The movie portrays the society in a fascinating manner: as challenging the official narration and revealing in the Web all of these things that people are not allowed to talk in the real life. This is a new movie by Zhu Shengze, the creator of Another Year (screened in the Lost Lost Lost section of the 17th NH IFF).
Long Day's Journey into Night: this arthouse movie suddenly became a true blockbuster which has left behind even Marvel's The Avengers. This hypnotic film noir by Bi Gan, which had its premiere during the Cannes festival, tells the story of a love affair and a crime of many years ago reconstructed in a (deceptive?) memory of a man wandering through the neon-lit streets of Kaili (the director's hometown). This work, perfectly balanced in the terms of tension and melancholy, holds an astonishing surprise: a nearly one-hour-long 3D sequence shot in one take.
Fukuoka: Zhang Lu, the director of A Quiet Dream (Chun-mong), widely appraised by the New Horizons audience, is still in a marvelous shape. In the presented on this year's Berlinale Fukuoka, this Korean-Chinese director tells a love story in which typical drama elements unexpectedly morph into magic realism and the light form of an anecdote is no obstacle to talk about serious matters - masculine competitiveness, betraying one's roots and longing for closeness.
The 19th New Horizons International Film Festival will take place from July, 25th to August, 4th 2019.
Prices for holders of a Friends of New Horizons Cinema Card:
(translation by CM Translation Services, Wroclaw)