Crime. Pulp. Wuxia. Melodrama. Thriller. Action. The Far East Film Festival 20 moves towards its grand finale and spends Friday 27 April having a bit of genre movie fun and indulging in all (or almost all) the shades of pop cinema. There are 11 titles lined up from the morning to the night at the “Giovanni da Udine” Teatro Nuovo and the Visionario for the FEFF’s seventh (and penultimate) day, starting with the eagerly-anticipated A Better Tomorrow 2018: Ding Sheng’s updated reboot of John Woo’s mega-classic from 1986! And if, for the sake of symmetry, we need another classic to delight anyone who loves the glorious Hong Kong New Wave of the eighties (we’re talking about My Heart Is That Eternal Rose, Patrick Tam’s evergreen which will accompanied to Udine by legendary producer John Sham), there’s the tearjerking Be With You: the most moving love story in Korean cinema (we mean it – get your handkerchiefs ready)!
The first title of the morning couldn’t be more different, though – Brotherood of Blades 2: The Infernal Battlefield by Yang Lu, a wuxia movie with a capital “w” (strictly Made in China) which packs in political allegory, melodrama, detective story and action, to which the poetic grace of intimate Indonesian Bildungsroman My Generation – a gem from talented director Upi – plays delicate counterpoint. As well as the fascinating interlude of the Asian Cinema Lecture, a talk on the history of Filipino cinema introduced by Lisa Diño with Roger Garcia and given by award-winning director Nick Deocampo (beginning at 15.00), the flow of films continues with the irresistible Bad Genius by Nattawut Poonpiriya (remember his pitch-black Countdown?) and the ultraviolent Diamond Dogs, without forgetting the three shorts bearing the Fresh Wave label of the next generation of Hong Kong film makers and, last but not least, the return of a fraternal friend of the FEFF: Mr. Chapman To, adored by the FEFF’s audience, who will be presenting his The Empty Hands!
BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES 2: THE INFERNAL BATTLEFIELD
by LU Yang (China, 2017)
It just wouldn’t be the FEFF without wuxia! Especially when it combines political allegory, melodrama, detective story and action.
In the spotlight from 10.15 to 11.00, Ooku Akiko (Tremble All You Want) and Toda Akihiro (The Name). From 11.05 to 11.50, the legendary Sylvia Chang together with producer Patricia Cheng (Love Education). Next, from 12.00 to 12.50, Lee An-gyu (A Special Lady) and Lee Jang-hoon (Be With You).
HONG KONG FRESH WAVE
by various directors (Hong Kong, 2018)
The next generation of Hong Kong cineasts and film-makers.
by UPI (Indonesia, 2017)
Adolescence is a magic time full of vitality, hope and restlessness, and the protagonists of this generational fresco are no exception.
by Nattawut POONPIRIYA (Thailand, 2017)
From the director of Countdown, near-winer of 2012’s FEFF, black humour and twists galore in this crime thriller disguised as a straightforward teen movie.
ASIAN CINEMA LECTURE
A fascinating talk on the history of Filipino cinema introduced by Lisa Diño and Roger Garcia and given by multiple-award-winning director Nick Deocampo.
THE EMPTY HANDS
by Chapman To (Hong Kong, 2017)
Martial arts, comedy, reflection and a tribute to his Hong Kong: the festival’s dear friend Chapman To never ceases to amaze.
BE WITH YOU
by LEE Jang-hoon (South Korea, 2018)
Have your hankies ready before you take your seats in the cinema, because the intense love story of Be With You takes no prisoners!
A BETTER TOMORROW 2018
by DING Sheng (China, 2017)
John Woo changed the face of action cinema in 1986 with A Better Tomorrow, and now, Chinese director Ding Sheng resurrects the spirit of that classic and creates a brand new chapter, updated to the present day but maintaining its epic flavour. A former smuggler tries to restart his life and repair his relationship with his estranged brother – who is now a rising star in the narcotics division of the police department.
by GAVIN LIM (Singapore, 2017)
An unstoppable riot of sex, violence and wild B-movie action. Exploitation lovers, prepare yourselves!
by Ishmael BERNAL (Philippines, 1982)
1987: WHEN THE DAY COMES
by JANG Joon-hwan (South Korea, 2017)
MY HEART IS THAT ETERNAL ROSE
by Patrick Tam (Hong Kong, 1989)