TIFF 2010

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TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:29 pm

The Toronto Film fest comes back Sept. 9, and naturally I'm keen to see what Asian films they manage to get this year.

A few have been announced already, including:

I SAW THE DEVIL (Korea; Kim Ji-woon) with Choi Min-sik, Lee Byung-hun

THE HOUSEMAID (Korea; Im Sang-soo) with Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae
The 1960 original of this is a certified classic, and can be watched (legally) in its entirety here:

THE LEGEND OF CHEN ZHEN (Hong Kong; Andrew Lau, with Donnie Yen, Shu Qi
I have a feeling this may be a Midnight Madness show. Seems like everything Donnie does ends up there! :lol:

NORWEGIAN WOOD (Japan; Tran Ahn Hung) Rinko Kikuchi, Ken'ichi Matsuyama

Full list of early announcements:
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:07 am

More TIFF flicks from Asia, or set there, or influenced by the east:

http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... conscience
Considering I just bought this on DVD last weekend, I'm a bit undecided . . .

FACE (Taiwan; Tsai Ming-liang)
No link yet

AMIGO (USA; John Sayles)

SANDCASTLE (Singapore; Boo Junfeng)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... sandcastle

http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... chefandthe
Gee, martial arts and food; you don't see that in Asian cinema too often . . .

BUNRAKU (USA; Guy Moshe)

RED NIGHTS (HK/China/France; Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... /rednights
Looks like the writers of RUNNING OUT OF TIME and BLACK MASK 2 finally scored their own HK movie, featuring the return of Carrie Ng, no less.

COLD FISH (Japan; Sion Sono)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... 0/coldfish

13 ASSASSINS (Japan; Takashi Miike)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... 3assassins

GENPIN (Japan; Naomi Kawase)

OKI'S MOVIE (South Korea; Hong Sang-soo)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... /okismovie

WHEN MY CHILD IS BORN (China; Guo Jing, Ke Dingding)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... hildisborn

HEAVENHELL (Canadian/Japanese?; Chris Chong Chan Fui, Yasuhiro Morinaga)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... heavenhell
This is an audio-visual installation, which presumably will be free. Sounds interesting . . .
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:47 pm

http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... eeandthemy

AFTERSHOCK (China; Feng Xiaogang)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... aftershock

CONFESSIONS (Japan; Tetsuya Nakashima)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... onfessions

BREAK UP CLUB (Hong Kong; Barbara Wong)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... reakupclub
Nice to see a NON-action/martial arts/crime thriller HK film at TIFF for once!

MATARIKI (New Zealand; Michael Bennett)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... 0/matariki

ALL ABOUT LOVE (Hong Kong/China; Ann Hui)
http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/ ... laboutlove

PIANO IN A FACTORY (China; Zhang Meng)
http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/t ... inafactory
Last edited by Brian Thibodeau on Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:47 am

So here's what I'm seeing, in order of screenings:

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen 09/09/2010
Saw this on Thursday night. VERY average movie, and thus a disappointment considering the character and setting. This is a film by Andrew Lau, the director of THE PARK and AVENGING FIST, not Andrew Lau, co-director of INFERNAL AFFAIRS. ;) Working on something longer, but most of the legit reviews you could google for this one are on the money. Longer thoughts to follow . . .

Fubar II (with short: The Legend of Beaver Dam) 09/09/2010
One of the greatest Canadian comedies in many years. I think many folks, Canadians or otherwise, have known someone like Terry and/or Dean at some point in their lives. Just a crass, balls-out, and even heartfelt follow-up to the original from 2002 that slowly became a cult classic thanks to DVD rentals.

Break Up Club (Hong Kong) 09/12/2010

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (Australia) 09/12/2010
http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/ma ... ed/trailer

Vanishing on 7th Street (USA) 09/12/2010

John Carpenter's The Ward (USA) 09/13/10
No trailer yet.

22nd of May (Belgium/The Netherlands/Germany) 09/14/2010

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Finland, Norway, France, Sweden) 09/14/2010
(perhaps Bearserk has heard a little something about this one? :) )

Insidious (USA) 09/14/2010
No trailer available. Considering how stupid I find the SAW movies, I'm not sure why I'm taking a chance on this, but it's a midnight show, and those are always worth attending, no matter the quality of the film on offer

I Saw the Devil (South Korea) 09/16/2010

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (China) 09/16/2010

The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (China) 09/16/2010

Red Nights (Hong Kong, China, France) 09/17/2010

Confessions (Japan) 09/17/2010

Aftershock (China) 09/17/2010

Julia's Eyes (Spain) 09/18/2010

Fire of Conscience (Hong Kong, China) 09/18/2010 (already have the DVD, but HK cinema on the big screen is too good to resist)
Last edited by Brian Thibodeau on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:20 am

Concession lines are SUCH a pain at film festivals. All I wanted was some popcorn and this woman kept blocking my access. I snapped these (admittedly poor) photos to show to the management, but by the time we returned to apprehend her, she'd fled with a couple of Frenchmen:




Last edited by Brian Thibodeau on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:41 am

For those who might be interested, I shot the intros and Q&A sessions for many of the movies I saw this year. These were taken with a fairly new point-and-shoot, which has a hi-def camera, so while the cameraman isn't the best and he's still figuring out the nuts n' bolts of the new toy, its low-light sensitivity was a boon in most cases (well, at least until YouTube made them look even darker):

BREAK UP CLUB (2010) Intro of Barbara Wong (黃真真) & Lawrence Cheng (鄭丹瑞)

BREAK UP CLUB (2010) Q&A with Barbara Wong (黃真真) & Lawrence Cheng (鄭丹瑞)

MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (2010) Director Mark Hartley intro:

INSIDIOUS (2010) Intro from TIFF 2010 with James Wan and Leigh Whannel:

INSIDIOUS (2010) Q&A from TIFF 2010 with James Wan, Leigh Whannel, Patrick Wilson & Cast:

THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN (2010) introduction with director Wuershan:

THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN (2010) Q&A with director Wuershan

AFTERSHOCK (唐山大地震; 2010) Intro by author Zhang Li

These next two are too dark. You can blame the theatre. They decided a spotlight was not necessary, I guess. The original videos have far more definition than this, so you can also blame YouTube for darkening those black levels even further. Probably best to enjoy these for the audio, more than the video, and enjoy the fuzzy daylight pictures of Carrie Ng above!

RED NIGHTS (紅夜 2010) Q&A with Carrie Ng 吳家麗, Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud Part 1

RED NIGHTS (紅夜 2010) Q&A with Carrie Ng 吳家麗, Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud Part 2

I also recorded the intro to FIRE OF CONSCIENCEat Midnight Madness tonight, but no one associated with the film was on hand, sadly, so I probably won't post that until later.

Here's a couple of non-Asian cinema bonus clips:

RARE EXPORTS (2010) Q&A with director Jalmari Helander:

22nd OF MAY (2010) aka 22 MEI - Q&A with director Koen Mortier:

And finally, one of the more visually appealing Q&A's of the festival :D :

JOHN CARPENTER'S THE WARD (2010) Q&A Session with Cast & Producers:

Carpenter also contributed an amusing pre-recorded introduction in lieu of his actually being able to attend (I didn't shoot this one):
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Re: TIFF 2010

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:07 pm

Thanks to Dennis for including some of the above clips in the Daily News report. I couldn't help but notice Dennis' short addendum to the TIFF write-up for RED NIGHTS, which he included in the news about the film's premiere.

TIFF: Red Nights description
Red Nights also boasts the long-overdue return of Hong Kong starlet Carrie Ng, famous for her sexy and deadly presence in such films as Naked Killer and Sex and Zen. Here she revels in her role as the jade-clawed Dragon Lady, equal parts seductress and psycho-sexual killer… A bittersweet fortune cookie of murder and deceit, Red Nights inhabits a mysterious realm where Italian giallo and espionage thrillers coexist with the exoticism of the Far East. [Carrie Ng deserves better than this!]

I have to agree with this sentiment. While Carrie Ng does seem to enjoy herself in this, it's a bit odd to think that they lured her out of "retirement" to play the same kind of role that nearly stereotyped her the first time around. In the Q&A I shot, she mentions that she chose to work with the directors, in part, because they had a deep understanding of "oriental culture" (the translator's words - Ng answered in Cantonese), but outside of the inclusion of an ornate Cantonese opera stage show that mirrors certain aspects of the primary plot, and shooting with an obvious familiarity (and ease) on the streets of Hong Kong, the filmmakers demonstrate little more than an penchant for the "exoticism of the Far East" mentioned in the description, mixed with the kind of explicitly-gory torture-horror that seems to have fallen out of favour in Hollywood if several of the horror movies on offer this year at TIFF are any indication (Korea's I SAW THE DEVIL was another film that introduced heretofore-unseen levels of near-surgical brutality to its domestic cinema, yet seemed a bit late to the party in that regard). In other words, Carbon and Courtiaud clearly have a fondness for the stereotypical concept of the Asian Dragon Lady (common to both western and eastern filmmaking), replete with metal-razor fingertip claws used to gore and slice her victims, and give the iconic Ng a character that is little more than a collection of "sensual" physical affectations (nearly every move she makes is some kind of arch, dramatic flourish, usually accompanied by that gorgeous smirk) and a measured, cryptic tone to her speech. I do wonder if it wasn't roles like this -- as well as the abundance of moody, doomed girlfriend-of-a-triad parts -- that made Carrie Ng walk away in the first place. It's nice to see her back, and looking not a year older than she did a decade ago, but I hope she's able to parlay this "comeback" into roles that finally stretch her as an actress. Like so many movies these days, RED NIGHTS is a slick construct of giallo-meets-Category-III homages, with the kind of realistic gore the filmmakers obviously found impressive in films like MARTYRS (which they praised to high heaven in the TIFF Q&A - ugh!).

I will give the directors credit on one big part. Since this is, primarily, a French film, the level of talent in the non-Asian roles was quite good, particularly when compared with the likes of LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN with it's distractingly awful non-pro gwailo support players, and AFTERSHOCK, which rather jarringly introduces two no-name amateur Canadian actors (who try their best) during the Vancouver scenes preceding the climax.
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