Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Rotterdam Connection

For the month of April - a quartet of films from the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).

Mon 7 April, 8pm

25 Watts
Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll; Uruguay, 2001, 92 min

A surprise hit at IFFR, this is a wry Montevideo 'slacker comedy' about three boys Leche, Javi and Seba who wander around the neighbourhood with nothing to do but drink beer, smoke, talk about girls and interact with picturesque characters from the 'barrio'. Fresh and funny, 25 Watts is an auspicious debut for co-directors Rebella and Stoll and consolidates Uruguay's participation in the revitalisation of Latin American cinema.
'In many ways, 25 Watts is a remarkable film. It demonstrates that big budgets and technical resources are not necessary when imagination is present.' Fernando López, La Nación.

The film won a total of 10 awards and 3 nominations, including the VPRO Tiger Award and Youth Jury Prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Best First Feature Film Award at the Havana Film Festival.

Mon 14 April, 8pm

Alexis dos Santos; Argentina, 2006, 107 min
Rotterdam VPRO Tiger Award competition, 2006.

A comedy/drama set in a small town in vast, empty Patagonia, about three youths - the gawky, young Lucas, a time bomb of hormones, boredom, and family alienation, hangs out with his hunky and horny best friend, Nacho, and bespectacled, mousey gal pal, Andrea. The threesome cope with the trials of burgeoning adolescence by getting high and getting off, mostly, in variations with each other.

Young Jury Award -Golden MovieSquad Shield, VPRO Tiger Awards Competition, Rotterdam 2006.
Best Film, Buenos Aires International Film Festival BAFICI 2006
Audience Award, Buenos Aires International Film Festival BAFICI 2006
Jury Award for Best Film by a young Latin American director, Buenos Aires International Film Festival BAFICI 2006
Honorary Mention from Standard Readers' Jury, Viennale - Vienna International Film Festival 2006
Young Jury Award, Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes, 2006

'Glue serves as an example of how to refresh and make strange a perennial subject. There has lately been a flood of coming-of-age movies, but what makes Glue somewhat exceptional is its intimate, lyrical atmosphere and its almost abstract, painterly use of video.' The New York Times.

Mon 21 April, 8pm
What On Earth Have I Done Wrong?! (Qing fei de yi zhi shengcun zhi dao)

Niu Cheng-ze; Taiwan, 2007, 99 min

Mockumentary about a filmmaker who collects money to make a mockumentary.

Nominated for best feature film, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2007
FIPRESCI Award, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2007
NETPAC Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008

Mon 28 April, 8pm
The Truth Be Told: the Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong

Pimpaka Towira; Thailand, 2007, 105 min

In October 2005, Thailand telecommunications giant Shin Corporation, owned by the family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, brought an $11-million defamation lawsuit against Supinya Klangnarong, a prominent Thai journalist, university lecturer and media rights activist. She had accused the corporation of colluding with the government. During the tumultuous months of her trial, director Pimpaka Towira, a leading figure of Thailand's independent film scene, accompanied the level-headed Klangnarong, capturing a portrait of idealism and integrity. The result is a beguiling mix of cinema vérité, personal profile, political exposé and national diary. Proving that freedom of speech and public activism can effect change, The Truth Be Told seamlessly combines a fluid experimental style with an engaging narrative structure that comments on the legal, political and constitutional turmoil in contemporary Thai society.

IFFR 2008 Exploding Cinema: New Dragon Inns selection.

HELP University College Theatrette, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL
Admission by membership, available at the door: RM60 1 year (students RM30); RM40 6 mths; RM30 4 mths
Free admission for Alliance Francaise members & HELP students
Enquiries: 012-2255136