The festival is structured in two parts: It begins with «Portal Asia» (from the 6th to the 8th of June at Casa Asia), with cultural activities and documentary screenings about Spanish films made in Asia, and continues with the festival Casa Asia Film Week (from the 9th to the 12th of June), with films that can be seen at the three halls of the Girona Cinemas. The screenings are within the framework of three different sections: «Official Section» —where 11 Asian films of recent production will compete—, «Panorama» —which collects a selection of 6 films of the last two years— and finally, «Retrospective» —devoted to the acclaimed Hong Kong director Ann Hui and made up of five of her best works.
In fact, the cinematography of Hong Kong will have a key role at this first edition, thanks to the collaboration of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office of Brussels. Two of the best Hong Kong productions of this year will be included to open and close the contest: On the 9th of June, the unknown Reign of Assassins by John Woo and Chow-bin Su for its opening, and on the 12th of June, The Stool Pigeon by Dante Lam, for the closing.
The festival also incluyes two special sessions never seen on the large screen: The preview of the Chinese film Confucio, interpreted by Chow Yun-Fat and directed by Hu Mei, and the screening playing tribute to Japan of the superproduction Space Battleship Yamato by the film-maker Takashi Yamakazi, granted by the distributor Mediatres Estudio.
Programme of the Casa Asia Film Week
«Portal Asia», from the 6th to the 8th of June, is an appetizer of the festival, which will be developed between the 9th and 12th of this month. Casa Asia will devote three days to introduce the programme of the CAFW with free activities that include the showing of three Spanish documentaries made in Asia (Miantiao by Xavi Campreciós, Benares Me by David Mendoza and Cambodja, trenta anys esperant justícia by Josep Vidal) and Kinatay, a thriller that is surrealistic drama by the Philippine director Brillante Mendoza.
This prelude to the 26 films that can be seen at the Girona Cinemas also includes a lecture by the two programmers of the festival, Mike Hostench and Ángel Sala, about the presence of Asian cinema at the film festivals that currently have a greater international visibility. There will also be a talk about the co-production Asia-Spain given by Luis Miñarro, co-producer of Uncle Boonmmee Who can remember his past lives, by the Thai Apichatpong Weerasethakul, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2010 and the Prize of the Public at SITGES 2010.
Those who would like to deepen into the Asian cinematographic industry can also attend a debate about the situation of the distribution of Asian cinema in Spain, with Mike Hostech and representatives of distributors such as Cameo and Mediatres. And for those interested, during these three days a postgraduate degree in Asian Cinema will be presented, which will be jointly offered by the University Pompeu Fabra and Casa Asia and will begin in January 2012.
All the activities of Portal Asia are free
SYNOPSIS OF THE FILMS OF «PORTAL ASIA»
Kinatay, de Brillante Mendoza, 2009 (105')
Presented at the 62 Festival de Cannes, Mendoza portrays a young man who aims to join the pólice and discovers the link between it and a group of mafia that extorts, tortures and cuts a prostitute up who they accuse of fraud. Black cinema that does not hide the social drama as a result of the corruption of those who should try to avoid it. Not suitable for people under 18.
Screening: Tuesday 7th of June, 6.15pm (Casa Asia)
SPANIARDS IN ASIA
Miantiao (Abierto 24 horas), de Xavi Campreciós, 2009 (29')
First Award of the Jury of Documentary Short Films at Documenta Madrid 2010, Xavi Campreciós deepens into the ethnic diversity of China and from a Muslim family of a hui ethnic group from the province of Qinghai, who owns a restaurant in Shanghai. Through the gastronomy and the different spontaneous manifestations of the characters, the intercultural account is constructed easily acceded to by the public.
Screening: Monday 6th of June, 1pm (Casa Asia)
Banaras Me, de David Varela, 2010 (126')
Best Documentary at the Film and Television Festival «Lion Kingdom». David Varela tries to figure out visions and experiences as a result of his visit to Varanasi, to translate what’s unexplainable and what’s irrational or cannot be revealed of this micro cosmos of India, where everything changes and it’s not posible to see what once seemed immutable and everlasting.
Screening: Monday 6th of June, 5pm (Casa Asia)
Cambodja, 30 anys esperant justícia, de Josep Vidal, 2010 (80’)
Documentary about the genocide of the Cambodian people between 1975 and 1979, through the witnesses of those who suffered the attrocities of the regime of Pol Pot, which caused the death of more than 1.700.000 natives. Josep Vidal shot this film during the last days of the international trial in Phnom Penh, against the 5 high posts of the government of the red khmers.
Screening: Wednesday 8th of June, 5.30pm (Casa Asia)
Opening and Closing
REIGN OF ASSASSINS
Dir.: Chao-Bin Su. With Michelle Yeoh, Woo-sung Jung, Kelly Lin, Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu, Xueqi Wang, Xiaodong Guo. Hong Kong. 2010. Wuxia. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 117 min
One sentence: The most spectacular wuxia since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon takes us back to two of the greatest: Michelle Yeoh and John Woo. A wonderful trip to action and adventure.
Reign of Assassins has all the elements that make up the base of a solid film of martial arts, with many scenes of swordsplay, characters with dark motivations and an object that is everyone’s desire. In this case, in the film that Su Chao-Bin has written and directed, working in co-direction with John Woo, the characters will be behind the mummified rests of a wonderful Indian monk, about who there is a rumour of a supernatural power that will make them all talented fighters that will find to the end to obtain it. A Pan-Asian cast from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and China, in an entertaining and spectacular film in its fighting scenes. A wuxia where women (the heroine and the anti-heroine) cover the greatest importance and where Michelle Yeoh looks splendid. At the CAFW the extended version of Hong Kong can be seen, and never again for the next commercialization of an international version remounted by the The Weinstein Company.
Screening: Thursday 9th, 7pm (hall 1) /Saturday 11th (marathon, hall 1)
THE STOOL PIGEON
Dir.: Dante Lam. With Nick Cheung, Nicholas Tse, Lunmei Kwai, Kai Chi Liu, Pu Miao. Hong Kong. 2010. Thriller. Original versión subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 113 min
One sentence:How many informers should you betray to resolve a case? The best thriller of Hong Kong in 2010 and closing of the Casa Asia Film Week.
The Stool Pigeon is the new display of a fresh detective cinema, tough and fun, with the signature of its director, Dante Lam. With a perfectly structured script and a correct control of times, The Stool Pigeon is reveales as a thriller in the bases of this neo-detective adrenalitic and hyper dramatic thriller that is efficient and solid when it offers action. The detective Don Lee advises his strudents of the Police Academy that are not emotionally involved in the informers used to capture the high level criminals. In addition, he has bad feelings regarding his marriage. His current obsession is his work, currently centred in the mission of trapping the arm trafficker know as Barbarian, but to achieve it he must work with an informer again. The chosen person is a car robber know as Ghost Jr, who feels disgusted at first about the idea of working in the police, but feels forced to do so to save his sister from the world of prostitution.
Screening: Sunday 12th, 8.30pm (hall 1) and at 10.45pm (hall 1)
The programme of this first edition of the CAFW approaches most of the cinematographic genres that are currently going on in the continent. The «Official Section» would like to be a display that shows the variety of the cinematographic production in Asia. This is why you can see the most hilarious comedy (such as Hello Stranger, the first Thai film shot in co-production with South Korea) to the romantic comedy (such as the Hong Kong Don’t Go Breaking my Heart), without forgetting the most awarded independent films in international festivals (the Korean film The Journals of Musan deserves a mention, about the difficulties of adaptation of the citizens of North Korea on their arrival to South Korea, or the Chinese Buddha Mountain, a fresh, new portray of the contemporary Chinese reality).
There is also space for epic dramas, such as the Chinese Aftershock, thrillers, with the Korean A Better Tomorrow or the Hong Kong The Stool Pigeon and even fantasy films, such as wuxia Reign of Assassins or the adventure of science fiction Space Battleship Yamato. On Saturday the 11th, at the Girona Cinemas, you will have the unique chance to see in a cinema of our country this adaptation of homonymous anime, with special effects at the level of any American superproduction, and will not leave the lovers of Japanese manga indifferent, as well as with science fiction.
The lovers of martial arts in general and of the figure of Bruce Lee in particular will also be lucky: they can enjoy the last of the biographies of the master that have been made: Bruce Lee my Brother. The documentary will be another of the genres explored from CAFW: on the one hand, Jia Zhangke and his tour around Shanghai in I Wish I Knew, and on the other hand the vision of the industry of Japanese erotic cinema, in one of the most successful documentaries at the last Berlin Film Festival: Yoyochu, in the Land of the Rising Sex.
Finally, Bollywood. It cannot miss an annual date with Asian cinema. Who could imagine that a film with immobility as the main plot, the Spanish Mar adentro by Alejandro Amenábar, would have al alter ego that could arise from one of the most colouristic, dynamic cinematographies and where dance is the main element? Guzaarish is another proof of the fact that India makes its own western plots and adapts them to their own idiosyncrasy.
OFFICIAL SECTION TO CONTEST
Dir.: Banjong Pisanthanakun. With Chantavit Dhanasevi, Nuengthida Sophon, Chantawich Tanasewi. Thailand-South Korea. 2010. Comedy. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 13O min.
One sentence:If you have never fallen in love, you cannot miss this film: the most successful romantic comedy in the history of Thailand. By the director of Shutter.
One of the most successful Thai comedies in its country: Hello Stranger. With an intelligent script, full of ironic dialogues and mixture of comedy and romance, tells us about the holidays of 9 days of a Thai couple in South Korea (the first Thai film shot in Korea). Even though they didn’t begin their trip together, in the end, they returned to Bangkok together. In Hello Stranger, the Spanish public sees the director Banjong Pisanthanakun again, already know by the premiere of Shutter in Spain, who this time leaves horror to turn to romantic comedy.
Screening: Sunday 12th, 4pm (hall 1)
Dir.: Wi Ding Ho. With Bayani Agbayani, Epy Quezon, Nor Domingo, Dave Ronald Chang, Meryll Soriano, Alessandra de Rossi. Philippines – Taiwan. 2010. Comedy. Original versión with subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 84 min
One sentence:How can you enjoy if your work requires six days a week and your family lives kilometres away? Pinoy Sunday will remind it to you.
The discovering of a sofa in a city of Taipei transforms the everyday routine of a Sunday in an adventure of perseverance and self-discovery for two Philippine workers in Taiwan: Manuel and Dado. In a nice way, the film is offered as a small door to get to know the lives and motivations of many immigrant workers in the industrialized countries of Asia.
Screenings: Friday 10th, 4pm (hall 1)/ Saturday 11th, 4pm (hall 3)
THE JOURNALS OF MUSAN
Dir.: Dir.: Park Jung-bum. With Park Jung-bum, Jin Yong-uk, Kang Eun-jin, Park Young-Deok. South Korea. 2010. Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 127 min
One sentence:The independent Korean film most awarded of 2010. Can you be born in North Korea and then live in South Korea?
The number of identity of Jeon Seung-chul begins with 125, which points at him as a North Korean desertor. For this, he cannot find a good job or have contact with people at church. He earns a living giving out flyers and sticking advertisements in the street. He likes Sook-young, a girl who goes to the same church he does, but he can get closer to her due to his circumstances. His only comfort is a white doggy he looks after. When he egins to work in the bar of a karaoke, his life seems to make sense, but Seung-chul is still an unadapted person in the capitalist society of South Korea. Awarded at the Pusan Film Festival at at the Las Palmas Film Festival.
Screenings: Friday 10th, 5.45pm (hall 1) / Saturday 11th, 4pm (hall 2)
Dir.:Feng Xiaogang. With Fan Xu, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Zhang Zi-feng, Zhang Jiajun, Lu Yi. China. 2010. Drama. Original versión with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 135 min
One sentence:The greatest earthquake that has hit China in its history by Feng Xiaogang, the Chinese Spielberg. A film where epic and the human drama are together.
Based on the novel Aftershock, written by Zhang Ling, Feng follows the past, the present and future of a Chinese family hit by the earthquake that took place in Tangshan at the dawn of the 28th of July 1976. Aftershock, with a budget of more than twenty million Euros, is the first Chinese film screened at the Imax cinemas and has been chosen by its country as a candidate to the best film in the next edition of the Oscars. The film manages to join a first catastrophistic part full of special effects with a second half mucho more intimistic where personal relationships are the priority. Feng Xiaogang, lover of the collosal and of the tragedy in his compositions, achieves what we could call his magna work, in titles such as El Banquete or Assembly, his penultimate productions. 5 Nominations to the Asia Films Awards among which the best film and director can be found.
Screenings: Friday 10th, 8.15pm (hall 1) / Saturday 11th, 8.15pm (hall 3)
A BETTER TOMORROW
Dir.:Song Hae-sung. With Ju Jin-mo, Song Seung-heon, Kim Kang-woo, Jo Han Sun, Lee Kyeong-yeong, Kim Ji-yeong. South Korea. 2010. Action/Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 124 min
One sentence:Only in Korea they would dare to make a remake of the classic by John Woo. The result: a risky bet that will be a success.
To make a remake of A Better Tomorrow is a very risky and brave task at the same time. This is why it is unavoidable to compare the original film, the mythical film by John Woo of the 80s, with this new version, the South Korean remakeby the director Song Hae-Sung (Failan). Thanks to the different focus the director has given it, what happens with South Korean cinema, A Better Tomorrow is a remake that manages to capture the essence, without needing to repeat it scene by scene, but with enough references to the original film as a good and respectful tribute, and at the same time presenting the enough changes and twists to be worth it itself.
Screenings: Saturday 11th, 10.45pm (hall 3) / Saturday 11th (marathon, hall 1)
Dir.:LI Yu. With Li Fang, Fang Bingbing, Sylvia Chang, Zhenjiang Bao. China. 2011. Action /Drama. Original versión with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 125 min
One sentence:Buddha Mountain is one of the films that you shouldn’t miss at the festival. Three friends. Three stories. And a country in permanent change. How to live in it?
Buddha Mountain is a kind of films that requires spectators to carry out an introspection task, to explore the suffering and pain in their different fomrs, and to revalue the things we have in life. Shot in Chengdu, capital of the province of Sichuan —stage of one of the most violent earthquakes in 2008— the film tells us about the relationshop established among three friends (two boys and a girl) and the owner of their house, an former star of Chinese opera. Between the drama and the moments of comedy, the film reveals the motivations of the current and past life of all of the characters, until a spiderweb is weaved and from which spectators cannot escape. Brilliant, emotive, a great script and good chemistry among the four characters.
Screenings: Saturday 11th, 4pm (hall 1) / Sunday 12th, 6.30pmh (hall 3)
BRUCE LEE MY BROTHER
Dir.:Manfred Wong, Raymond Yip. With Tony Leung, Christy Chung, Jin Auyeung, Aarif Lee, Michelle Ye. Hong Kong/China. 2010. Action/Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 129 min
One sentence:The legend is back. Bruce Lee is back. His life, his beginnings, in a biopic that will show the lovers of the greatest master of martial arts..
The film begins with the real presence of two of Bruce’s big brothers: Robert, author of the book that has been used of vademecum to carry out the cinematographic adaptation and has already worked as a director’s assistant in the posthumous Bruce Lee My Brother (1976), and Phoebe, his older sister. They both appear on screen to certify that this will be the definite biopic of the figure of Bruce, after being disappointed with previous adaptations that only took into account the most sordid aspects of the life of the fighter. From then on, we are tols about the first years of the life of Bruce in strict chronological order. The last third of the film, offers us a couple of action scenes (a double fight against a European oponent) and persecution (of the mafia Bruce and his colleagues will get an important amount of drug). It must be highlighted that the physical similarity between Aarif Lee (who is also a new figure in martial arts) and Bruce Lee.
Screenings: Saturday 11th, 6pm (hall 1) / Sunday 12th, 4pm (hall 3)
Dir.:Tetsuya Nakashima. With Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii, Kaoru Fujiwara, Hirofumi Arai. Japan. 2010. Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 106 min
One sentence:Her students killed his daughter. Now the teacher will have her revenge. The winner of the Awards of the Academy of Japan.
After the success of the awards of the Academy of Japan, where it achieved four awards, including to Best Film, and fascinating the public of the Sitges Festival, not only convinced the critic but also the great public of Japan: for four weeks it had the first position, collecting more than 42 million dollars and taking around two million spectators to cinema. Confessions, adaptation of a homonymous bestseller created by Kanae Minato, tells us about how, on the last day of school, a teacher (impressive Takako Matsu) says goodby to her students with the announce that she leaves the school, but adding a confession: her four year old daughter, recently dead when she drowned in the swimming pool of the school, was actually killed by two students of this class. And she added that her revenge against them had begun. The film by Tetsuya Nakashima ended being selected to represent Japan in the Oscars 2011 in the category of Best Film (not in English). In collaboration with Mediatres Estudio.
Screening: Saturday 11th, 8.30pm (hall 1)
Dir.:Heiward Mak. With Gillian Chung, William Chan Wai-Ting, Michelle Wai, Lawrence Chou, Chapman To, Jacky Heung. Hong Kong. 2010. Romantic comedy. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 95 min
One sentence:A love triangle, one appartment. Who will end out well?
Zhou Yi (Gillian Chung) is a young woman who in the café of an airport ends up breaking up with her boyfriend (a travel novel writer), while an ex, Ping, and her new girlfriend, Cee, watch the whole thing from the table next to them. A world of coincidences and special circumstances make the three of them Yi, Ping and Cee end up living together in an appartment. From then, the memories, sometimes confusing, turn to the mind (in suitable flashbacks) of the young woman to give us a portray of the feelings being an ex. One of the successes of the beginning of the year in China of one of the young promises of the direction of Chinese cinema: Heiward Mak.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 4pm (hall 1) / Friday 10th, 4pm (hall 3)
DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART
Dir.:Johnnie To. With Louis Koo, Gao Yuanyuan, Daniel Wu, Larisa Bakurova, Lam Suet. Hong Kong. 2010. Romantic comedy. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 115 min
One sentence:We all know the Johnnie To of Election or Exiled. But do we really know Johnnie To? The romantic comedy of the season.
Without a doubt this is the romantic comedy par excellence for those who would like to see the other side of the well known for his thrillers Johnnie To. On this occasion (like in several before), a love triangle made up of the girl Gao Yuanyuan and the always good looking and charismatic Daniel Wu and Louis Koo. She is pretty, economist and sufferer (her boyfriend has left her) is wood by two men, a millionaire, casanova … and without suspecting it, soon her boss; the other, bohemian, drinker, and talented (a famous architect who is taking time off to meditate) who will save her life by accident. The final decision is in her hands: the seducing boss and passionate who has a weakness for women or the serious and romantic architect who offers eternal love?
Screening: Sunday 12th, 6.15pm (hall 1) and 10.45pm (hall 3)
Dir.:Sanjay Leela Bhansali. With Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Raí, Shernaz Patel, Devyani Dutta, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Nafisa Ali. India. 2010. Musical/Romantic Drama. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 126 min.
One sentence:To see Mar Adentro under the perspective of Bollywood is a show that you can dificultly forget. Music, dance and the sensitivity of the director that moved us in Devdas.
The last production by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Devdas, Black), with a cast of exceptional: Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan. Exciting, shot with tact and taste for chromatic balance, Guzaarish confirms that our Alejandro Amenábar is a director in India. After the remake of The Others, now it’s the turn of Mar Adentro. A strong story, with music and tragedy, and the usual good taste of the director of Lagaan when the framing composition. And in addition, a controversial issue, more there than here: euthanasia, on which the film is in favour. Without a doubt, one of the Bollywood films of the year.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 10.30pm (hall 3) / Friday 10th, 6pm (hall 2)
Retrospective: Ann Hui and the New Wave of Hong Kong cinema
Ann Hui, born in north China and daughter of a Japanese, is one of the most representative directors of Hong Kong cinema. She belongs to the New Wave (that arouse at the end of the seventies), cleverly defined by the film maker Allen Fong as a «generation that was lucky»: born after the war, in a period of cultural and economic prosperity, fed with films —the only fun of the time— and the first to study it abroad and to make the most of the boom of television.
Ann Huihas lived in Hong Kong since 1952, where he received her PhD in Literature. After studying cinema at the London Film School, she returned to Hong Kong (1975) where she was the director’s assistant in many films of martial arts and made her first works for different television channels. Despite the fact that she makes her debut in commercial cinema in 1979, she didn’t strike anyone’s attention until 1982, with Boat People, a vigorous film about the escape of the called boat people of Vietnam (refugees that leave the country on boats), with the help of a Japanese reporter. A film that was politically responded by certain sectors for its negative vision of the communist regime of the neighbour country.
Subsequently, Ann Hui has alterned some minor films (My American Grandson, Summer Snow, etc.) with many other more ambicious ones, especially Eighteen Springs, sensitive sentimental melodrama set in the Shanghai of the thirties that holds a main role within the «nuevo cinema» of Hong Kong.
Filmography: The Secret (1979), The Spooky Bunch (1980), The Story of Woo Viet (1981), Boat People (1982), Love in a Fallen City (1984), The Romance of Book and Sword, parts I and II (1987) (Princess Fragrance), Starry is the Night (1988), Song of the Exile (1990), My American Grandson (1990), Zodiac Killers (1991), The Prodigal's Return (1992), Summer Snow (1995), Ah Kam-The Stunt (1996), As Time Goes by (1997), Eighteen Springs (1997), Ordinary Heroes (1999), Visible Secret (2001), July Rhapsody (2001), Goddess of Mercy (2004), The Postmodern Life of my Aunt (2006), The Way We Are (2008), All About Love (2010).
The retrospective of Ann Hui, who will be given at this first edition of CAFW the Honourific Casa Asia Film Week Award 2011 during its opening, is made up of five of her most important titles from 1982 to 2010.
RETROSPECTIVE: ANN HUI
ALL ABOUT LOVE
Dir.:Ann Hui. With Sandra Ng Kwan Yue, Vivian Chow, Siu-Fai Cheung, William Chan Wai-Ting. Hong Kong. 2010. Romantic drama. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Dur: 105 min.
Carefree and irreverent comedy of affairs, where bisexuality and lesbianism are present. Two women that have been a couple in the past, discover that they are in love when both are pregnant of different heterosexual affairs. A script debated between what is easy going and politically correct.
Screenings: Friday 10th, 10.45pm (hall 3, with Ann Hui) / Sunday 12th, 10.30pm (hall 2)
Dir.:Ann Hui. With Meiying Jia, George Lam, Andy Lau, Season Ma. Hong Kong. 1982. Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Dur: 109 min.
Third film, which in a certain way closes the trilogy about Vietnam that had begun with From Vietnam and continued with The Story of Woo Viet. The film tells the story of a Japanese photographer and his discovery of the reality of a country, Vietnam, and a reality that is imposed behind false appearances. Best Film and Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards 1983.
Screening: Thursday 9th, 8pm (hall 2)
AH KAM-THE STUNTWOMAN
Dir.: Ann Hui. With Michelle Yeoh, Sammo Hung, Ken Lo, Hoi Mang, Micheal Lam. Hong Kong. 1996. Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Dur: 95 min.
Nobody like Ann Hui, director’s assistant in the beginning of the world of the cinema of martial arts films, King Hu, to deepen into the world of stunts (stand ins for action sequences). With the presence of a very young Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). One of the most unknown films by Ann Hui.
Screening: Saturday 11th, 8.30pm (hall 2)
Dir.:Ann Hui. With Jacky Cheung, Anita Mui, Kar Yan Lam, Eric Kot. Hong Kong. 2002. Drama. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Dur: 103 min.
In 2002 Ann Hui goes back to the melodrama genre. A teacher finds that the stability of her marriage is in danger when a young student falls in love with him. Undecided about the desire and begin faithful to his partner, everything changes when his wife asks him for a month to leave the house. 8 Nominations to the Hong Kong Film Awards 2003.
Screening: Friday 11th, 8.30pm (hall 2) / Saturday 11th, 6pm (hall 2)
THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT
Dir.:Ann Hui. With Chow Yun-Fat, Gaowa Siqin, Wei Zhao, Qingzhuo Fang. Hong Kong. 2006. Romantic Drama. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Dur: 111 min.
Ann Hui introduces us into the life of a middle aged woman who lives in an appartment in Shanghai. We will soon discover many of the lies that holds a life, hers, strange but happy. Her unexpected encounter with a swindler (Chow Yun-Fat) and her daughter, who she abandoned as a child, will be the trigger of her particular return trip.
Screening: Sunday 12th, 8pm (hall 2)
THE BET: HU MEI, DIRECTOR OF CONFUCIO
Hu Mei s the bet of this first edition of the Casa Asia Film Week. One of the figures of Chinese cinema that promises to be more and more present in western screens. And this is not worthless: this year she presents one of the most expected Chinese films, Confucio, which was one of the representatives of the Fifth Generation of the Chinese cinema and has made herself a space in the list of the «Ten best new directors» of the magazine Modern Film.
Hu Mei was graduated at the Beijing Film Academy in 1982 together with the famous director Zhang Yimou and made her first long film for the producing company August 1st Film Studio two years later. Her and her school friends were soon known as the film-makers of the Chinese Fifth Generation, and were praised and attacked for their determination to reinvent and modernize Chinese cinema. She was highlighted from the beginning of her career for contributing a clear female sensitivity in the character she showed in the emotional and work lives of the characters.
With her second long film, Far from War, she won the acclaim of the public and achieved two international awards. From the end of the 80s she has divided her time between projects of long films and television miniseries, many of which taken on an epic scale. She has continued to join honours and national awards and in February 2008 she was named member of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), which led to her naming as delegate of the Committee of Beijing at the National People’s Congress. She is also Vice President of the Television Artists Association and member of the National Literary Federation. The Art Centre of the China Film Group has classified her as a «first level director».
Her latest film, Confucio, is a landmark in the future of Chinese cinema, at least regarding te representation for the first time in a film the life of the most important historical figure of the country. It is, for Hu Mei, a way to show the national spirit of the Chinese: «I hope that the majority of the Chinese citizens could accept Confucio as he is seen in the long film», Hu affirms. With the acclaimed Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat cas the main character, Confucio is presented at the Casa Asia Film Week as ad advance of its showing in Spanish cinemas.
Filmography: Nu er lo (1985), Yuanli zhanzhangde niandai (1987), Jiang hub a mian feng (1991), Am anderen Ende der Brücke (2002) and Confucio (2010).
Hu Mei will attend the premiere of her film at the Girona Cinemas on Thursday 9th of June and will offer some words to the attending public.
Dir.:Mei Hu. With Chow Yun-Fat, Xun Zhou, Lu Yi, Jianbin Chen, Ran Chen. China. 2010. Biopic. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 117 min
One sentence: The Chinese superproduction that approaches the life of the philosopher Confucius, performed by Chow Yun-Fat, can be seen at the opening session of CAFW.
Kong zi (Confucio) s the fifth film directed by Mei Hu, but the first that arrives in the west. It consists of a biopic of Confucius, one of the most influential figures of the Chinese history. This film is focused on the last years of the life of the influential Chinese philosopher, period that goes from his political position at the age of 51, until his death at the age of 73, where the tremendous history of confrontations between the Chinese states occured. King Lu receives the help of Confucius who uses his intelligence and charisma to calm his state of internal conflict and unstoppable wars. But the great powers of the state will feel threatened by the philosopher, which is why Confucius exiles. In collaboration with Flins & Pinículas.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 10.30pm (hall 1) / Saturday 11th, 5.45pm (hall 3)
Special screening for the media: Thursday 9th, 12am (hall 1)
TRIBUTE TO JAPAN
SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO
Dir.:akashi Yamazaki. With Meisa Kuroki, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Takuya Kimura, Naoto Takenaka, Teruyuki Kagawa. Japan. 2010. Science-fiction. Original version with subtitles into Spanish. Duration: 131 min. Special session: Mediatres Estudio.
One sentence: The great Japanese superproduction of science-fiction, with the most spectacular special effects seen on a screen.
This film was premiered in 2010 in Japón, starred by Takuya Kimura (2046, Hero) and Meisa Kuroki (Crows-Zero, Crows II), has been one of the great successes of real image of Japanese cinema. With a budget of more than 20 million dollars and special effects created by the producers of Final Fantasy: Inner Strength, Space Battleship Yamato has reached the collection figure of 50 million dollars, becoming one of the most successful films of the year in Japan. Space Battleship Yamato is the adaptation of homonymous anime created in the 70s by the master Leiji Matsumoto (Harlock Captain, Galaxy Express 999). The film places us in 2199, five years after misterious aliens called gamilas appeared and began to attack the Earth. The human race only has one year later when an energetic message from the faraway planet Iscandar arrives assuring that they have a device able to eliminate the radiation of the Earth and offering help to humans. In collaboration with Mediatres Estudio.
Screenings: Saturday 11th, 10.30pm (hall 1)
Dir.:Kang Woo-Suk. Con Jeong Jae-yeong, Park Hae-il, Yu Jun-Sang, Yoo Sun. South Korea. 2010. Thriller. Original version subtitled into Spanish. Duration: 163 min
One sentence:Intrigue taken up to the máximum by the creator of Silmido.
We’ve known Kang Woo-seok for a few years with the belic film Silmido, one of the first films of the New Wave of Korean cinema that reached our screens. Now Moss (Iggi, 2010) arrives, an entertaining exercise of suspense where the rural surrounding is everyghing but calm. A mysterious call warns Ryoo Hae that his father has just died. When he finds out, he travels to the faraway village in the inside of the country where his father lived recluded for decades. When he arrives, the inhabitants are not too sure about him and tell him to leave as soon as possible, but Ryee feels that something is not too clear and he decides to stay a few more days to investigate, with the help of a fiscal who he isn’t friends with. Since then, a series of violent events he will be involved with take place.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 6pm (hall 3) / Sunday 12th, 4pm (hall 2)
THE MAN FROM NOWHERE
Dir.:Lee Jeong-beom. With Won Bin, Kim Sae-ron, Kim Hyo-seo. South Korea. 2010. Thriller. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 119 min
One sentence: Without a doubt the best thriller made in South Korea in 2010. Won Bing has a role at the level of the best Alain Delon. Essential.
Tae-sik as led a life recluded in his pawn shop and the girl next door only bothers him now and them. The coincidence will make both of them be trapped in a spiral of violence with a gang of traffickers. The dark past of Tae-sik will appear. The megahit of the year in South Korea was The Man from Nowhere, a dark and violent thriller in the line of Revenge, starred by Liam Neeson. If this wasn’t enough, the star is Won Bin. His carisma and stylized direction of Lee Jeong-beom make a thriller to become a phenomenon. The staging, the photography and camera work is simply exception, the high level South Koreans make us used to, helping to create a simply perfect setting, ideal for a noir story.
Screenings: Fridays 10th, 10.45pm (hall 1) / Sunday 12th, 8.30pm (hall 3)
YOYOCHU IN THE LAND OF THE RISING SEX
Dir.:Masato Ishioka. With Kyoko Aizome, Yukari Fujimoto, Taka Kato, Satoru Makimura, Toru Muranishi. Japan. 2010. Documentary. Original version subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 116 min
One sentence: A documentary had never approached the Japanese industry of pinku eiga like Yoyochu does. A walk around the industry of Japanese sex.
It consists of a passionate documentary about the respected Japanese porn director, Tadashi Yoyogi (known as Yoyochu) his period of pinku-eiga, our soft core, until today, when he is 73 and has made 500 films. Passionate because he illustrates perfectly the peculiarities of the universo (industrial, but especially moral) of Japanese cinema.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 6.30pm (hall 2) / Friday 10th, 10.30pm (hall 2)
Documentary not recommended to children under 16 years old.
Dir.:Masahiro Kobayashi. With Tatsuya Nakadai, Eri Tokunaga, Hideji Otaki, Kin Sugai, Kaoru Kobayashi, Yuko Tanaka. Japan. 2010. Drama. Original version subtitled in Spanish. Duration: 134 min
One sentence: A human story that takes us to the provintial Japan. Kobayashi devotes the film to all those who died victims of the tsunami.
A small village of fishermen in the remote island of Hokkaido, in the north of Japan, is the starting point of a read movie that mutes towards the family drama. Tadao, and old fisherman with problems to walk, is performed by great Tatsuya Nakadai, one of the fetiche actors of Akira Kurosawa, with whom he worked with in Kagemusha, Sanjuro and Yojimbo, among other films. He is not happy with his granddaughter Haru or her with having to look after the old man, so when she loses her job and decides to move to Tokyo, the two of them begin a pilgrimage so Tadao achieves another relative to look after him. In a path full of fights and surprises, the old man relives the anguish of a painful past and Haru, understands his grandfather more and more. Without forgetting about the ironic critic to values as traditional in Japan such as family responsibility, Kobayashi achieves another film with the exact proportions of irreverence and emotion.
Screenings: Thursday 9th, 10.30pm (hall 3) / Friday 10th, 6pm (hall 3)
I WISH I KNEW
Dir.:Jia Zhang Ke With Hou Hsiao-hsien, Lee Chia-Tung, Rebecca Pan, Wang Toon, Wang Xiaohe. China. 2010. Documentary. Original version with subtitles in Spanish. Duration: 125 min
One sentence: Get ready, Jia Zhangke proposes a trip to Shanghai, from the 30s until today.
I Wish I Knew is the latest documentary work by Jia Zhangke, one of the most provocative directors of the Sixth Generation, acclaimed in the las decade as one of the new masters of world cinema. Like in his previous works, it proposes us an exploration of the transformations of the landscape and the symbolic effects of the personal experiences. Through eighteen interviewers, Jia builds a story about Shanghai where the personal stories reveal how this city, since the decade of the 30s of last century until today has become a strategic bridgh and place of symbolic and economical exchanges. Intimate confessions, archive material, fragments of films by film directors such as Wang Tung, Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Wang Bing are interweaved to rebuild the collective memory of a society in rapid change, accompanied by the subtle camera of his usual collaborator, Yu Lik Wai. In collaboration with Karma Films.
Screenings: Friday 10th, 8.30pm (hall 3) / Saturday 11th, 10.30pm (hall 2)
I SAW THE DEVIL
Dir.:Kim Jee-woon. With Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, Jeon Gook-hwan, Jeon Ho-jin, Oh San-ha. South Korea. 2010. Thriller. Original version subtitled in Spanish. Duration: 141 min
One sentence: If you thought that in topic of revenge you had seen it all, it’s because you still haven’t seen I Saw the Devil.
The revenge is what moves one of the main characters of I saw the devil, by Kim Jee-woon. Until now the director of South Korea had moved within the fields of thrillers, with some touch of comedy like in his first work The Quiet Family (1998) and in the great A Bittersweet Life (2005). But the spotlight of interest of the public and critic began with 2 Sisters (2003), a horror story. For I saw the devil he has used two of the most famous actors of the country Lee Byung-hun and Choi Min-sik. Min-sik interpreted by a series killer and girls and Byung-hun is a secret police agent who first kills his girlfriend on the pavement. From then, an authentic tour de force begins where the Law agent jumps the Law to become the psychopath. In collaboration with Mediatres Estudio.
Screenings: Saturday 11th, 0.45am (marathon, hall 1)