Wednesday, September 08, 2004

beaucoup filme, pas le temp

10 days, 253 features (not to mention 70 or so shorts) , of which I hope to do just over 12%. Tomorrow and Friday are two films days, with many three, four and five film days to come. Films I am particularly looking forward to are Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers. It is his second wu xia film after the highly successful Hero (first in China, then Asia, then everywhere but North America, and finally the past few weekends in Canada & the U.S.). This film is said to be higher than Hero in emotional power but less intellectual. Judging from the trailers, it is equally sumptious to look at.
Second on my 'looking forward to' list is Clean. A film with a chinese star (the gorgeous Maggie Cheung), directed by a frenchman and set in Hamilton, Ontario. Cheung is a favorite of mine, and here she is (supposedly) in top form as a mother fighting a custody battle for her son.
The first film I am scheduled to see is Human Touch, from Australian director Paul Cox. If you have not had a chance to see his mature romance drama Innocence, you must stop reading this and run to the video store, it was probably the best film of 2001. While you are there, pick up The Devil's Backbone and Ghost World, two other top-shelf 2001 dramas.
There are midnight madness films which are high on my list as well, including the animated feature Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. It is one of two anime epics from two of the three reigning masters of Japanese animation, Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). The third master, Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) has a new film called Howl's Moving Castle which is curiously absent from this years festival considering his last two films were huge audience favorites. I guess two anime pictures is enough for one international film festival.
Also on my schedule are new films from Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Danny Boyle (Trainspotting), John Sayles (Lone Star), Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire), Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer), Micheal Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) and Takashi Miike (Audition). This is not mentioning films as from an incredibly diverse set of countries including Belgium, Iran, Senegral, Thailand, and Australia.
It's going to be a packed week with little sleep and it starts tomorrow. Look for daily updates to this blog for the next 10 days. For those of you used to seeing getting my Movie Quote of the Day, it will be on hold until after the Festival is over.


Blogger grace said...

i'm really looking forward to house of flying daggers and howl's moving castle, too...

and have you any idea why things take so long to get over here, anyway??? sheesh.

8:43 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:23 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:23 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Well, House of Flying Daggers is going to be released the same way Crouching Tiger was a few years ago...Limited (NY/LA) for 3 weeks in december followed by widening week by week until it hits critical mass in February (Sony pictures classics is releasing it, not the dreaded wait-two-entire-years-on-a-foreign-film-oscar-nominated-film-Miramax).

As for Howls Moving Castle, who knows...Disney probably has the rights and they always wait until they have an american dub with b-level celebrities on the film. (precedent with Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery service and nearly every other Studio Ghibli release).

I guess the rest of the world usually waits for many of the U.S. blockbusters...I think that Hellboy and the Lady Killers were just recently released in the U.K. That is why an All-Region DVD player comes in very handy...when combined with EBAY it is a great wait to lower the wait-times.

7:24 p.m.  

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