Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Venice Film Festival + Cinema Miscellanea Asia

All at once, many of my fave unpronounceable-named asian directors suddenly have new films that have just premiered at various fests in Europe. Namely the Venice Film Festival. A couple of these have shown in NYC over the fall, but otherwise havent seen stateside release/distribution yet, unfortunately. Hopefully they'll appear at Scarecrow Video in the coming months.

Tsai Ming-Liang "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" - after his trilogy of films, "What Time is it There", "Skywalk is Gone" and the nutso-porno-musical(?) that was "Wayward Cloud" looks like he's back with a new stand-alone film. Got really positive, mixed and confused reviews at the Venice Film Fest:

Jia Zhang-Ke "Still Life" - new Chinese director who's last film "The World" was a fave of mine from 2005. This one is apparently about struggling relationships in the midst of the 3 Valleys Dam project in China. Expect to see slowly sinking lives/towns. Won the 'Golden Lion' award at this years Venice Film Fest:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul "Syndromes and a Century" - another convoluted apparently hypnotic-repetitive film by this Thai director. Reviews again from the Venice Fest have claimed its his most solid film from beginning-to-end to date, which inspires renewed interest for me after the very curious but mixed bag(s) that were "Tropical Malady" and "Worldly Desires":

Mamoru Oshii's newest "Tachiguishi" also premiered the Venice Film Fest to some pretty amazing reviews. The premise on this one is "An epic voiceover-loaded animated/live action social history of post-war Japan told through the lives of a fictitious criminal clan"... uhhh yeeeah!:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Harmonic Resistance of Bela Tarr" series at NWFF / Almodovar's "Volver" at Landmark Theatres


A couple significant (and totally diverse) cinema goings-on here at the end of Nov/early Dec:
Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr's rarely (ever) shown films "Damnation" and "Werckmeister Harmonies"
along with the massive undertaking that is "Satantango" are all screening as a series at Northwest Film
Forum running Dec. 1-17:

NWFF "Harmonic Resistance of Bela Tarr" site


And on the near-complete other end of the cinema spectrum Pedro Almodovar's Cannes-award-winning film
"Volver" is *finally* playing in Seattle beginning Nov. 22 at Landmark's Egyptian Theatre:

Sony Pictures Classics "Volver" site