Women at their best
Opening Film : Samon's Daughter Japanese woman filmmaker Akiko Nakamura spoke at the University of Hong Kong Black Box Theatre on her first feature experimental film.
2015-2016 FILM PROGRAMS
Innocent Prayer 無垢の祈り
Japan | 2015 | 83 min | Horror, Crime
Directed by Toru Kamei
A little girl who is tortured by her parents follow the footstep of a serilal killer to run away from her reality.
A no-holds-barred confrontation of controversial issues like domestic violence, child abuse and incest.
USA | 2015 | 86 min | Documentary, family
Directed by Alvin Tsang
New York-based filmmaker Alvin Tsang digs through a box of old videotapes and his family photo album, and recounts his life, a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong to US.
Japan | 2015 | 63 min | Experimental, Theatre
Directed by Akiko Nakamura
Based on the 1825 ghost story written by Nanboku Tsuruya for a Kabuki play, Samon's Daughter attempts to follow the contour of what a samurai's daughter went thru and how she came to be a ghost
The Place Where Dragon Roll 龍滾
China | 2015 | 92 min | Documentary, experimental
Directed by Li Hui
This is an interview documentary as a family record for the household at number 001 in Dragon Roll Village in Wanning County of Hanan Island. It is an atypical anthropological study. It is also a fable that epitomizes the modern and contemporary history of Chinese countryside.
Netherlands, France | 2015 | 73 min | Drama
Directed by Felix van Cleeff
Two young lovers are making a journey through the desert, not specifically going anywhere, in search of freedom. What starts as a time of paradise, slowly dissolves into a story of despair and the impossibility of love, as they drift apart from each other.
Lost Flower: Eo Woo-dong 어우동
South Korea | 2015 | 101 min | Period drama
Directed by Soo Sung Lee
A triangular relationship between Eo Woo-dong, her husband Lee Dong, and fantasy character Moo-gong, highlights on the first half of the Joseon Dynasty and portrays the contradicted lifeof the high class people, criticizing the modern day Korean society
Japan | 2015 | 78 min | Drama, family
Directed by Koji Hirano
Kii Peninsula, Wakayama, Japan. In a small harbor town at the Southernmost end of Honshu Island, a Highschool senior and the only daughter of 'Fukuro Restaurant' Sora Hirami lives alone with her father Taichi
Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites
Australia | 2015 | 73 min | Fantasy, comedy
Directed by Platon Theodoris
Alvin, a pedantic translator, hasn't ventured outside his rundown apartment for a long time, preferring instead the distance and control of the online world
The Sex Temple
Sweden | 2015 | 81 min | Documentary
Directed by Johan Palmgren
Christian runs a swinger club in Norrkoping, Sweden which has just been burnt down. Happily enough he meets Robin, the owner of an old beautiful theatre in town. Christians dream is to one day arrange a swinger party in the whole theatre -and sometimes dreams come true!
Russia | 2015 | 102 min | Drama, crime, fantasy
Directed by Prokopiy Burtsev
Due to a violent misunderstanding a young member of a criminal syndicate is torn away from familiar grounds of urban underworld and thrown into unwelcoming wilderness of Siberian taiga
France / 11min / Drama / Charles Jacquard
Switzerland / 23min / Sci-Fi / Thomas Kaufmann
Canada / 16min / Documentary / Daniela Apostoaei
Japan / 22min / Sci-Fi, comedy / Kaichi Sato
Poland / 16min / Drama /
USA / 22min / Drama / Chung Lam
Folie A Deux
United Kingdom / 5min / MV / Poon Sap
USA / 11min/ Drama / Mischa Auzins
Turkey / 9min / Animation, Sci-Fi / Gokalp Gonen
USA / 6min / Musical / Sean Robinson
China / 19min / Comedy / Su Sixing, Chen Majun
France / 16min / Sci-Fi / Youcef Mahmoudi
Rapunzel's Etymology of Zero
USA / 14min / Animation / Seth Podowitz
Red Earth Calling
USA / 13min / Dance / Jennifer Jessum
USA / 20min / Experimental / Eugene Park
A Shadow of Dara
United Kingdom / 15min/ Sci-Fi / Kirill Proskura
Denmark / 30min / Documentary / Josefine Gervang Heimburger
USA / 12min / Experimental / Camille de Galbert
A Solitary Mann
USA / 40min / Documentary / Loic Zimmermann
Canada / 5min / Documentary / Jeffrey Chong
Interview with Filmmakers
An interview with Cosima Littlewood , director of A God for Every Sin. August 2016
Cosima is in Hong Kong to talk about her new film project which is based on the life of the female Chinese poet Li Qingzhao.
" You were curious about why I became interested in Li Qingzhao. A few years ago, I studied Chinese Philosophy (concentrating on Confucius, Zhuangzi, Mencius, Xunzi, Zhu Xi) and I began to wonder about the place of women in this philosophy since the texts seemed to be directed towards men and their moral development. I began to read morality texts for women and funerary inscriptions about women from the Han onwards to see what place women held in society.
This in turn led me to discover the great poet Li Qingzhao, a fascinating emblem of her time as she embodied Sung ideals of female virtue and experience through her romantic poetry and yet she also wrote in a time when Neo-Confucians generally disapproved of women writing.
She was simultaneously a rebel and highly regarded because of her talent. I was very moved by her ci poems and decided that this was material I wanted to explore as a filmmaker. However, instead of making a straightforward biopic film on Li Qingzhao, I am developing a story about a contemporary young woman discovering her poetry and its effect on her, as that is a position I can more closely identify with. "
" Gina, you asked me about a current film that impressed me.
I recently watched Ex Machina (2015) and found it mesmerizing in its content and cinematography. Recently, genre films have been somewhat dismissed by critics, but I think when genre films are well done they can be very powerful, such as this science fiction film.
Ex Machina raised some very smart questions about the future of human beings and our growing relationship with artificial intelligence.
Alex Garland, the writer-director, is a master storyteller within the medium of cinema; his timing is sharp, his use of visual language on point. I also have written genre films. Rather than finding them limiting, I actually find them liberating because they give you a structure to follow but also subvert. For rules to be broken, you need to know what they are first."
How can more women make films ?
For women to make more films, the film industry has to change and be willing 'take a chance' on young women directors just as they already do with young men directors in whom they see potential. Until that becomes a reality, more grants need to be geared towards helping women make their first feature films, since that is one of the hardest thresholds to cross.
New York very admirably just started a $5 million fund to assist women filmmakers and theatre makers complete their projects. Women are just as capable, talented, artistic, and intelligent and it is simply a question of opportunity and resources.
Can you tell our Hong Kong audience about your film A God for Every Sin ?
The writing of A God For Every Sin came very easily to me once I had done my research on Korean comfort women. It did not require a big budget and my crew and I were resourceful.
Finding an audience for this film has not been too difficult either, since the subject of comfort women has been in the news especially this year as Japan and Korea have been negotiating.
The most challenging aspect of A God For Every Sin was in its artistic execution: how to convey on screen what I had written on the page from my imagination. It was no easy task. How to create this dark universe I had imagined practically, how to build a set you couldn't see and how to light the scene so that just enough detail could be made out by the viewers to follow the story but still shroud it in mystery?
I worked this out carefully with my cinematographer and crew, building a set from scratch with dark material. I wanted to share my appreciation of the aesthetic of shadows as Jun'ichiro Tanizaki had conveyed to me in the seminal text In Praise of Shadows, one of the first inspirations for my film. I believe we achieved our goals!