15 de out de 2007

12th Pusan International Film Festival

12th Pusan International Film Festival Winners
[Oct. 4 to 12]

Of the 11 films in the fest's only competitive section, New Currents, prizes of $30,000 were each awarded to Chinese-South Korean production Life Track, Malaysia's Flower in the Pocket, and Thailand's Wonderful Town.

Iranian helmer Dariush Mehrjui headed the five-member jury, which also included directors Romania's Cristian Mungiu, Serbia's Goran Paskaljevic and South Korea's Lee Chang-dong, plus mainland Chinese actress Yu Nan.

At the press conference today, Mehrjui made a point of mentioning three other movies that generated jury discussion: Filipino street-kid drama Tribe, Taiwanese criss-crosser God Man Dog and Japanese drama Asyl.

Life Track (Gueh-Do)
Writer-Director: Jin Guang Hao / Producer: Jang Ryul , China-S. Korea
Life Track, a static rural drama about an armless man and a mute woman on the run from police.

Flower in the Pocket by Liew Seng-tat, Malaysia
Flower..., a slow-moving item centered on two schoolkids with speech impediments, saw many international crix bailing during the screenings.

Wonderful Town by writer director Aditya Assarat, Producer: Soros Sukhum, Thailand
A beautifully modulated, slow-burning romance, set in a post-tsunami Thai village.

Wonderful Town (Thailand)
A Pop Pictures production, Bangkok
Produced by Soros Sukhum, Jetnipith Teerakulchanyut
Directed, written by Aditya Assarat
Camera (color, HD-to-35mm): Umpornpol Yugala
Editor: Lee Chatametikool
Music: Zai Kuning and Koichi Shimizu
Production designer: Karanyapas Khamsin
Costume designer: Thanon Songsil
With: Anchalee Saisoontorn, Supphasit Kansen, Dul Yaambunying.
Running time: 92 MIN.

Wonderful Town is a mix of romance and social realism set in a Thai village devastated by the last tsunami, about people struggling to rebuild their lives after the tragedy.

The Aditya Assarat's (3 Friends) solo directing debut is a touching film with powerful cathartic qualities. Ton (Supphasit Kansen) is a Bangkok architect sent to oversee the building of a new resort. The only guest at a spartan hotel, Ton is instantly attracted to its Thai-Chinese owner Na (Anchalee Saisoontorn). A reserved woman with a city education, Na appears unresponsive to Ton's polite overtures at first. But via a beautiful series of snapshots showing Na touching Ton's clothing and listening to him sing in the shower, she is able to externalize her true feelings. (...) Leading the voices of disapproval at the couple's flowering romance is Na's brother Wit (Dul Yaambunying), who heads a gang of motorbike-riding no-goods and calmly tells his sister he's a hopeless case for reform.

The Red Awn by Cai Shangjun, China
Well-mounted, professional helming debut by scripter Cai Shangjun pic generated positive response during the fest.

The Red Awn (Hongse kangbaiyin), China
Produced by Li Xudong. Executive producer: Wang Xiuling
Co-producers: Lin Nianxiu, Sun Xiaoxi
Directed by Cai Shangjun
Screenplay: Gu Xiaobai, Cai, Feng Rui
Camera: Li Chengyu, Chen Hao
Editor: Zhou Ying
Music: Huang Zhenyu, Dong Wei
Art directo: Zhang Dajun; Sound: Xia Xin, Hu Liang
With: Yao Anlian, Lu Yulai, Huang Lu, Shi Junhui, Wang Hong
Running time: 105 MIN.

Directorial debut of screenwriter Cai Shangjun (Spicy Love Soup, Shower, Sunflower), The Red Awn is a quietly affecting father-and-son drama set amid the scenic cornfields of central Gansu province.

Yao Anlian (Shanghai Dreams) is Song, a man who returns to his village after five years away working to find he’s been officially registered as dead by his 17-year-old son, Yongtao (Lu Yulai, Peacock). In Song’s absence, his wife has fallen sick and died, and Yongtao mopes around, scarcely talking to his dad. Song sets out with a friend, Yongshan (Shi Junhui), who owns a red combine harvester, to cut wheat in surrounding fields. Yongtao reluctantly joins them but remains surly, at one point almost running his dad down with the harvester. Yongtao shows interest in the attractive but slightly trashy young owner of one field (Huang Lu, Blind Mountain). Thinking she’s a hooker from the city, Song offers her money to bed Yongtao, a misunderstanding that doesn’t help the father-son relationship one bit. But as the harvesting season wears on, and a recurrent back problem plagues Song, the two slowly grow closer.

Hello, Stranger (Cheum Mannan Saramdeul) by Kim Dong-hyun, Producer: Park Jin-Soo, S. Korea.
An accessible dramedy, centered on North Korean refugees in the South.
With a Girl of Black Soil by Jeon Soo-il, S. Korea

Flower in the Pocket

Woong's Story by Lee Ha-song, S. Korea
A Man under the Influence by Jung July, S. Korea

Tear Drops by Mun Jeong-hyun, S. Korea

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