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Cine Fan concludes the year with the cinematic fantasies of Jacques TATI, Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG

Cine Fan concludes the year with the cinematic fantasies of Jacques TATI, Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s year-round Cine Fan programme rounds off an enthralling 2019 with a world of cinematic fantasies in its November/December edition, combining the visual comedies of Jacques TATI and the enchantment of Marlene DIETRICH and Josef von STERNBERG.

 

One of the greatest comedians in the history of cinema alongside Charlie CHAPLIN and Buster KEATON, Jacques TATI is renowned for his uniquely cinematic humor that raised slapstick to the level of high art.  In his comic invention of the charmingly awkward surrogate Mr. Hulot – the central character in Mr. Hulot’s Holdiay (1953), My Uncle (1958) and Traffic (1971), TATI expressed a satirical outrage at alienation in the modern industrialized world.  Widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, his 1967 PlayTime witnessed the uncompromising realization of the illusionist’s imagination – a legacy that inspired the works of David LYNCH, Wes ANDERSON and many others.  Another pleasant surprise: Anyone attending the TATI screenings will have a chance to take home one of the three lavish “Jacques Tati. The Complete Works” box sets, newly-published by TASCHEN, each worth HK$2,000.    

 

Setting her stage of coolly transformative mystique in The Blue Angel (1930) and Morocco (1930), Marlene DIETRICH’s lustrous vitality was heightened by Josef von STERNBERG’s visionary erotic aesthetics.  In their seven-film collaboration, the Austrian master indulged audiences with delirious fantasy and the interplay of manipulation and masochism.  Through the provocative roles von STERNBERG created for her, including a notorious courtesan in Shanghai Express (1932), a patriotic spy in Dishonored (1931), and even the hedonistic Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress (1934), DIETRICH is transformed into a myth on Hollywood screen.

 

An unsung hero of the anti-heroic trend of the Polish school, Andrzej MUNK remains one of the most influential voices in European cinema.  From his debut Man on the Tracks (1957) to his incomplete masterpiece, Passenger (1963), the four feature films he made in his lifetime are monumental for his subversive streak in cinematic style and satirical rebellion against totalitarian suppression. Monika TALARCZYK, a film scholar and Associate Professor of the Lodz Film School in Poland, will introduce MUNK’s four films as Cine Fan’s special guest speaker.

 

Godard, Film, History

Jean-Luc GODARD’s visions on the history of cinema are awe-inspiring.  In the new Cine Fan film course “Godard, Film, History”, film scholars and critics will share their insights on how the French New Wave pioneer looks at film history in a series of six lectures, each following screenings of JLG/JLG – Self-Portrait in December (1994), 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema (1995) and Historie(s) of Cinema (1988-98).

 

 

The Golden Age” section continues to showcase the magnificent outcome when European and American creative forces collide, bringing together Austrian maestro Josef von STERNBERG’s Hollywood production alongside the revered Howard HAWKS’ post-WWII drama set in Europe. With a natural flair for the romantic comedy, Hollywood’s enduring darling Cary GRANT showed his debonair charm in von STERNBERG’s Blonde Venus (1932) and humorous talent in HAWKS’ I Was a Male War Bride (1949).  His co-stars, Marlene DIETRICH and Ann SHERIDAN, in their own charismatic and intelligent character, subverted the gender role stereotype, representing the directors’ ahead-of-their-time visions.      

  

Back to the Screen

Back to the Screen” presents two of cinema’s most prophetic visions of the future: Terry GILLIAM’s Brazil (1985) conjures a dystopian fantasy in an autocratic world that remains as arresting and prescient as ever; while OSHII Mamoru’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) proved its unabating influence as a cutting-edge science-fiction that questions humanity and technology in a cyber society.

 

The full programme is available at www.cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets from 10 October 2019. 

 

 

09/10/2019

HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience

HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience

HKIFFS collaborates with Cineteca di Bologna 

Bringing restored treasures to Hong Kong audience

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) today announces a long-term collaboration with Italy’s world-renowned Cineteca di Bologna to promote film heritage conservation through screenings, exhibitions and seminars of restored classics.

 

A significant feature of this collaboration will involve HKIFFS bringing some of Cineteca di Bologna's priceless collection of restored film classics in specially curated programmes to Hong Kong’s audience, starting from the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) in 2020.  HKIFFS’s year-round repertory Cine Fan Programme will also benefit from this partnership.

 

To reciprocate, HKIFFS will collaborate with Cineteca di Bologna in identifying and recommending notable films from the region for preservation, and to assist in curating Chinese language programmes for future editions of Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival for restored and rediscovered films held in Bologna each year.

 

In welcoming this new initiative, HKIFFS executive director Albert Lee notes the growing global interest in film conservation.  “Newly restored film classics now form an important feature in most international festivals, including Hong Kong,” Lee said.   “And it is gratifying to see local audience becoming increasingly appreciative of film heritage through their exposure to these restored classics.

 

“We are deeply honored to be able to work with the illustrious Cineteca di Bologna on a long-term basis.  This new partnership will enrich the experience of Hong Kong audience and also to, hopefully, enhance the quality and scopes of our respective programmes.”

 

Director of Cineteca di Bologna Gian Luca Farinelli said, “Receiving an invitation from such a prestigious festival is a great honor. HKIFFS, for 43 years, has showcased the best examples of cinema from all eras and countries and we are particularly glad to present some examples of our work on cinema heritage in such an occasion. Cinema is a key instrument to improve mutual understanding between Eastern and Western worlds: the need for knowledge and human relations today is more important and urgent than ever.”

 

With a collection of thousands of films in its archive, Cineteca di Bologna is one of the most recognised centers for preserving world cinematic heritage.  Its highly specialised film restoration laboratory, L’Immagine Ritrovata, is renowned for its technical expertise, superior quality and unparalleled vision, having worked on films by the Lumieres, Chaplin, Keaton, Wong Kar-Wai, Edward Yang, King Hu, and Jiang Wen, among many others.

 

Cineteca di Bologna is also the organizer of the annual Il Cinema Ritrovato, the world’s leading festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and often forgotten cinema.  Now in its 33rd edition, Il Cinema Ritrovato offers not only timeless classics and masterpieces recently restored and preserved, but it also showcases lesser-known cinematic works recovered from film archives around the world.

 

HKIFF44 will run from 24 March to 6 April 2020.  Details will be announced early in 2020.

 

 

17/09/2019

Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas

Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas

Cine Italiano! 2019 to open with

Berlinale award-winning crime thriller Piranhas

 

Claudio GIOVANNESI’s award-winning crime thriller Piranhas will open this year’s premier Italian cinema showcase, Cine Italiano! - Cinema Italian Style in Hong Kong!

 

Now in its eighth year, Cine Italiano! is co-presented by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS), the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong, and the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong.  From 12th to 22nd September 2019, Hong Kong audience can watch seven contemporary films and one restored classic by some of Italy’s most talented filmmakers at PREMIERE ELEMENTS.

 

This year’s opening film, Piranhas, is a Silver Bear winner at Berlinale for best screenplay.  Based on Gomorrah author Roberto SAVIANO’s best-seller, GIOVANNESI transforms the novel into a compelling crime drama about the loss of innocence and misguided ambitions through a coming-of-age story of teenagers navigating the dangerous world of crime in Naples in exhilarating fashion.

 

As a tribute to Lina WERTMÜLLER, the first female filmmaker nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director and a recipient of the Academy’s Honorary Award this year, Cine Italiano! will screen the restored The Seduction of Mimi in its full glory.  The 1972 satire exemplified her mastery in conveying both sexual hypocrisies and political dilemmas through the misadventures of a macho Sicilian laborer associated with the Mafia.

 

Magical Nights, a bittersweet comedy about the glories of Italian Cinema, highlights the diversity in this year’s contemporary selection with The Champion, a compelling story about friendship set in the world of professional football, and Romulus & Remus: The First King, which depicts the epic yet brutal journey of two brothers in the founding of Rome.  Capri-Revolution, a portrayal of sensual and intellectual awakenings of artist-radicals in the early 20th century, completes the exciting programme with Lucia’s Grace, in which magical realism transforms into an enlightening comedy, and the aching resonance in the grim tale of The Vice of Hope.

 

“We are very honored to once again collaborate with Istituto Luce Cinecittà and the Italian Cultural Institute for Cine Italiano!,” said Albert LEE, Executive Director of the HKIFFS.  “It affirms our tradition of always striving to bring a robust and diverse selection of modern and classic Italian cinema to local movie lovers.”

 

Mr. Roberto CICUTTO, President and CEO of Istituto Luce Cinecittà, added, “Since 2012, we have accepted this challenge, trusting the experience of the Hong Kong International Film Festival and enjoying the support of the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute. I am excited to bring for the eighth consecutive year some of the best Italian films - both classic and contemporary - to Hong Kong.”

 

“The success of Cine Italiano! for the past seven years has been a great encouragement to continue this tradition. I am pleased to witness that the programme is growing its popularity and I hope to continue to bring some of the best Italian classics and contemporary movies to Hong Kong audience.” said Hon. Clemente CONTESTABILE, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong.

 

Please refer to Appendix for synopses of the films.  The full programme is available online at www.cine-italiano.hk.  Tickets are available for purchase at www.cinema.com.hk, the box office of PREMIERE ELEMENTS, and via mobile app Ticketing Broadway PALACE AMC.  For enquiries, please contact 2388 0002.

 

Opening Film Piranhas

 

16/08/2019

SummerIFF 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory

SummerIFF 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory

Summer International Film Festival 2019 kicks off with ALMODÓVAR's Pain and Glory

 

This year’s edition of the Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF2019) kicks off today with Pain and Glory, the profoundly personal award-winning film by the maverick Pedro ALMODÓVAR.

 

Hong Kong International Film Festival Society board member Fred WANG joins festival youth ambassadors Neo YAU and Jennifer YU in officiating the opening ceremony today at MOViE MOViE Cityplaza.  Other attending celebrity guests include Crisel CONSUNJI, KAM Kwok-leung, Zeno KOO, Heiward MAK, Sofiee NG, and Cecilia YIP.

 

Superbly anchored by Antonio BANDERAS, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes with his delicate yet powerful performance, Pain and Glory is by far ALMODÓVAR’s most melancholic rumination on physical frailty and emotional turmoil steeped in his own life and artistic oeuvre.  To complement the Spanish auteur’s latest masterpiece and to offer a comprehensive overview of his inimitable style, SummerIFF2019 will also present an eight-film tribute programme, ranging from the early transgressive sex comedy Matador (1986) to his more recent and subtly sophisticated melodramas like Volver (2006).

 

SummerIFF2019 will present a total of 31 films over 15 days in more than 60 screenings.  It will conclude on 27 August with Ken LOACH’s gripping drama Sorry We Missed You, a critique on social injustice and the modern gig economy, echoing his 2016 Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake.

 

In addition to full-time students, discounted tickets at $28 each will also be available for the first time during SummerIFF2019 to senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and CSSA recipients.  SummerIFF2019’s full programme is now available on Cine Fan’s official website: http://cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets can be purchased online and at all URBTIX outlets.

 

 

 

13/08/2019

Cine Fan targets to thrill with Claude CHABROL and KIM Ki-young

Cine Fan targets to thrill with Claude CHABROL and KIM Ki-young

Cine Fan targets to thrill

with Claude CHABROL and KIM Ki-young

 

 

6 August 2019 (Hong Kong) – Cine Fan will showcase 16 electrifying films by two masters of thrill – France’s Claude CHABROL and South Korea’s KIM Ki-young – in its September/October edition, reflecting on the dark side of human nature and the dysfunction of the bourgeois.

 

 Hailed as the “French Hitchcock”, CHABROL (1930-2010) first announced himself to the cinematic world with Bitter Reunion (1958) – a film which also marked the beginning of the French New Wave movement.  His subsequent The Cousins (1959) further affirmed his talent and his taste for spine-chilling plots, winning him the Berlinale Golden Bear.    

 

His celebrated “Hélène Cycle”, including The Third Lover (1962), The Unfaithful Wife (1969), This Man Must Die (1969), The Butcher (1970), The Breach (1970) and Just Before Nightfall (1971) – most of them featuring CHABROL’s then-wife and muse Stéphane Audran – saw him at his creative peak, churning out some of the most tantalizing thrillers with charismatic psychological power-plays, sharp social critique and humor. 

 

In the 90s, Hell (1994) and A Judgement in Stone (1995) are perfect examples of CHABROL’s ingenuity in revealing the tension between bourgeois repression and the expression of violence often simmering beneath.

 

The French New Wave maestro’s deliriously imaginative vision contrasts sharply with South Korean helmer KIM Ki-young’s (1919-98) subtle psychodramas and suspense thrillers.  An inventor of inspired and complex human dramas, KIM’s early films such as Yangsan Province (1955) and Goryeojang (1963) already demonstrated his subversiveness against the realism that dominated Korean cinema at the time.

 

The Housemaid (1960), widely acclaimed as one of the best Korean films ever made, and the subsequent Woman of Fire (1971) and Insect Woman (1972) that made up his “Women Series”, as well as the highly stylized and melodramatic Promise of the Flesh (1975), exemplified how KIM masterfully probed into human desire and class conflicts in ways never seen in Korean cinema before.  His creativity and bold vision have greatly influenced many leading New Korean Cinema filmmakers, including PARK Chan-wook, IM Sang-soo, and Palme d’Or winner BONG Joon-ho.       

 

“Back to the Screen” features two great genre films that subvert gender conventions. Woman’s power, be it soft-hearted or hard-boiled, are amply demonstrated in John CASSAVETES’ Gloria (1980) starring Gena ROWLANDS, and Luc BESSON’s Nikita (1990) starring Anne PARILLAUD – in which both directors turned their wife into deadly assassins with strong will and subjectivity. 

 

“The Golden Age” brings two more masterpieces from the era: French maestro Jean RENOIR’s Hollywood production The Woman on the Beach (1947), and American auteur Joseph LOSEY’s English production Accident (1967), one of his three acclaimed screen collaborations with Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold PINTER.  Starting with an accident, both films profoundly explore obsession, sexual attraction and class politics, featuring fascinating performances from stars such as Joan BENNETT and Dirk BOGARDE.

 

The full programme is available at www.cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets from 7 August 2019.

 

 

06/08/2019

Sasidharan’s Chola to compete in Venice Film Festival

Sasidharan’s Chola to compete in Venice Film Festival

 

30 July 2019 (Hong Kong) – Independent Indian director Sanal Kumar SASIDHARAN’s latest film, Chola, will compete at the 76th Venice Film Festival. 

 

The film, also known as Shadow of Water and represented internationally by the Hong Kong International Film Festival’s bespoke HKIFF Collection label, is selected as part of the Orizzonti programme.  

 

SASIDHARAN first gained international recognition in 2017 with Sexy Durga which  was the first Indian film to win the prestigious Hivos Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

 

In Chola, SASIDHARAN continues his magic realistic portrait of gender dynamics in modern India, through the vexing story of a young woman’s visit to the city with her paramour – a nightmarish trip that turns into a struggle between her ingrained beliefs of men as protectors and her instinctual fear of men as predators.  The film also confronts the social problems and the very culture that hold women to incompatible roles. 

 

With the support of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s Film Industry Services office, films by a number of talented Asian filmmakers have been showcased in various international festivals, including I’ve got the blues (2017), in Vancouver International Film Festival; Looking for Lucky (2017), in New York Asian Film Festival; and POSESIF (2017), in Osaka Asian Film Festival. 

 

HKIFF Collection Website: http://hkiffcollection.org.hk/zh/

 

30/07/2019

SummerIFF 2019 Opens with Pain and Glory and Closes with Sorry We Missed You

SummerIFF 2019 Opens with Pain and Glory and Closes with Sorry We Missed You

SummerIFF Opens with Pain and Glory

and Closes with Sorry We Missed You  

 

22 July 2019 (Hong Kong) – Pain and Glory, Pedro ALMODÓVAR's passionate and deeply personal gem that won Antonio BANDERAS the Best Actor award in Cannes will open this year’s Summer International Film Festival (SummerIFF) on 13 August. 

 

The 15-day cinematic extravaganza concludes on 27 August with Ken LOACH’s Sorry We Missed You, a riveting portrait of the everyday struggles of the British working class, following his 2016 Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake.

 

To accompany ALMODÓVAR’s latest masterpiece is an eight-film tribute programme, offering an encompassing overview of the maverick Spanish filmmaker’s highly diverse style, ranging from transgressive sexual comedies to subtly complex melodramas.  The retrospective includes his break-out films Law of Desire (1987) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), his two Oscar-winners All About My Mother (1999) and Talk to Her (2002), and Volver (2006), a feminist drama galvanized by the enchanting performances of the Cannes-winning ensemble of actresses.

 

Also fresh from Cannes are Jim JARMUSCH’s The Dead Don’t Die, the hipster walking-dead comedy that opened the festival this year.  Other highlights include Deerskin, Quentin DUPIEUX’s eccentric black comedy; And Then We Danced, Levan AKIN’s upbeat romantic dance drama from Georgia; Korea’s burly charismatic actor Don LEE anchors the high-concept thriller The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, while Diego Maradona is at once the hero and anti-hero of the eponymous documentary.    

 

Woody ALLEN’s romantic comedy, A Rainy Day in New York, featuring popular young idols Timothée CHALAMET and Elle FANNING, is SummerIFF’s Gala Presentation.  Cantopop A-lister Sammi CHENG impresses the audience with her solemn melancholy in Fagara, a touching melodrama by local director Heiward MAK.  

 

The Fantastic East section brings awe-inspiring experience with a selection of six gripping films from Japan and South Korea, including Almost a Miracle, a lighthearted romance by ISHII Yuga, Ride Your Wave from free-spirited animator YUASA Masaaki, and PROMARE, a thrilling animation boasted with adrenaline-filled action.      

 

For those who have a passion for classic cinema, the line-up is just as impressive.  The new Dynamic Debuts section revisits Green Fish (1997) and Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), offering a glimpse at the beginning of LEE Chang-dong and BONG Joon-ho’s unique cinematic visions.  The ever-popular Back to the Screen section showcases Quentin TARANTINO’s deliriously overwhelming revenge saga Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Vol. 2 (2004), which playfully referencing iconic elements in Hong Kong movies and Asian genre films. 

 

In the Restored Classics section, Spike LEE’s Do the Right Thing (1989), and Mathieu KASSOVITZ’s La Haine (1995) are seminal works on youth frustration and social violence that still resonate loudly with our world today.  Tokyo Twilight (1957) and A Geisha’s Diary (1961) demonstrate how the different visual languages of OZU Yasujiro and KAWASHIMA Yuzo have transformed the Japanese cinema.

 

The full SummerIFF 2019 programme is now available at official website http://cinefan.com.hk. Tickets will be on sale from 24 July at all URBTIX outlets.  Full-time students and, for the first time, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and minders, and CSSA recipients can enjoy discounted tickets at $28 each. 

 

-  End  -

 

22/07/2019

HKIFFS collaborates with Heaven Pictures to launch “B2B A Love Supreme” Project

HKIFFS collaborates with Heaven Pictures to launch “B2B A Love Supreme” Project

HKIFFS collaborates with Heaven Pictures to launch 
“B2B A Love Supreme” Project

 

20 June 2019 (Hong Kong) – The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and China’s Heaven Pictures are teaming up with six prominent Asian filmmakers to go back to the basics.

 

In the project entitled “B2B A Love Supreme” announced in a press conference in Shanghai today – the “B2B” stands for “Back to Basics” – each filmmaker will be assigned a budget of RMB¥1,000,000 (approximately US$145,000) and challenged to demonstrate how they can produce a high quality film inexpensively.

 

The participating filmmakers range from acclaimed masters to emerging directors. They include the celebrated Taiwanese auteur TSAI Ming-Liang [Vive L’amour (1994) and Stray Dogs (2013)], multiple award-winning Japanese helmer ISHII Yuya [The Great Passage (2013), The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always The Densest Shade of Blue (2017)], veteran Korean-Chinese director ZHANG Lu [Dooman River (2010), Fukuoka (2019)], Chinese independent filmmaker YANG Jin [The Black and White Milk Cow (2004), Don’t Expect Praises (2012)], leading Malaysian New Wave director TAN Chui Mui [Love Conquers All (2006), Year Without A Summer (2010)], and Hong Kong director Philip YUNG, whose crime thriller Port of Call (2015) won seven Hong Kong Film Awards.

 

“Through this initiative, we aim to strip away the artifice of much contemporary movie-making, returning cinema to something raw and exciting,” said Jacob WONG, Director of the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and the Film Industry Services Office (FIS), under HKIFFS.

 

“We hope to tap into the amazing potential of film made under a limited budget, and to explore creative inspiration and embrace the core values of filmmaking,” echoed YANG Jin, General Manager of Heaven Pictures.

         

All six films will be co-produced by HKIFFS and Heaven Pictures. When completed, they will be released over the next three years. The HKIFFS will handle international sales and festival strategies through its HKIFF Collection.

 

Photo Caption :

Jacob WONG of the HKIFFS (8th from the left) and the six prominent Asian filmmakers attended the press conference in Shanghai. They include ZHANG Lu (5th from the left), ISHII Yuya (6th from the left), LEE Kang Sheng (represents TSAI Ming-Liang, 7th from the left), TAN Chui Mui (9th from the right), Philip YUNG (3rd from the right), and YANG Jin (1st from the right).

 

ISHII Yuya  [The Great Passage (2013), The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always The Densest Shade of Blue (2017)]

 

ZHANG Lu [Dooman River (2010), Fukuoka (2019)]

 

Jacob WONG said the collaboration aims to return cinema to the basics and the HKIFFS will handle international sales and festival strategies of the six films.

 

YANG Jin, General Manager of Heaven Pictures said the project will encourage filmmakers to explore creative inspiration.

20/06/2019

Cine Fan Pays Tribute to Two Distinguished Masters - Nicholas RAY and Robby MÜLLER

Cine Fan Pays Tribute to Two Distinguished Masters - Nicholas RAY and Robby MÜLLER

Cine Fan Pays Tribute to Two Distinguished Masters - 

Nicholas RAY and Robby MÜLLER

 

Cine Fan brings together the creative forces of American classicism and European art cinema in its June/July programme, paying tribute to two distinguished masters – legendary American auteur Nicholas RAY and European master of light Robby MÜLLER – whose creativity and vision have inspired generations of filmmakers.

 

RAY (1911-1979), ranked among the top of American auteurs, was hailed by the French New Wave critics for reinventing filmmaking from within the industry.  The nine films selected in the “Nicholas Ray, the Rebel Interrupted” programme showcase his distinctive mise-en-scène and rare operatic intensity.

 

His three masterpieces – female-driven political Western Johnny Guitar (1954), struggling youth tragedy Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and excoriating family drama Bigger Than Life (1956) ; were triumphs of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and the iconic figures of Joan CRAWFORD, James DEAN and James MASON were emblematic of a generation of post-war Hollywood stars.

 

Other significant works including In a Lonely Place (1950), On Dangerous Ground (1951), The Lusty Men (1952), Bitter Victory (1957) and Party Girl(1958) also affirmed the maverick director’s ingenuity in transforming melodramas into compelling visions of personal redemption, with a sympathy for alienated outcasts and honest views of the contradictions in American society.

 

Inspired by RAY’s cinematic innovation, a new generation of independent filmmakers have embraced his unorthodox approach in their experiments of forms and styles.  Also helping to shape their visions are the works of Robby MÜLLER (1940-2018), the Dutch cinematographer who created the transcendent images that became signatures of some of these filmmakers.

 

Presented in the “Robby Müller: Let’s Make Light” programme are eight films that fully demonstrate his inventive use of light and the lyricism of his camera movements.  In Wim WENDERS’ groundbreaking road movies, Alice in the Cities (1974) and The American Friend (1977), MÜLLER rendered them with uncommon soulfulness and visual poetry.  Likewise, in Mystery Train (1989) and Dead Man (1995), he visualized Jim JARMUSCH’s distinctive world of alienation and loneliness with eerie blues and high contrast monochrome respectively.

 

By experimenting with a handheld camera and the raw aesthetic of grainy images, he and Lars von Trier construed an exhilarating illusion of “reality” inBreaking the Waves (1996) and Dancer in the Dark (2000), the latter a Palme d’Or winner at Cannes.

 

Reflecting on their lifelong achievements are two documentaries – Nick’s Film: Lightning Over Water (1980) co-directed by RAY and WENDERS andLiving the Light – Robby Müller (2018) by Claire PIJMAN.

 

More information is available at http://cinefan.com.hk/.  Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets from 14 May 2019.  

 

Film list for screenings:

Nicholas Ray, The Rebel Interrupted

1. In a Lonely Place (1950)
2. On Dangerous Ground (1951)
3. The Lusty Men (1952)
4. Johnny Guitar (1954)
5. Bigger Than Life (1956)
6. Party Girl (1958)
7. Nick's Film: Lightning Over Water (1980)

 

Robby Müller: Let's Make Light

1. Alice in the Cities (1974)
2. The American Friend (1977)
3. The Left-handed Woman (1978)
4. Barfly (1987)
5. Mystery Train (1989)
6. Dead Man (1995)
7. Breaking the Waves (1996)
8. Living the Light – Robby Müller (2018)

 

The Golden Age

1. From Here to Eternity (1953)
2. Bitter Victory (1957)

 

Back to The Screen

1. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
2. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

-  End  -

 

10/05/2019

Cine Fan Showcases Absurdist Cinema from Central and Eastern Europe

Cine Fan Showcases Absurdist Cinema from Central and Eastern Europe

Cine Fan Showcases Absurdist Cinema 
from Central and Eastern Europe

 

Continuing the momentum of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival, the latest Cine Fan programme showcases a selection of European absurdist cinema – most of them rarely seen on Hong Kong’s big screen.

 

Guest curated by film scholar Gabriel M. PALETZ, the “Absurdistan” programme brings together seven unusual films from Central and Eastern Europe.

 

“Absurdity comes from the difference between the promise and the reality of these countries during the cold war period. These socialist states were supposed to be triumph of the ideals of Marx and Lenin, however the everyday reality experienced by the people was very different,” PALETZ explained the contradictions which inspired filmmakers to conceive their allegorical satires.

 

Extraordinary works selected in the presentation include Reenactment (1968) and Carnival Scenes (1982), two seminal films by Lucian PINTILIE – otherwise known as the godfather of the Romanian New Wave – whose works have strongly influenced a new generation of Romanian directors, including Cristi PUIU and Cristian MUNGIU.

 

From Czech New Wave cinema are Peter SOLAN’s The Barnabas Kos Case (1964) and Pavel JURÁCEK’s Case for a New Hangman (1970), through which the audience could venture into the absurd world of autocratic rules and witness the contradictions of an entire regime. Both films were banned during the time, but nonetheless survived as testimonies against totalitarian suppression.

 

Using surrealistic fantasy as a weapon against authoritarianism, Soviet director Kira MURATOVA, in The Asthenic Syndrome (1989), reflects reality in a mirror labyrinth of a huge mosaic made out of a multitude of tiny pieces. Likewise, in The Whimsical World of Zbigniew Rybczynski, the innovative Polish filmmaker embroils us in his surreal and critical visions through experimental animated films – his short film Tango (1980) was Poland’s first ever Academy Award winner.

 

Each film mentioned above has one screening left in May only. More information are available at http://cinefan.com.hk/. Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets.

 

 

Absurdistan: The Central and Eastern European Cinema of the Absurd

Film list for screenings:

1. The Barnabas Kos Case (1964)

2. Reenactment (1968)

3. Case for a New Hangman (1970)

4. The Whimsical World of Zbigniew Rybczynski (1973-80)

5. Carnival Scenes (1982)

6. The Asthenic Syndrome (1989)

7. Amazing Shorts from Absurdistan (1958-70)

 

30/04/2019

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