Asian Movies at the London Film Festival
The 54th London Film Festival kicked off on London’s Leicester Square this week, and this year many Asian movies have been included in the line up, including sixteen from East Asia.
“Taipei Exchanges” is the second feature film to be produced by Taiwanese director Hsiao Ya-Chuan. The film’s main character Doris decides to open a coffee shop, where customers can exchange items. One man who shows up with 35 differently scented bars of soap, catches Doris’ eye. The movie gently blends comedy and emotion with that cute Taiwanese feel.
From Mainland China, director Wang XiaoShui’s movie, “Chongqing Blues,” tells the story of one man’s quest to find out the truth behind his son’s death and his personal struggle to confront his past.
This year’s Festival also boasts titles from India. “Dhobi Ghat” is director Kiran Rao’s debut movie and stars Amir Khan, one of India’s movie popular actors. The movie, set in Bombay, centers around Shai, a young Indian woman who has a banking job in the U.S. She returns to Mumbai and first meets Arun, played by Khan, and then Munna, a lower class laundryman who has the ambition to become a Bollywood actor.
[Kiran Rao, Director, Dhobi Ghat]:
“Really to explore the class difference in a city like Bombay where actually it’s possible to forge a new identity in a country where caste and other kinds of classifications play a lot role. Bombay is a city where you can really find a new life, and people come to the city looking for that.”
It isn’t only Asian movies in the world cinema category this week.
Revolución is a film about the Mexican revolution 100 years ago. The movie is a feature length film made up of ten, ten-minute shorts, each directed by a different director. One of them was Mariana Chenillo.
[Mariana Chenillo, Director (1 of 10), Revolución]:
“We were asked the question of, what is the revolution? - the word, the concept, the historical event? Because in Mexico we are celebrating 100 years since the revolution on November 20th. So what does that make you think, and where does that take you right now in this moment? We had two premises for the short films, 1, that they could be no longer than ten minutes and 2 that they had to be in present time. So it’s ten pieces that reflect and question, like the situation of Mexico after 100 years with perhaps not much change after the revolution.”
The London Film Festival runs until October 28th and we will be bringing you more on this year’s new releases.
Ben Hedges, NTD News, London