Enjoy films on the big screen? Or simply have nothing to do this summer? The Summer International Film Festival returns for another year! This summer, it’s showcasing 32 films across 59 screenings all surrounding the theme of complexity and sentimentality.
This year’s SIFF 2015 opens on 11th August with 聂隐娘 (The Assassin (2015)) directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, about a thoughtful killer Nie Yin Niang (Shu Qi 舒淇), who has to decide whether to go against her morals as an assassin or as a woman. The film won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. The Director and and cast will meet the audience on the 11 August and there’s a masterclass with the Director on the 12 August. The festival closes with Woody Allen’s Irrational Man about a philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds himself in an existential crisis, but rediscovers himself through meeting Jill Pollard (Emma Stone). Blurring comedy and drama, it nicely closes with the theme of complexity and sentimentality.
The festivals Gala Premiere is the new Ringo Lam film Wild City starring Louis Koo, Shawn Yue and Tong Liya. With his trademark exhilarating car chases along Hong Kong city streets, director Ringo Lam returns after a 12-year hiatus to the crime genre that, together with City on Fire and Full Alert, can be considered his “City Trilogy”. A film about people in the modern world who worship money to the point of dogmatic ignorance, Wild City issues a warning to the greedy and selfish lost souls in Hong Kong… The Director and cast will meet the audience at the 18 August screening.
The two most interesting festival programmes this year are:
The Battle of Sexes: Screwball Comedy. A genre that originally emerged during the Great Depression when Hollywood responded to the hardships of everyday life with films whose sparkling dialogue and romantic complications played havoc with perceptions of class, gender and love. Typically it’s the female who dominates a relationship, challenging the male central character’s masculinity… The two then engage in a humorous battle of the sexes; a new theme for Hollywood and audiences at the time, but one which has become a core of film makers globally since.
Films: Trouble in Paradise (1932, Director Ernst Lubitsch), It Happened One Night (1934, Director: Frank Capra) My Man Godfrey (1936, Director: Gregory La Cava), His Girl Friday (1940, Director: Howard Hawks), The Philadelphia Story (1940, Director: George Cukor), The Lady Eve (1941, Director Presto Strugess).
Tsai Ming-Liang, Now and Then. The Malaysian born Taiwanese director’s five film retrospective, presents works which illuminate the themes of superstitions and reincarnation, sexual desperation, and isolation. The director’s uncompromising aesthetic of long fixed shots with little movement, complex characters and minimal dialogue, set him apart from other Asian directors, leading him to be one of Asia’s most significant filmmakers of the last 25 years.
Films: Rebels of the Neon God (1992), Vive L’Amour (1994), The River (1997), What Time is it There? (2001), Walker/No No Sleep (2014).
Film festivals are a chance for old and new films to once again appear on the big screen locally, an opportunity to appreciate a film in the surroundings for which it was created. They also offer, through the extended programme of seminars and panel discussions, a chance to enrich your experience and appreciation of a film that going to your local multiplex does not.
Other films shown in Cine Fan SIFF include:
The Assassin (聂隐娘), Yakuza Apocalypse (極道大戦争), Diary of a Chambermaid (Le journal d’une femme de chamber), Standing Tall (La Tête haute), Prophecy (予告犯), Seashore (Beira-Mar), A Touch of Zen (俠女), The Brand New Testament (Le Tout Nouveau Testament), Trouble in Paradise, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, The Lady Eve, Piku, It Happened One Night, Love & Peace (ラブ＆ピース), My Man Godfrey, Slow West, Flying Colours (ビリギャル), Güeros, The Double Life of Veronique (La double vie de Véronique), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Love letter, The Philadelphia Story, Wild City, PK, His Girl Friday, Vive L’Amour (愛情萬歲), The River (河流), What Time Is It There?( 你那邊幾點), Irrational Man
Tickets for the Cine Fan SIFF will be on sale on 21st of July, from URBTIX.
Summer International Film Festival (SIFF) 2015
Date: 11–25 August 2015
Venues: UA Cine Moko, The Grand Cinema, The Metroplex, MCL Telford Cinema, HK Arts Centre, HK Science Museum
Tickets: $75, $65, $85 from URBTIX
More info: screening schedule http://cinefan.com.hk/cms/schdeule/