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My Short Films

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Q and A sessions for LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (at Dubai International Film Fest 2011)

My short film, LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER, was screened on the 11th and 13th of December, 2011 at the Dubai International Film Festival.

LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER poster


It was part of the Muhr AfricaAsia Shorts program 1, along with three other shorts:

The shorts were presented in this order.

1) ALL THE LINES FLOW OUT by Charles Lim Li Yong

ALL THE LINES FLOW OUT is a "short film version" of Charles' video installation. The video installation was in Singapore's Biennale earlier this year, while the short film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received a special mention.

Take a look at its trailer (it's for the video installation though). Stunning visuals, no?



2) MO-EDON PAE-MIL-LI (MODERN FAMILY) by Kim Kwang Bin

Eventual Best Short Film winner. MODERN FAMILY by Kim Kwang Bin is a pretty hardcore short film that elicited some really strong reactions from the audiences (even though most of the violence happened offscreen and were implied). The gasps and squealing from the audiences during the screening was just as entertaining as the short film itself. I giggled when some of the faint-hearted had to walk out of the cinema.

Sadly, I don't think this film has a trailer. But this is its official site.

During the first Q and A session, there was even an audience member who asked director Kwang Bin whether he thought the (deplorable) actions of the characters in the "ending" of his film were "healthy" or not. Kwang Bin would later tell me during dinner that he had to apologize (a lot) for his film to those who found his film morally questionable. His award is going to silence all that!

3) XIAO TOU (THIEF) by Jay Chern

Jay's THIEF is the recent Golden Horse award winner for Best Short Film. It's a very entertaining film blessed with two pretty actresses, and has a very romantic atmosphere that reminds me of Arven Chen's AU REVOIR TAIPEI. Special points given for using Godard's BREATHLESS theme song as one of the protagonists' ringtone.

Here is its trailer.



And finally, my LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER was the last one, played to mostly befuddled audiences.

I was Number Four.

During the screening, I was very happy to see some of the visuals translating so well on the big screen.

... and then, to my gradual horror, I realized that I had transferred the WRONG VERSION of the film to the HDCam that was screening in the festival.

A few days prior to making the HDCam tape, I had made some revisions on the subtitles, because I knew that the story was rather oblique, and foreign (non-Chinese speaking) audiences may need some help with understanding the narrative. But due to some error on my part. The version of the film shown in the festival had the old subtitles... and one scene even lost its subtitles!

"Stay cool, Edmund!! Pretend that everything is intentional. That they are intentional artistic choices!!" I screamed to myself mentally.

The credits rolled. I then noticed that someone's name was missing. I mouthed another swear word that sounded like "puck" but started with an "f".

(Most of the stuff I mentioned went by unnoticed by audiences, but for myself, it was slightly mortifying.)

But here are videos of the Q and A sessions.

One from the 11th of November, this one, I gave a bit more technical info about the film. Director of BACHELOR MOUNTAIN, Yu Guangyi, along with his family, were actually at the screening, and seemed quite taken in by the snow scenes of the film. You'll see me switching to Mandarin towards the end of the video.



The other from the 13th of November, this one I spoke a bit more about the various interpretations of the film.



After the second screening, I walked past an audience member, who had gushed excitedly over the other three short films in the program and their directors.

"Nice film. Very... pretty to look at." She said, somewhat reluctantly. (understandable though, it's not easy to damn someone with faint praise!)

"Thanks. It's like a postcard." I replied monotonously, accepting the faint praise with deadpan amusement.

(I rank that, along with a guy's "Your film (INHALATION) was good... not great, but good." at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Fest earlier this year, as my top two favourite faint praises of the year.)
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