aims to appeal to art-house connoisseurs and the casual moviegoer alike
Kaohsiung Film Festival (KFF, 高雄電影節) shines the limelight on art-house and mainstream movies this year to distinguish itself from other festivals in Taiwan and to draw maximum crowds. Previously, the festival covered new producers and indie themes similar to those of the Taipei and Pusan film festivals.
This year's event follows the "fantastic festival" approach, which combines music and cinema, and was pioneered by the Puchon International Fantastic Festival in South Korea, the Montreal Fantasia Festival in Canada, and the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals in Austin, Texas.
"By gearing the KFF towards a fantastic film festival approach and opening up the possibility of collaboration with other festivals, we hope to foster people's interest in art not merely as a film festival but through a more carnival-like atmosphere where people can have fun," KFF curator Huang Hao-chieh (黃皓傑) said.
This year, the 10-day event will be held in conjunction with the Megaport Festival (大港開唱), a music festival that takes place tomorrow and Sunday on the pier at Hsinkuang Waterfront Park, Kaohsiung (高雄星光水岸公園新光碼頭).
The film festival focuses on two directors, both of whom will attend panel discussions in Kaohsiung this weekend.
Watanabe Kazushi of Japan - a versatile artist, model, rock guitarist and music video director - made his film debut with 19 at the age of 23 and is noted for his whimsical style of storytelling. The festival will screen Kazushi's sci-fi comedy Space Police, which tells the tale of a space agent who comes to Earth to round up the most notorious villains in the universe, and Captain Tokio, which explores the adventures of two high school students.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF KFF
The other director in focus, Wisit Sasanatieng, began making movies after years working on television commercials and animation. His Tears of the Black Tiger, a funky Thai rendition of the western genre and the first Thai entry to the Cannes Film Festival, will be screened, as will Citizen Dog, which shows how the director uses his imagination and imagery in an impressionistic style to transform a dismal story of immigrant labor into a fairy tale.
The festival's New Vision category focuses on creative imagery. La Antena, a tribute to the era of silent film, uses only images to retell an Argentine fable about the evil endeavors of Mr TV.
The Subcultures-Fantasy category explores the affinity between animation, fantasy and manga. It includes films such as We Are the Strange, winner of the best animation gong at this year's Fantasia Festival in Montreal, and Tokyo Loop, a compilation by 16 Japanese artists that charts the development of animation. Based on a popular comic book, Noo-Hin: The Movie is a humorous and colorful tale about a maid and the two women she works for and reflects class divisions.
Taiwanese productions included in the lineup are The Wall-Passer (穿牆人), a pseudo love story set in a not-too-distant future, by poet Hung Hung (鴻鴻). Four local documentaries are grouped in the Ordinary People: Documentary category, which screens works that address labor issues.
Given the inclusion of a music festival in the event, the fusion of music and cinema was bound to come up. Movies like Electroma, by French electronica duo Daft Punk, is a psychedelic musical and visual odyssey following two robots' quest to become human and demonstrates how important music is to filmmaking. The music of indie rock outfit Broken Social Scene sets the tone in Half Nelson, which uses hand-held cameras to capture life in Brooklyn.
What: Kaohsiung Film Festival 2007
When: Today through Nov. 4
Where: Kaohsiung Municipal Film Archive (高雄市電影圖書館) at 10 Hesi Rd, Yencheng Dist, Kaohsiung (高雄市鹽埕區河西路10號) and Oscar Cinema (奧斯卡數位影城) at 287 Jenchih St, Hsinhsing Dist, Kaohsiung (高雄市新興區仁智街287號)
Tickets: NT$299 for festival package of five screenings; NT$100 per screening, available through NTCH ticketing outlets or at www.artsticket.com.tw
On the Net: www.kff.tw for the film festival; www.megaportfestival.com for the music festival
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
A walk down Orchard Road shows just how badly the coronavirus pandemic has hit Singapore’s famed shopping strip. Gone are popular restaurants like Modesto’s, which shut last month after 23 years. Also missing are the queues of Chinese tourists outside Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Malls along the 2.4km stretch, once one of Asia’s top shopping meccas, are dotted with empty stores. On a recent midweek afternoon, the number of shop staff idly dusting shelves or playing with their mobile phones rather than greeting customers is notable. “It’s the worst crisis for Singapore and Orchard Road,” said Kiran Assodani, who has run her
In the regular drumbeat of arrests of alleged Chinese spies, one case last month stood out. It did not involve the US or another rival of China, but Russia, whose security services accused a prominent arctic scientist of selling classified data on technologies for detecting submarines. Meanwhile a court in Kazakhstan in October convicted the Central Asia nation’s preeminent China specialist of espionage, a move widely interpreted at the time as a warning against increased meddling by the superpower next door. Both men maintain their innocence and if China is spying on Russia, Moscow is surely doing the same. Even so, the fact