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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Busan International Film Festival 2015 Day 1: Catching up with the Cannes Films

I'm at Busan for the Busan International Film Festival. Ming Jin's documentary RETURN TO NOSTALGIA, which I served as executive producer (and final editor, and colorist, among others, as usual), is going to have its world premiere tonight.

Thanks, Malay Mail Online, for sharing the news! Yup, RETURN TO NOSTALGIA by Woo Ming Jin will have its world premiere...
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Saturday, October 3, 2015

So, today's my third day. It wasn't exactly easy to get to Busan this year. On the day of the opening ceremony, there was a typhoon, and our plane was unable to land, so we ended up in Incheon Airport for a while.

Urgh, arrived at Busan. Finally. Flight stopped by at Incheon for a couple of hours because of bad weather. Looking forward to another great festival!!
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, October 1, 2015

The next day, I decided to catch up with the Cannes films. The first I saw was Jacques Audiard's Palme D'Or winner, DHEEPAN.

I'm actually glad I visited Sri Lanka just a week ago, so that I'm more aware of the plight of the Sri Lankan refugees and former militants from the civil war trying to adjust to a normal life again. DHEEPAN is about a former Tamil Tiger soldier who migrated to France with two strangers, a woman and a little girl, who had to pose as his wife and daughter.

After that, I went for Apichatpong Weerasethakul's CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR. Perhaps it's the hospital settings (and many other things), I am reminded of SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, the very first Apichatpong film I've ever seen. This one is very gentle and serene, it is not as otherworldly as UNCLE BOONMEE, but more melancholic, more understated.

DJ Soulscape's LOVE IS A SONG, the music used towards the end of the film, combined with the images and its voiceovers, were absolutely sublime. I actually sat up, feeling a sort of joy that I didn't expect to feel.

This was followed by Ciro Guerra's EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, winner of the top award at the Director's Fortnight. An absolutely majestic film of awe-inspiring visuals and beauty.

Thanks to Busan Film Fest programmer Jin Park, I was introduced to Guerra after the screening, very friendly guy. Hope to see more of his works in the near future!

Finally, at night, I went to the gala screening of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's THE ASSASSIN. Hou Hsiao-Hsien and actor Chang Chen were there to present the film and do the post-screening Q and A session.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Chang Chen at the gala screening of THE ASSASSIN!
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Friday, October 2, 2015