A special program by Stefano Locati
A selection of short films from East Asia that tell about the present situation in the different countries from bizarre, weird and unexpected perspectives. All this without falling into exoticism, but maintaining a trace of unpredictability that often merges with experimentation. From the sweet and sour family portrait of the Filipino work Maybe Aliens to the morbid daily life of a Japanese couple in Kyonetsu, from the contacts with the spirits of the Taiwanese Running Stitch: Bangkok to the alienating encounters in the Japanese film I & Myself, to the considerations on the “masked” body of the South Korean A Grand Day Out. A naturally partial but absolutely vital breakdown of the most unusual and filter-free short films productions of East Asia. Five film directors (two women and three men) three fiction short film, one of animation, an almost-documentary film from black and white in 4: 3 to the panoramic format with saturated colors. Different points of view and different aesthetic choices to invite a profitable tension to the multiplicity of looks.
Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival for Dong Film Fest
Within the program East Asia Now: Weird & Experimental, the Short Film Festival offers a cinematic window into contemporary Chinese cinema, in the belief that film culture may spread also through networks and collaborations between different realities.
In 2016 some young scholars and enthusiasts founded the Dong association under the artistic direction of Zelia Zbogar, and this was the cultural setting that favoured the birth of the Dong Film Fest. The programme of the association helps cultural and creative groups to operate transnationally and promotes the mobility of cultural players as well as the cross-border circulation of works of culture, in this case by presenting quality Chinese cinema in Italy and quality Italian cinema in China.
The first edition of the festival took place in November 2016 at the Massimo cinema in Turin. Five feature films were presented by debutant Chinese filmmakers, most of them in national premiere: What’s in the Darkness by Yichun Wang, The Night by Hao Zhou, Poet on a Business Trip by Anqi Ju, Where Are You Going by Yang Zhengfan and Life After Life by Hanyi Zhang. The second edition, preceded by a series of special events in Milan, took place in November 2017, once again at the Massimo cinema in Turin. On this occasion, five feature films and one short film were previewed: the debut of Last Laugh by Tao Zhang, Hello Hello by Chuan Song and the Chinese production Dog Days by Jordan Schiele, together with Children Are Not Afraid of Death, Children Are Afraid of Ghosts by Guangrong Rong, The Taste of Rice Flower by Fei Peng and the short film A Gentle Night by Yang Qiu.
Dong Film Fest wants to offer visibility to young directors working in fictional cinema. The proposal is unique in its kind, because there are no other companies in Italy that deal with the Chinese continental production and with emerging young authors. This is why Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is happy to present this festival, waiting for its third edition, to discover new and visionary talents!
For more information: http://dongfilmfest.com/
Director: Glenn Barit
Philippines, fiction, 7’02”
A grass field forming twisted geometric inlays and two children learning to ride a bike under their father’s supervision. The incipit is apparently harmless, but behind all this a small-great human tragedy is concealed. Glenn Barit builds his bitter family portrait through temporal jumps made of short sequences with fixed shots in plongée perpendicular to the characters. A collection of paintings in medium and long shots to illustrate the disorientation of two children who have to face the harshness of life and the loss of their parents.
Running Stitch: Bangkok
Director: Yi-chi Lin
Taiwan, documentary, 8’00”
It is night in Bangkok, three passersbies talk about a meeting they have had with supernatural forces. Earth and spiritual collide in the distorted architectures of a ghost town. Yi-chi Lin, a multimedia artist attracted by different forms of expression, from photography to video installations, builds up an unusual documentary in split screen, in which images and words, static sounds and colors, enter into a simultaneous and alienating dialogue. An experiment which took shape after the artist spent some time in Thailand in 2016, his wish to investigate urban legends and popular roots.
Director: Yūji Mitsuhashi
Japan, fiction, 16’51”
A middle-aged writer has a tormented relationship with his young wife, whom he strangles while they are having a sexual intercourse after falling into an uncontrolled fit. However, he discovers that the following day the woman is still alive. Yūji Mitsuhashi pervades the story of a crackling and morbid sensuality. Shot in black and white and in 4: 3, without dialogues, like a silent film, but in high definition 4K and with the predominance of persistent and sought-after stage sounds, Kyonetsu collides nostalgia and technological innovation in a surreal and elusive parody of the male fantasies over their need to feel in control.
A Grand Day Out
Director: Hyoung-hye An
South Korea, animation, 10’08”
In a room lit by a television screen, a woman is getting ready to leave her house. Her body is transfigured by the surrounding environment and sounds, in a process of identity construction exasperated by having to face mirrors and tricks. Hyoung-hye An exploits the possibilities offered by animation with a black-and-white project in which the irregular and sinuous features break up and chase each other to form dreamlike and obsessive figures. A reflection over the way we look at our body as an object of our gaze two poles that mirror and amplify each other.
I & Myself
Director: Hisanori Tsukuda
Japan, fiction, 5’00”
Young Mizuho is lost in thought in the chaotic city of Tokyo. She had arrived in the capital to chase her dreams, but reality is more complicated and depressing than expected. At the station, on the way home, a series of unexpected encounters recolor her existence. Hisanori Tsukuda plays with the multiplication of doubles and personalities to tell of the lost possibilities and those still to be built. The actress Mizuho Osu proves her strong character in staging different versions of herself (8 in all!)