The LA Film Fest is this weekend, and we’ve got five pairs of movie ticket vouchers, which includes lounge day passes for you and your guest, to give away to Audrey readers!
Yes, I know, they’re screening The Twilight Saga: Eclipse at the festival. But there’s plenty of Asian love at this film festival, too, so if you’re around, check it out. Some highlights include:
On May 12, 2008 at 14:28, the Great Sichuan Earthquake rocked China, claiming the lives of more than 68,000 people. Ten days later, filmmaker Du Haibin was there, camera in hand. The result is a film that won the Best Documentary Award at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. Du not only covers the immediate aftermath, but also the government response and the fate of the survivors seven months later. Going beyond the whitewashed official visits portrayed in mainstream media, 1428 gives the audience a raw look at the reality of today’s Beichuan, the town most severely hit, where Lunar New Year’s is celebrated with a never-ending parade of tourists buying DVDs of the most horrific scenes, souvenir albums of corpses being pulled out of the ruins, and photo taking.
What’s interesting about this story of unrequited love is that it’s the directorial debut of Korean film critic-turned-auteur Jung Sung-il. The storyline is simple enough: A heartsick music teacher, recently dumped by his married lover, finds himself drawn to a young woman living in her own romantic purgatory. What makes Jung’s subversively funny Café Noir a fascinating, ambitious piece of art are all the references to Goethe, Dostoyevsky, leftist politics, Bollywood, Christianity and, of course, the last decade of Korean cinema.
Isao Yukisada’s stylish and subversive drama follows four twenty-somethings in a small Tokyo apartment. The motley crew don’t really know much about each other, but they tolerate each other as they go through the daily pressures or work, love and play. But strange things are going on, including a serial killer on the loose, as the film’s sitcom feel turns sinister. Yukisada is expected to attend the screening.
Woman on Fire Looks for Water
Korean director Woo Ming Jin captures the meditative rhythms of life in a small Malaysian fishing village, as he follows father and son and their respective heartache. Ah Fei is in love with Lily, but he can’t capture her heart selling frogs from the river. Meanwhile, Ah Fei’s equally heartsick father, worried that death is near, sets off to a neighboring village to pursue a long lost love.
Called a cross between “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and The Fugitive,” Yoshihiro Nakamura’s serio-comic thriller follows easygoing Aoyagi as he tries to clear his name when he is framed for the Prime Minister’s assassination. The film’s already a major hit in its native Japan.
Based on a real life case, Liu Jie’s film puts a spotlight on China’s past. A by-the-book judge invokes an almost-obsolete law and sentences a car thief to death. The thief attempts to make amends, offering to donate his kidney to a powerful businessman if it will mitigate his sentence.
The Wolf Knife (World Premiere)
Japanese American Laurel Nakadate’s stunning, low-budget feature follows two teenage girls on a road trip, but instead of the journey, it’s the girls’ conflicted relationship that is the focus of this stylish film.
Where Are You Taking Me? (North American Premiere)
Japanese filmmaker Kimi Takesue reveals the many faces and facets of Uganda, from a high society wedding to a center for former child soldiers. Takesue is expected to attend the screening.
The Wheeler Boys
Filipino American auteur Philip G. Flores’ directorial debut, The Wheeler Boys, captures small town life as a young boy struggles to accept some disturbing revelations about the older brother he idolizes.
So just comment below by tomorrow, June 15 at 11 am, and we’ll pick five lucky winners! Good luck!