The Festival du nouveau cinema (October 7 – 18) has just released its lineup and it has some great choices amongst its East Asian movie selection.
Here are my selected picks but be sure to visit the main website for all the showings.
Canada & US
9-Man, a documentary directed by Ursula Liang, is about a variant of volleyball played by those of Chinese descent that has 9 players on each team. The biggest tournament takes place in North America and the movie further explores its significance in the Chinese overseas community.
Mountains May Depart, directed by one of the leading Chinese directors of the “Sixth Generation” Jia Zhang Ke, stars Zhao Tao, who’s been in many of his films and is also his wife. Like many of his past works, this movie focuses on contemporary China and has garnered many positive reviews.
Never Release My First directed by Wang ShuiBo is a documentary focusing on the punk band, SMZB, whose songs are censored by the government. They are considered the godfather of the punk community and encourage youth to speak out against government oppression.
Journey to the Shore, directed by Kyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata), is a drama with a bit of supernatural when a deceased husband returns as a ghost to his wife. It stars a name cast consisting of Eri Fukatsu, Tadanobu Asano and Yu Aoi.
The Birth of Sake is a documentary directed by Erik Shirai, about workers of a sake brewery in Northern Japan and their enormous dedication.
There are also films by cult favorite directors Sion Sono and Takashi Miiki.
There is a retrospective program that includes some North Korean movies.
The Shameless, directed by Oh Seung-Ok, stars previous Cannes’ best actress winner Jeon Do-Yeon and actor Kim Nam-Gil in a film noir melodrama.
Right Now, Twice Wrong is directed by auteur Hong Sang-Soon. His definitely falls more into the category arthouse. Like many of his previous works, this one explores relationships. it’s leads are portrayed by Jung Jae-Young and Kim Min-Hee. Reviews have been pretty positive for this one and is especially recommended for his fans.
The Assassin, directed by Taiwan auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien, stars Shu Qi and Chang Chen in the director’s first wu xia film. The Assassin has garnered some very good reviews and the director is often a fan favorite by festival goers.
There is also a film by Tsai Ming Liang film but it is probably better watched by those familiar with his work. It’s literally just him and his lead actor talking to each other.
I’m not familiar with this country’s output so I really cannot suggest anything from the films they have here.
Cemetary of Splendour is the latest movie from Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul, whose previous movie won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010.