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September 22, 2012

Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia

A special thank you to Brad Birarda for his continuing support of VIFF’s Dragons and Tigers series.

A special welcome and thank you to our esteemed Dragons and Tigers jury members: João Pedro Rodrigues, Shinozaki Makoto and Chuck Stephens.

The Dragons and Tigers award will be presented at our Awards Gala prior to the screening of Mystery on Thursday, October 4, 6:30 PM, GR7


Special Presentations & Highlights from East Asia


China

All Apologies

ALL APOLOGIES

(Ai de tishen)

China | Dir: Emily Tang

North America Premiere

Sun. Sep 30, 12:00 pm, Granville 4
Mon. Oct 1, 9:15 pm, Granville 1

Dragons & Tigers 2010 award-winner Emily Tang’s new film tells of a young Chinese woman struggling for her identity and independence against a background of social pressure and fierce male prerogative. Tang’s usual fervent and nuanced sympathy for women characters imbues this family melodrama with a passionate, indomitable spirit.

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Beijing Flickers

BEIJING FLICKERS

(Youzhong)

China | Dir: Zhang Yuan

Tue. Oct 9, 9:15 pm, Granville 4
Thu. Oct 11, 10:30 am, Granville 7

Four twenty-something Beijingers claim the city as their own in award-winning Chinese director Zhang Yuan’s new romantic youth drama. Three guys, a violence-prone unemployed dreamer, a parking attendant, and a transvestite performer-poet, meet sultry singer-songwriter Youzi, and share their dreams, frustrations and unexpected adventures.

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Camel Caravan

CAMEL CARAVAN

China | Dir: Gao Feng

Related Links: Official Website

International Premiere

Fri. Sep 28, 6:00 pm, Vogue
Mon. Oct 1, 10:30 am, Granville 7

Set during the turbulent 1920s in China’s magnificent southwest, Gao Feng’s "Western" revolves around the lives of the camel men who guarded and transported goods across the Gobi Desert. Master Ge and apprentice Erga face down bandits as Erga falls for the Master’s daughter Hong’er. She, however, is promised to another…

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Design of Death

DESIGN OF DEATH

(Sha sheng)

China | Dir: Guan Hu

Related Links: Trailer

International Premiere

Sat. Sep 29, 1:15 pm, Granville 7
Mon. Oct 1, 8:00 pm, Granville 6
Fri. Oct 5, 9:15 pm, Granville 1

China’s commercial cinema is still capable of surprises. Guan Hu’s latest frenzied comedy sets an absurd murder mystery in a distant legendary village, where a clownish trickster (Chinese star Huang Bo) subverts, with Rabelaisian gusto, every tradition he can find. Fast, funny, anarchic and just plain weird.

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The Love Songs of Tiedan

THE LOVE SONGS OF TIEDAN

(Mei Jie)

China | Dir: Hao Jie

North American Premiere

Sat. Sep 29, 3:20 pm, Granville 5
Wed. Oct 3, 7:00 pm, Granville 1

Chinese indie comedies are a rare breed. Hao Jie’s new film is that and more: an epic, romantic, down-to-earth tale of music, love, politics, history, family and lust in the countryside. Earthy, touching and wildly funny, with lots of fantastic traditional music to boot.

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The Monkey King—Uproar in Heaven 3D

THE MONKEY KING—UPROAR IN HEAVEN 3D

(Da nao tian gong)

China | Dir: Su Da, Chen Zhihong

Related Links: Trailer

Classification: G—Violence

Sat. Oct 6, 2:00 pm, Park Theatre
Thu. Oct 11, 7:00 pm, Park Theatre

A grand spectacle, Su Da and Chen Zhihong’s 50th anniversary 3D restoration of China’s most lauded animated feature is truly a special event. Based on the the Ming Dynasty classic Journey to the West, it chronicles the adventures of the magical Monkey King, a mischievous character who creates havoc in the palace of Heaven by refusing to kowtow to the Celestial Jade Emperor… Bring the kids! This film has been classified so that those under 18 may attend.

Special price for children 12 yrs or under at the matinee screening: $8.

Advance tickets available only in person at VIFF venues up until two hours before showtime, then half hour before showtime at the door.

Mystery

MYSTERY

China/France | Dir: Lou Ye

Related Links: Article

North American Premiere

Thu. Oct 4, 6:30 pm, Granville 7
Fri. Oct 5, 10:30 am, Granville 7

The oft-banned Lou Ye (Suzhou River) returns with a stylish and confident film noir about a wealthy businessman, his wife and the strange woman intent on befriending the latter.. "A sexually intense thriller set in the colossal city of Wuhan… The film has touches of Chabrol… and also offers a sly satirical perspective on modern China’s new rush to capitalist riches…"—Guardian

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Sponsored by:

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People’s Park

PEOPLE’S PARK

(Renmin Gongyuan)

USA/China | Dir: J.P. Sniadecki, Libbie D. Cohn

North American Premiere

Tue. Oct 2, 6:30 pm, Vancity
Thu. Oct 4, 1:30 pm, Vancity

Libbie Cohn and J.P. Sniadecki’s 75-minute single-shot documentary shows everything (it seems) that can happen in People’s Park in Chengdu, China. Conceptually brilliant, bursting with life, it’s the funniest, most free and most real documentary you’ve ever seen about China.

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Hong Kong

Beautiful 2012

BEAUTIFUL 2012

(Meihao 2012)

Hong Kong/China | Dir: Kim Tae Yong, Tsai Ming-liang, Gu Changwei, Ann Hui

North American Premiere

Sat. Sep 29, 6:45 pm, Cinematheque
Mon. Oct 1, 10:30 am, Cinematheque
Sun. Oct 7, 3:00 pm, Vogue

Four medium-length films by four masters: Ann Hui’s powerful transsexual tale My Way; Kim Tae-yong’s intense drama You Are More Than Beautiful; Gu Changwei’s experimental urban puzzler Long Tou; and Tsai Ming-liang’s mini-masterpiece The Walker, which features the slowest red-garbed walking monk in cinema.

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Sponsored by:

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East Meets West

EAST MEETS WEST

(Dong cheng xi jiu 2011)

Hong Kong | Dir: Jeff Lau

Canadian Premiere

Mon. Oct 1, 6:20 pm, Granville 3
Thu. Oct 4, 3:00 pm, Granville 3
Mon. Oct 8, 9:00 pm, Granville 3

The postmodern master of those romantic, absurdly funny 1990s Hong Kong comedies, Jeff Lau, is back and better than ever. In his new eye-popper, heavenly immortals in human guise (and apparently Jeff Koons inspired costumes) battle evil while performing nostalgia hits: singing superheroes were never so sad.

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Sponsored by:

McDull: The Pork of Music

MCDULL: THE PORK OF MUSIC

(Maidou dang dang ban wo xin)

Hong Kong | Dir: Brian Tse

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

North American Premiere

Sat. Sep 29, 12:00 pm, Granville 4
Sat. Oct 6, 6:15 pm, Granville 4

Hong Kong’s funniest and most subversively popular avatar, the cartoon piglet McDull, is back in an animated musical by Brian Tse and Alice Mak. Mixing hilarious, weird and deliciously profane humour with ultra-sharp social critique, McDull & Company sing about HK’s uniqueness with a poignant charm all their own.

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Sponsored by:

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Three Sisters

THREE SISTERS

(San zi mei)

France/Hong Kong | Dir: Wang Bing

Tue. Oct 2, 9:00 pm, Granville 2
Wed. Oct 3, 2:30 pm, Granville 2

The great Chinese documentarian Wang Bing’s essential new film follows three impoverished young sisters who live, mostly alone, in a mountainside hamlet in Yunnan, China. But Wang finds an entire world—labour, love, life itself—in these girls’ hopes and struggles. Astonishing, intimate and profound.

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Taiwan

10+10

10+10

(Shi jia shi)

Taiwan | Dir: Wang Toon, Wu Nien-chen, Wei Te-sheng, Cheng Wen-tang, Shen Ko-shang, Wang Shau-di, Chen Yu-hsun, Sylvia Chang, Kevin Chu Yen-ping, Chen Kuo-fu, Chang Tso-chi, Cheng Yu-chieh, Ho Wi-ding, Hou Chi-jan, Leon Dai, Chung Mong-hong, Yang Ya-che, Hsiao Ya-chuan, Arvin Chen, Hou Hsiao-hsien

Canadian Premiere

Thu. Sep 27, 6:00 pm, Granville 4
Sun. Sep 30, 3:45 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 3, 11:30 am, Vogue

A celebration of 100 years of Taiwan, this anthology brings together ten master directors and ten exciting young Taiwanese talents, each with a five-minute short: from Hou Hsiao-hsien’s elegiac beauty to Hou Chi-jan’s youthful lyricism, the greatness and promise of Taiwan’s new (and newest) cinema is fully on display.

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Poor Folk

POOR FOLK

(Qiongren, liulian, mayao, toudu ke)

Taiwan/Myanmar | Dir: Midi Z

Related Links: Trailer

World Premiere

Tue. Oct 2, 6:00 pm, Granville 5
Wed. Oct 3, 2:45 pm, Granville 5

This very international indie feature by Burmese-Taiwanese director Midi Z tells a comically sad story of Burmese/Chinese hustlers in Thailand. Two brothers, black-market tour guides by day, aspiring drug smugglers cum human traffickers on the side, stumble into borderland adventures both droll and harrowing.

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Together

TOGETHER

(Tian mimi)

Taiwan | Dir: Rox Hsu

North American Premiere

Sun. Oct 7, 6:45 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 10, 11:30 am, Granville 5

In Taiwanese director Rox Hsu’s quietly dazzling debut, the intersecting lives and loves of two Taipei families are seen through the eyes of 17-year-old Xiao Yang. Formally beautiful, emotionally rich, this elegantly paced film immerses us in a realistic world of subtle melancholy and humour.

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Dragons & Tigers Award Nominees & Gala


China

Emperor Visits The Hell

EMPEROR VISITS THE HELL

(Tang huang you difu)

China | Dir: Li Luo

World Premiere

Tue. Oct 2, 6:45 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 3, 1:30 pm, Cinematheque

Using a wonderful cast, Li Luo adapts an episode from the Ming Dynasty novel Journey to the West (aka Monkey) to the modern China of bureaucrats and gangsters: brilliant, straight-faced social satire with a real kick. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Memories Look at Me

MEMORIES LOOK AT ME

(Jiyi wangzhe wo)

China | Dir: Song Fang

North American Premiere

Wed. Oct 3, 9:30 pm, Cinematheque
Thu. Oct 4, 4:15 pm, Cinematheque

Song Fang (who played Juliette Binoche’s child-minder in Flight of the Red Balloon) directs herself as a young woman visiting her folks in Nanjing—and intuiting for the first time what it means to grow old and lose loved ones. Winner, Opera Prima prize, Locarno 2012. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Indonesia

Peculiar Vacation and Other Illnesses

PECULIAR VACATION AND OTHER ILLNESSES

Indonesia | Dir: Yosep Anggi Noen

North American Premiere

Mon. Oct 1, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque
Tue. Oct 2, 4:00 pm, Cinematheque

Yosep Anggi Noen’s striking debut feature finds the mystery in the everyday. A young Catholic woman makes a long road-trip with a Muslim man (they’re delivering furniture) while her semi-estranged husband makes do alone or with a cheap hooker. A tour de force of style, rich in submerged meanings.

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Japan

The Charm of Others

THE CHARM OF OTHERS

(Miryoko No Ningen)

Japan | Dir: Ninomiya Ryutaro

International Premiere

Sun. Sep 30, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque
Mon. Oct 1, 3:30 pm, Cinematheque

Ninomiya Ryutaro’s galvanizing debut explores the relationships and romantic rivalries between the guys in a repair workshop. Great performances and flawless control of mood and emotion, plus explosions of rage and corporal punishment. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Sponsored by:

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Riko

RIKO

Japan | Dir: Yumiba Aya

International Premiere

Tue. Oct 2, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 3, 4:00 pm, Cinematheque

Director Yumiba Aya herself plays Riko, a young unattached woman who one day finds herself hosting an unexplained man in her room. They’re not lovers (he brings another woman back for attempted sex one night) but do become friends. So when he disappears without warning, Riko is bereft… A deliciously enigmatic debut. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Sponsored by:


South Korea

A Fish

A FISH

South Korea | Dir: Park Hongmin

North American Premiere

Mon. Oct 1, 6:15 pm, Cinematheque
Tue. Oct 2, 1:00 pm, Cinematheque

A seedy gumshoe has found Professor Lee’s missing wife; she’s been initiated as a shaman on Jindo Island. Lee’s quest to get her back is so disorienting he might as well be in Twin Peaks… Park Hongmin’s terrific mystery thriller announces the next wave in Korean cinema. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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A Mere Life

A MERE LIFE

(La Nuda Vita/Beolgeo Soongi)

South Korea | Dir: Park Sanghun

International Premiere

Sun. Sep 30, 6:30 pm, Cinematheque
Mon. Oct 1, 12:45 pm, Cinematheque

Park Sanghun tells the ultimate hard-luck story in his debut feature, edging towards Bela Tarr territory. Park Ilrae (whose name ironically means “change”) has a wife and son but no prospects. In meticulous images and sounds, the film explores his karmic downfall. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Moksha: The World or I, How Does That Work?

MOKSHA: THE WORLD OR I, HOW DOES THAT WORK?

South Korea | Dir: Koo Sungzoo

World Premiere

Wed. Oct 3, 6:45 pm, Cinematheque
Thu. Oct 4, 1:30 pm, Cinematheque

An unkempt guy finds himself chained to the ground in a park in Koo Sungzoo’s sardonic puzzle of a movie. With no memory of how he got there, he needs answers—but the people who happen along only have questions of their own. There are echoes of Buñuel and Poe (and of Natali’s Cube) but this is really one of a kind. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.

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Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2012

September 27 - October 12, 2012 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: 604.685.0260