The half-way mark of my one-year work-stay here in Shanghai is through, and I have accumulated a number of good -not… great- movies for home viewing. The titles I’ve bought are usually filed under artfilms, but I do try to buy some light-viewing material at times. Case in point: the box set of the delightfully wonderful WONDERFALLS TV series (previous post about the show). Good thing it only ran for one season, so that means I do have all the episodes with me.
I tend not to get films I’ve already purchased, and are just gathering dust back home. Save for one: Takeshi Kitano’s DOLLS. Sucker for tragedy, I am.
The 9th Shanghai International Film Festival will be held on June 17-25. No word yet on tickets for the viewing public, though most probably there is, I’m just lazy to really do extensive research on it. What is touted as the opening film will be the last James Ivory movie White Countess. Summary (source/Sony Picture Classics):
Shanghai. 1936. Crossroads of the world and into this city of political intrigue comes Sofia, a Russian Countess who, with the remains of her family, has been left stateless by the Revolution. Forced by her reduced circumstances to support herself and her family as a bar-girl and taxi dancer, Sofia forms a relationship with Jackson, a blind former diplomat who opens an elegant bar; The White Countess. Their curious relationship matures but they are caught up in the fall of the city to the Japanese invaders.
Yes, there was actually a strong Russian community here in Shanghai in the olden days, so said one of these weekly expat-centric magazines. The significance of it being the opening film is obvious, though: it was released in 2005; it didn’t fare well with critics; and its readily available ‘in other media forms, just about anywhere‘ in Shanghai. It also doesn’t help for us Mandarin-challenged that it will be, AFAIK, dubbed in Chinese.
Oh, and the featured films? A funky bunch, and that’s just me being polite. Filter through the movies from the USA, and feel that elevating twitch in your eyebrow.
From the Pinoy Movie Flickr group: Philippine Premiere of Raya Martin’s “Maicling pelicula naÃ±g ysaÃ±g indio nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan)” on Independence Day. Martin (here‘s a feature article about him) seems to be a familiar name for anyone interested in Filipino Independent Cinema, and his credentials seem to be worth looking into.