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I just saw it and boy does it...
318

The 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival is Here!
Topic by: markhl
Posted: April 6, 2005 - 7:20 PM PDT
Last Reply: April 23, 2005 - 9:34 PM PDT

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author topic: The 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival is Here!
markhl
post #1  on April 6, 2005 - 7:20 PM PDT  
After scratching my head over on which board this should be, it ended up here! There HAS to be other people in this area with interest in the festival besides myself and lizzo so, join the party! In terms of asian films in particular, it's going to be an amazing year here.

The Official 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival Website


Here are some of the "interesting" selections at first glance: (biased toward international - especially asian - films)

L'Amant (Japan) - director Hiroki Ryuichi is attending
Arahan (Korea)
Chased by Dreams (India)
Clean (France/Canada/Great Britain)
A Clockwork Orange (Great Britain) - Malcolm McDowell attending
Crying Out for Love, In the Center of the World (Japan)
5 x 2: Five Times Two (France)
Flower and Snake (Japan)
Izo (Japan)
Karaoke Terror (Japan)
Kontroll (Hungary)
Lakeside Murder Case (Japan) - Director Aoyama Shinji is attending
Land of Plenty (US) - Director Wim Wenders is attending
Late Bloomer (Japan) - director Shibata Go is attending
Lonesome Jim (US) - actor/director Steve Buscemi is attending
Ma Mere (France/Portugal) - director Honore Christophe is attending
Marebito (Japan)
Oldboy (Korea)
One Missed Call (Japan)
Or (My Treasure) (Israel/France)
The Promise (Spain)
R Point (Korea)
Right Now (France)
Road (Korea)
Soap Opera (China) - director Wu Ershan is attending
Spider Forrest (Korea)
Stratosphere Girl (Germany/Great Britain/France/Switzerland/Italy)
Survive Style 5+ (Japan)
Swindled (Spain)
This Charming Girl (Korea)
Throw Down (Hong Kong)
Too Beautiful to Lie (Korea)
Woman is the Future of Man (Korea)
The World (China/France/Japan)
The Youth (India)


Here's a full Guestlist. I've heard that Duchovy is here somewhere?

So feel free to discuss/suggest any of the films or guests attending this year's selections. Periodic festival reports by GC members would be great of course :)
markhl
post #2  on April 6, 2005 - 7:36 PM PDT  
OK.. now that THAT'S done.. I'm truly inspired by the quality (and quantity) of the selections this year. I'm all scheduled for about 12 of the films in the next couple of weeks. :)

As I did in the past, I'll post predictions for the ratings of the korean films this year. Note that these are my predictions for the festival crowd and not my vote.

Lizzo! Feel free to take charge of the japanese selection. I noticed that I forgot a couple off of the list above already. What a year!

**Arahan (2004, Comedy/Martial Arts)
***Oldboy (2003, Thriller/Action/Drama)
*R-Point (2004, Horror)
Road (2005, Drama)
*Spider Forrest (2004, Drama/Horror)
-Sweet Sixties (2004, Comedy)
This Charming Girl (2005, Drama)
**Too Beautiful to Lie (2004, Comedy)
Woman is the Future of Man (2004, Drama)

*** = #1 in fan-voting (you heard it here first! :))
** = 4.0 - 4.5 rating
* = 3.5 - 4.0 rating
= < 3.5 rating
- = probably won't be watched. heh.

Holy Moly. I only have ONE korean film scheduled for this year. My my.. It's not because they're bad. I've just seen many of these already though (or own DVDs already) so I'll participate in the "discussion" :)
lizzoqops
post #3  on April 6, 2005 - 8:15 PM PDT  
Wow, we could really use one of those "insert hyperlink" thingys like they have on other message boards. That was a lot of work!

A few that weren't on your list:
House of D: Duchovny's movie, he'll attend
Quiet Summer (Japan/Taiwan): Director Fujita Shuhei will attend
The Soup, One Morning (Japan)
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things: D/Asia Argento
Black Friday (India)
Mysterious Skin: Director Greg Araki will attend

And some cool documentaries:
Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered and Shafted (blaxploitation)
Pink Ribbon (Japanese pink films)
Shake Hands with the Devil (Romeo Dallaire)

Last year's top film was "Anatomy of Hell". If this is any indication of how people vote, I'm lost, cos I really didn't like that movie (but loved "Romance", go figure). I gave my highest honor to "Time of the Wolf". If I had to guess, I'd say "Oldboy" will be way up there, because all of us will come out to support it. And since it's playing in theaters, I bet they show it again as a festival favorite.

I have 3 Korean movies on my list: Oldboy, Road (haven't seen it), and Spider Forest (it's been a while since I've seen it, and it might be fun on the big screen. I do have a lot more Japanese movies on my list : )

FYI: Keep checking the website if you're planning to attend. Things sell out, screenings get cancelled, moved around, etc.
hamano
post #4  on April 7, 2005 - 7:08 AM PDT  
Whoa, Rikidouzan was ethnic Korean? Cool!

I was never a big pro-wrestling fan, but I knew about Rikidouzan because he was the mentor of "Giant" Baba, in my childhood a national sports hero along with baseball Giants Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh. I'd read comics biographies of Baba that would detail the sadistic training regimen that Rikidouzan put Baba through. Once, to develop Baba's endurance, Rikidouzan had Baba's arms and legs tied to steel pipes. Then he threw Baba into the men's room with a hive of wasps. Baba had to somehow crawl out of the bathroom, or die of wasp stings... I guess Baba thus learned that "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... Rikidouzan is said to have commented, "and besides, the hormones in the wasp toxin will improve your virility"...
dh22
post #5  on April 7, 2005 - 7:11 AM PDT  
I live in the area. Maybe I should go to a couple of these.
dh22
post #6  on April 7, 2005 - 8:16 AM PDT  
Hey, did you know there is a Trenton film festival too? Its going on now. I just happen to see a paper for it sitting on a table at work. I had no idea.

www.trentonfilmfestival.org
markhl
post #7  on April 7, 2005 - 1:02 PM PDT  
Yes.. the first post DID take a long time. As long as the selections are this good every year, I don't mind the work :)

dh22, you should definitely come for the festival this year. Travis REALLY outdid himself this year after a somewhat weak year (overall) last year. The guest list really increased too. quite impressive.

The timing of the Trenton film festival is a bit unfortunate though since Tribeca at NYC runs until May 1st. It may hinder their growth?
markhl
post #8  on April 7, 2005 - 1:15 PM PDT  
> On April 7, 2005 - 7:08 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> Whoa, Rikidouzan was ethnic Korean? Cool!


I only had a chance to glance at Rikidouzan.. I thought that maybe they overdid the japanese audience reaction but maybe it's wasn't after your comment. Kinda like Champion.. these events were in my past so I don't truly appreciate the significance of the impact of these moments. Apparently, everyone older than my generation knows about the storyline behind Champion.

Was Rikkidouzan beating the american wrestler as big as the Red Sox winning it last year? :)
lizzoqops
post #9  on April 7, 2005 - 7:43 PM PDT  
> On April 7, 2005 - 1:15 PM PDT markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
Apparently, everyone older than my generation knows about the storyline behind Champion.
>
> ---------------------------------

I'm sure this is true, but I need to make a hrumph, old person, tut tut noise here.

I remember reading all about it in Rolling Stone, does that make me really old? : )

markhl
post #10  on April 8, 2005 - 7:49 AM PDT  
uhh.. no comment. :) It was in rolling stone? wow. go figure.

First up for me tonight... Marebito!
lizzoqops
post #11  on April 8, 2005 - 8:21 PM PDT  
My first report:

As usual, the first movie I go to is sold out and starts 20 minutes late, which screws up the rest of the night, but oh, well, it was worth it.

House of D: Director David Duchovny's first movie is a sweet, funny, tearjerker that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. It's a fairy tale, a coming-of-age drama, starring Anton Yelchin ("Taken"), Robin Williams, David Duchovny, Tea Leoni, and Eryka Badhu. **** (4 out of 5)

The Q and A after was entertaining, Duchovny is a really funny guy. The budget for this movie was 6 or 7 million. Yes, there will be another X-Files movie (maybe next year). He's already working on financing for a new movie.

Unfortunately, by the time I got out of there, it was start time for the Wim Wenders movie, so there was no way I could make it to that. Since Wenders wasn't showing up for the screening, I had to blow that one off.

Ah, well, more tomorrow....
markhl
post #12  on April 8, 2005 - 9:23 PM PDT  
While I'm waiting for a call before heading on home, here's my first report.

Marebito is from the Shimizu Takahashi, i.e. from all of those Ju-On movies. After wrapping up the shooting from the american version of The Grudge, he did a 180 and decided to shoot this one in eight days on digital video. Travis, the organizer, proclaimed before the screening that this was his favorite work from the director.

Having said all of that, I was a bit underwhelmed by the experience. It was more dream-like and didn't go for the series of shocks that many of the more known titles use - that part was indeed refreshing - however the film fails to leave any sort of strong impression at all. It's not that the work was bad by any means (I gave it 3 out of 5*'s - probably 3.5 if I had such an option) but given that you are seeing it in a theatre, perhaps better use of video and audio may have been warranted as well for a better experience. In the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think if he produced this work to clear his palate after going through the hollywood blockbuster rigamaroll (however you spell that) rather than it being a well-planned and edited work.

So, I'll say save this one for viewing at home rather than in a theatre. Your experience will not be degraded in any significant way IMO. A rather mediocre selection to start off the festival. Side note: the Oldboy two saturdays from now has sold out according to Travis, the only one left is the tuesday screening (or festival favorites in the last week if it's included).

After a day off tomorrow, I'm going on a rather formidable series of 5 movies in two days. The next report from me may be a jumbled and bloody one :) See y'all on the flip side!
lizzoqops
post #13  on April 9, 2005 - 12:00 PM PDT  
I'm noticing a little 1984 ministry of truth thing going on...Twice now I've arranged my schedule so I could see Q and A's along with movies, only to have the scheduled guest disappear from the list with no explanation (first Wim Wenders, today Gregg Araki). Annoying. I hope it's not a trend.
lizzoqops
post #14  on April 9, 2005 - 8:51 PM PDT  
I saw two more excellent movies today:

Shake Hands with the Devil: This is the third documentary I've seen about the genocide in Rwanda, and the most affecting. The personal of story of Romeo Dallaire, his return to Rwanda, and his agonizing psychological battle with himself. ****

Mysterious Skin: Gregg Araki's take on child abuse is different, that's for sure. But it is this difference that sucks you in and lets you "get it" along with the characters. Wonderful acting and fantastic ending. Disturbing and laugh out loud funny. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (oh, yeah, from 3rd Rock) Brady Corbet and Michelle Trachtenburg (Buffy). ****
lizzoqops
post #15  on April 10, 2005 - 5:42 PM PDT  
Whew, I need more coffee or more sleep:

L'Amant: was no Vibrator. A strange story about a 17 year old who sells herself to 3 older men for a year. Hiroki-san, your pink roots are showing. The Q and A was also strange, people wanted explanations, which had to be translated, I don't think anybody really felt much like talking after this one. ***

Marebito: I put this on my list for Tsukamoto (who's as cool an actor as he is a director), not Shimizu (who is not, really, I'm not a Ju-On/Grudge fan). I really didn't have any expectations of the movie, happily, because I agree with Mark, it's not really anything but a made-in-8-days video romp. The story is interesting, it may leave you with some questions, but it's not anything you'll wonder about for days. Good for what it was (although maybe a little long). ***
markhl
post #16  on April 10, 2005 - 8:48 PM PDT  
Festival report #2...

Somewhat influenced by the selections of a visiting friend, I've managed to catch The World (China et al.) and Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World (Japan) today.. The most interesting part of the first movie is the location, which is an amusement park in China which has miniatures of all of the recognizable landmarks of the world (Think Las Vegas minus the lights) - the audience was often amused. In many ways, the location left more of an impression than the romantic relationships of the protagonists of the film. The film lacked focus and the 2.5 h length definitely isn't justified. I gave it *** out of 5.

The second movie was noted by Travis to be the largest grossing non-animated movie from Japan last year and has been responsible for launching a new cultural trend of finding "pure love" stories in movies and TV. Grant it that the two young leads were charismatic and made it a decent experience but the story was the standard melodramatic fodder - illness and accidents, bunch of past flashbacks of childhood romance, etc. There was too little restraint and novelty as every possible melodrama gimmick was added for its 2.5 h screening time. Despite Travis's claims of some teary eyes during another screening, the audience with whom I watched was pretty dry. ** 1/2 out of 5.

So far, the selections have been too average. I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to check out 5x2, Lakeside Murdercase and One Missed Call. One or two of them should be great and more my cup of tea genre-wise.
lizzoqops
post #17  on April 11, 2005 - 7:30 PM PDT  
Note to self: Do not watch three movies in a row, especially when one of them is "Izo". Taking it easier tomorrow.

Late Bloomer: Go Shibata's debut is...um...you know those stories about the handicapped and they have success in life, you know, doing things "normal" people do? Yeah, this is kinda like that. Except the director's favorite directors are Tsukamoto and David Lynch. Worked for me. This is my favorite Asian movie so far ****

Izo: Okay, I can see why people don't like this one. It was hard to sit through. Not that I hated it, or had any desire to walk out, it's just the kind of movie you have to be in the mood for. It really preaches at you (but sometimes in a very funny way), and the violence is non-stop. Almost all Miike's regulars make cameos. ***

Lakeside Murder Case: I got the feeling from the Q and A that this was a job for Aoyama. It was more on the commercial side (kind of like a good dorama/mystery theater episode). Koji Yakusho was his usual idealist/semi-screw-up that he plays so well. Entertaining fluff ***
markhl
post #18  on April 12, 2005 - 9:52 PM PDT  
Crap.. my last festival report wasn't posted here?? oy.. ok.. so something really quickly since I have tons of work piled up for the next few days. I did an unhealthy three-in-a-row myself on monday.

5x2: Cinq fois deux - A pretty good film which takes snapshots of five important moments in a married couple's life from the beginning when they met to when they divorce. Although the story is told in reverse for an interesting effect, that element wasn't used as craftily as in recent films like Memento. It was as if they shot the film in chronological order and then just decided to show it in reverse. Because of that ***1/2 out of 5.

Lakeside Murdercase - It was like a dark comedy for the first half of the movie and then ends up being preachy about the role of parents on kids, etc. The second half didn't evoke any emotion in me AT ALL so given the change in style, I didn't think it was well thought out. Even the absolute last scene was just randomly added. I didn't stick around for the Q&A with the director at all - partly because of... (BTW, I give it **1/2 out of 5 - maybe even as low as 2)

One Missed Call - Miike sells out! :) Anyway, it's nowhere near as clever as Ringu or some of its descendents but does well to entertain. It's impressive that the other showing of Miike is Izo.. he must be borderline schizophrenic. I can't say anything significant is added to the horror genre at all with this offering but for its entertainment value (and since I had realistic expectations), *** out of 5.
markhl
post #19  on April 12, 2005 - 9:56 PM PDT  
So.. I'm sure that lizzo wouldn't have missed the Oldboy screening tonight. I wanna hear her impressions before I post anything. My friend and I sat all the way in the back surveying the audience for reactions, etc. We both were rather pleased and impressed with the audience (especially in catching some of the humor early on).

My rating is ***** out of 5 of course (especially considering that this is my 4th viewing and I still found it enjoyable). Lizzo... all yours! I'm going to be tied to work until Throwdown on thursday.. stay tuned!
lizzoqops
post #20  on April 13, 2005 - 5:35 AM PDT  
Well, that's a heavy burden...there's a lot of hype surrounding Oldboy, and I feel it's worthy of every bit of it. Travis Crawford said it might be the greatest movie ever made. I wouldn't go that far, but I would put it far above anything else I saw last year. This was my 3rd viewing, and I also found it just as enjoyable, maybe more so with a crowd. Seeing Choi min-sik on the big screen probably has a lot to do with that. He might be the greatest actor around : )

So, with all that...run, don't walk, to see Oldboy in a theater near you as soon as possible. Go when it's crowded. A big *****
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