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Ninth Pusan International Film Festival Opens in October

Ninth Pusan International Film Festival Opens in October

Posted September. 22, 2004 22:01,   


The Ninth Pusan International Film Festival will open with “2046,” a Hong Kong film directed by Wong Kar-wei, and will close with a Korean film “The Scarlet Letter,” starring the famous Korean actor Han Seok-kyu.

The festival (PIFF) will open in the Busan area, including a PIFF outdoor movie square, at the Megabox Theater in Haeundae, and the Daeyoung Cinema Theater in Nampo-dong from October 7 through 15. This will be the largest event ever in the PIFF’s history, with 264 films from 63 countries being presented. Let’s take a look at the highlights of this nine-day journey of film.

Opening and Closing Films-

The opening film “2046” was presented in competition at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival. This film was favored for its perfection, although the selection of this film as the festival’s opening film was not quite normal because it has already been played at previous film festivals. The title “2046” refers to the year of the 50th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China, and covers the period a few years after a short love story of the film “In the Mood for Love.” (2000) Famous for his films “Chungking Express,” “Being Wild,” and “Happy Together,” director Wang is considered as the leading cinematic stylist representing Asia. In “2046,” Wang’s sensuous scenes and Tony Leung’s gloomy charisma, who was the winner of the best actor award at Cannes for his role in “In the Mood for Love,” harmonize. The film will be screened after some retakes and editing after the Cannes festival.

The closing film “The Scarlet Letter” has as much weight as “2046.” This mystery and melodrama tells the story of Ki-hoon, who is a detective in charge of the Violent Crimes Department, but is immersed in murder and sexual desire. Actor Han Seok-kyu, actress Lee Eun-ju, Sung Hyun-ah, and Eum Ji-won star. The main focus of this film is actor Han Seok-kyu, who represented Korean movies of the 1990s, his comeback, and the improvement of director Byun Hyuk, who made this as his first feature-length film in four years dating back to his film “Interview” in 2000.

Nine Sections-

The program for PIFF consists of nine sections: “A Window on Asian Cinema” (45 films), “Korean Panorama” (13 films),”‘Wide Angle” (74 Films), “New Currents” (12 films), “World Cinema” (50 films), “Open Cinema” (7 films), and “Critic’s Choice” (10 films).

“A Window on Asian Cinema” is the section that reveals the actual status of Asian films from China, Japan, Thailand, India and others. The Taiwanese great director Hou Hsiao Hsien’s “Café Lumiere” was presented as a competition entry of the Venice Film Festival, which you should never miss. This is an homage film for the great Japanese artist Oz Yasziro, covering Oz’s family, love, and new life.

Japanese director Aoyama Shinji’s “Murder in the Lake,” and Iwai Shunji’s new film “Hana and Alice,” (who is also famous for the film “Love letter”) are likely to draw attention.

In the World Cinema section, artistic films such as Jean-luc Godard’s “Our Music,” Emir Kusturica’s “Life is a Miracle,” and other African and Latin-American films will be shown. In “Moolaade,” director Ousmane Sembene of Senegal satirized the reality of women’s’ lives in African countries, and won an award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

“New Currents,” the only competition at PIFF, will show 12 films from rookie directors from six nations, including Nami Iguchi’s “The Cat Leaves Home,” Noh Dong-seok’s “My Generation,” and others. In the “Korean Film Panorama”, the audience will screen “3 Iron” from director Kim Ki-duk, who won the Best Director Award at the last Venice Film Festival. Also, popular films such as “Mermaid,” “Old Boy,” “Three, Monster,” and “Woman is the Future of Man” will be played.

Special Program-

The highlight of this section would be ‘Retrospective on Theo Angelopoulos’, the films of a famous and eminent Greek director. With military dictatorship and oppression of human rights in Greek modern history as the setting, his 12 major films including ‘Days of 1936’ ‘The Traveling Players’ ‘The Hunters’ will be screened during the festival. ‘The Weeping Meadow’, which is the first part of Trilogy regarding 20 century’s modern history will be also included.

Meanwhile, ‘Ani-Asia’ section will introduce the rapid growing animations of Taiwan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. ‘Retrospective of Korean Cinema’, also be titled as ‘The Era of Joint Films between Korea-Hong Kong’ will screen the jointly produced films of late 1950 through early 1980s, such as ‘Dalgi’ ‘Duel to the Death’, ‘Prison Cell for Women’ and others.

Gab-Sik Kim dunanworld@donga.com