Home Arts Take your cinema with a little soy this weekend

Take your cinema with a little soy this weekend

by The Concordian February 28, 2012
Take your cinema with a little soy this weekend
The third edition of the AmerAsia Film Festival, celebrating the latest in Asian cinema, will be taking place during the first two weeks of March. The festival showcases cinema that audiences would usually be unable to see, promoting the work of independent filmmakers of Asian-Canadian heritage as well as Asian-inspired films.
The festival has five film categories, AmerAsia Shorts, Asian Treasures, Quebecois Special, Spotlight on Animation and We Distribute, a selection of films from Canadian cinema companies that distribute Asian films. There are 35 films playing at four different venues around Montreal. Asian Treasures will feature  Hirokazu Kore-eda’s I Wish and Kim Ki-duk’s Arirang.
I Wish tells the story of two brothers living separately as a result of their parents’ divorce. Koichi, the eldest, is living with his mother, while Ryunosuke lives with his father. When Koichi hears a rumour that when two trains cross each other on the newest line of Japan’s bullet train system a wish will come true, he hatches a plan to be on one of the trains to wish for the reunion of his family. The pace is very slow but the slower rhythm gives a realistic feel to the story. The focus is not on some climatic moment, but on the children’s journey and that allows for the full appreciation of the movie. The acting is plausible, so it is not surprising to find out that the two brothers in the movie are brothers in real life. Ryunosuke’s contagious laugh to Koichi’s sober and serious look make them both compatible characters.  Although I Wish is a drama, it is punctuated by laugh-out-loud comic moments and is a heart-warming movie with a positive message.
Arirang won the A Certain Glance award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and is Ki-duk’s sixteenth movie. A cross between a documentary and a video journal, in the style of a drama, it documents the filmmaker’s life in exile after a traumatic incident on his set almost cost an actress her life.  The movie is shot with a digital camera and Ki-duk is the sole character. Ki-duk pours his heart out to the camera in such a vulnerable manner it is almost uncomfortable to observe. He sings the folk song after which the the movie is titled, and screams and cries without any censorship. “I need to film something to be happy, so I’m filming myself,” he said. In one poignant scene, one of his selves is interrogating the other and is giving him the hard truth. Then later on, we watch him watch this scene. Despite the minimalistic equipment, the film still manages to demonstrate great cinematography.
On top of showing a variety of films, AmerAsia will be hosting the Smartphone Film Festival. The competition solicits amateurs and professionals alike to submit a short film, shot entirely with a smartphone, on a theme to be announced March 1. Competitors will have 72 hours after the theme is announced to film, edit and upload their videos to the Ciné-Asie platform. Fifteen submissions will be chosen for a screening March 9 and of those screened, prizes will be awarded to the top three.
The AmerAsia Film Festival takes place March 1 to 4 and March 9 to 11. For more information, check out www.amerasiafestival.com.

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