Just as I've mentioned in my previous post, I returned to the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2008, this time for the Chinese Program that my friend, Cara Yuan (she organizes the mobile film festival in China) was curating.
The first film shown was Wong Kar Wai's sci-fi short, THERE'S ONLY ONE SUN. I've already watched that last year on Youtube. But it's nice watching it on a bigger screen, the visuals are more beautiful... and it's really a glorified TV ad. There, you can watch it too:
Wong Kar Wai's THERE'S ONLY ONE SUN
The film that followed, CLOWN, was by a young female director called Qin Panpan (she's a year younger than I am!). This is quite good. A guy who hates playing a clown onstage, and wants a bigger role. Then gets confused between his real life and stage life. Starts hallucinating. I'm impressed by the acting of the main actor, and I also liked how the director seem to meld something that seemed initially like a documentary, and gradually married it with her MTV sensibilities. Qin Panpan might be an Aronofsky fan like me as well, since she ended the film with the REQUIEM FOR A DREAM theme by Kronos Quartet.
SOUND OF BROKEN FINGERS by Gao Xiaosong takes a simple story and also throws some MTV-style filmmaking into it. Unsurprising since the director is a celebrated musician in China. But I was surprised to see Fruit Chan's name as the line producer. The Red Woman's pretty hot.
SOUND OF BROKEN FINGERS by Guo Xiaosong
The Perturbance of Mind is an animated short by Zhang Gong that's really surrealistic yet uniquely Chinese. Film's drawn in traditional Chinese ink-painting style, and is about a simple and quiet life of a monk (or nun, not too sure) who lives alone in a temple. Quite melancholic.
Then there's FRUIT CHAN's A+B=C. A star-studded short film starring Hu Jun, Li Xiaoran and Guo Xiaodong. It's great to see Fruit Chan directing something again (his last film was DUMPLINGS from 3 Extremes). I like the encounter between A (the woman) and B from the 1:30 to 2:30 minute mark, very beautiful visually. Reminds me of the DURIAN DURIAN Fruit Chan. The guy can be as poetic as Wong Kar Wai if he chooses to, but he has his own masterful directing style and seems more socially-conscious as well.
FRUIT CHAN's A+B=C (... ah, might be a wee bit NSFW cos of a noisy but non-graphic sex scene)
Then there's a Baoqi Ye's LEFT-HANDED. A 2002 short film that won some awards in numerous festivals. It's a China-Canada co-production (Baoqi Ye did it as a student film while he was studying in Toronto). I didn't notice that until I saw the credits! Amusing and sweet film that's essentially a father and son story. I'm shocked to know that til today in China schools, everyone's forced to write with their right hands even if they're left-handed!
Last film NOSTALGIA by Xu Liang is slightly flawed technically (the sound mixing). There's a buzzing sound right before a voiceover is about to begin. It's slightly jarring. But this is a nice little short about the rural life in China. Reminds me of ELECTRIC SHADOWS, a China film I saw recently that gives off a similar feeling. Like how villagers gather at the an outdoor makeshift cinema to watch movies, how kids just hang out and get into all sorts of mischief. Director Xu Liang is young. Born in 86. 22 this year.
Well, you guys can check out the videos I've posted here and share your thoughts too.
P. S. Happy Father's Day, dad.