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April 19, 2005

Cannes Can-Can

Cannes has announced its line-up for this year's festival (May 11 -22nd) and the festival mostly brings back tried-and-true Cannes directors and doesn't introduce a lot of new talent. 2004 was a really fun year for Asian film, and so this is a pretty okay showing. Nothing bad, but nothing great, either.

BASHING, Japan, directed by Masahiro Kobayashi
Kobayashi is often considered "the most French of Japanese directors" and he's a Cannes vet, having been to the festival about four times previously. This will be his fifth trip to the festival. He gets French points for having been an assistant director for Francois Truffaut.

THE BEST OF OUR TIMES, Taiwan/Japan, directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
The Chinese title is 最好的時光 and it's the Taiwanese auteur's reunion with Hong Kong/Taiwanese actress Shu Qi. Fans: commence your drooling. This is the director's seventh movie at Cannes, and his fifth in competition -- it's also been called "a journey into his own filmography."

ELECTION, Hong Kong, directed by Johnnie To
To's epic triad movie is a staggering film (from the little I've seen) with an evil, dark sheen and a fantastic symphonic score. It stars Simon Yam, Lam Suet, Tony Leung Kar-fai and a whole lot of violence. To's BREAKING NEWS caused a sensation in last year's Cannes (people couldn't stop talking about that opening shot) where it played out of competition. Well, now he's graduated to being in competition.

, China, directed by Wang Xiaoshuai
Set in 1970's Shanghai, I don't know much about this one except it's by the director of BEIJING BICYCLE and FROZEN. You can read his profile.

Midnight Screenings
A BITTERSWEET LIFE, South Korea, directed by Kim Ji-Won
The director of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS and THE FOUL KING brings his latest movie which is already playing in Korea. It's an extremely dark film about a guy whose boss asks him to find out if his wife is having an affair. Of course, she is, but instead of killing her like his boss requested, the guy lets her go. And all hell breaks loose. Read a review here.

Special Screenings
PRINCESS RACCOON, Japan, directed by Suzuki Seijun
Japan's professional madman has made this musical based on a Japanese folktale starring Zhang Ziyi. Here's links to stills and to the gorgeous official site.

Un Certain Regard
HWAL (aka "The Bow"), Korea/Japan, directed by Kim Ki-Duk
The controversial Korean director is so loathed in Korea that he's getting financial assistance from Japan as well. This film is about an old man who wants to marry a seventeen year old girl. It represents the first time the director has worked with digital effects (lord only knows) and you can read about it here. (Thanks to TwitchFilm.net for the link)

TAWA DURA YANNA, Sri Lanka, directed by Vimukthi Jayasundara
I don't know much about this one, except the director has been at Cannes in 2003 with a documentary (read his interview about it), and he studied film in France.

THE FORGOTTEN FOREST, Japan, directed by Kohei Oguri
Surprise! He's been to Cannes before. In fact, he won the Grand Prix in 1990 for his movie, STING OF DEATH.

April 19, 2005 at 10:56 AM in News | Permalink


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