Monthly Archives: October 2020

BIFF 2020: Oct. 30

The 25th Busan International Film Festival ended today and, as usual, the press office sent me a final report. Total attendance at offline screenings came to 20,135, or 92 percent of capacity, which is surprising given that there was only … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 29

I didn’t intend to watch the Japanese contribution to Window On Asian Cinema, Ora, Ora Be Goin’ Alone, a World Premiere, because I was asked to write about it for the English web page of the Tokyo International Film Festival … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 28

This year, the Asian Film Awards were presented at BIFF for the first time. Of course, the organizers hoped to have a real ceremony with a real audience, so transferring the awards to Asia’s biggest film festival made sense, since … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 27

I haven’t seen that many Vietnamese movies, but all the ones I’ve seen I’ve seen at BIFF, and I’m pretty sure all of them were about people of limited means, which I interpreted to represent the bulk of the population. … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 26

Debut features, especially by university trained directors, are a crap shoot, since they often replicate graduation projects. That isn’t usually the case, however, in South Korea, where film students with real ambition and talent are put through the ringer, and … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 25

I spent all day on Kazuo Hara’s latest epic, Minamata Mandala, which is six hours and 12 minutes, thus making it almost twice as long as his last epic, Sennan Asbestos Disaster. The two documentaries are very similar in both … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 24

This is the first time in recent memory that there hasn’t been an Iranian film directed by someone I’m familiar with; or maybe I should say it’s the first time there hasn’t been an available Iranian film directed by someone … Continue reading

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Review: Destroyer

“High-concept” is a term used to describe Hollywood projects that are based on extremely easy-to-grasp ideas that have little to do with story or production values. They’re more like riffs on traditional genre tropes: zombies on Mars, say, or Shakespeare … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 23

Though I’m not writing for a paying media outlet this year, I was still hoping to “attend” a few press conferences. There aren’t that many except for the Opening and Closing films and the features in the Gala Section. Last … Continue reading

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Review: Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band

The title tells you right off the bat what you’re getting into with this supposedly definitive documentary about The Band: Robbie’s version, which has been contentious for years owing to how much drummer/singer/nominal frontman Levon Helm resented his post-breakup stewardship, … Continue reading

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