Special Report: 11th Far East Film Festival, Udine Italy, Part 2

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
The 11th Far East Film Festival ended on May 2 after 10 days of non-stop new feature films from South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. The audience awarded this years Academy award winning foreign language film Departures by TAKITA Yojiro, from Japan as the best film of the festival. Departures will be opening in San Francisco on May 29th. The runner up was The Scandal Makers by KANG Hyoung-chul from South Korea. The film was a big commercial success in its own country and hit home in Udine as well. The story is about a 30-year-old man who learns that he has fathered a daughter when she and her young son appear at his doorstep.
The highly anticipated Ip Man by Wilson YIP is the story of Yip Man, the kung fu master of the wing chen school of martial arts who taught Bruce Lee when he was a teenager. Donnie Yen plays Yip Man who with dignity and humility stands up to bullies from the North who aggressively challenge the martial artists of his town Foshan. When the Japanese invade China he is commanded to fight an officer in a martial arts competition. When he defeats him it is no longer safe to remain in China and he flees with his family to Hong Kong.
The Far East Film Festival "Horror day" featured the slick and stylish The Forbidden Door by Joko Anwar from Indonesia. The film is a suspenseful thriller features a private club where videos of a tortured boy are shown on close circuit television. Gambir played by the talented (Fachri Albar) is a sculptor married to Talyda (played by the stunning Marsha Timothy). His artwork is foreboding and menacing. But nothing in the film is as it should be with many astonishing surprises.
Also noteworthy from Indonesia is the debut feature Fiction by Mouly SURYA is a cleverly designed tale set in Jakarta. Bari played by Donny Alamsyah, is a young man who cleans the pool of a wealthy businessman who made his fortune during the dictatorship of Soharta. His daughter Alisha (Ladya Cheryl) later runs away from home to be near Bari, though he has a girlfriend. He spends his days writing about the people of a nine story building. The top floor is empty since it is claimed that the souls of the deceased who died in a fire set by arsonists reside there. The film won the best film prize at the national film awards in Indonesia and was written by Surya in collaboration with Joko Anwar.
It was hard to not be exhilarated by The Good, The Bad, and The Weird by South Korean director KIM Jee-won. Kim was inspired by spaghetti westerns made by Sergio Leone and the film was screened 20 years after Leone’s death at the festival. The hit man Chang-yi (Lee Byung-heon) is commissioned to find a map that is held by a banker who is en route by train. The bounty hunter Do-won (Jung Woo-sung is also commissioned by the Korean independence army to retrieve it and the train robber Tae-gu (Song Kang-ho) decides it is the map to treasures from the Qing dynasty. With clever shootouts and chase scenes and a riveting sound track the film never lets up action in a stunning visual spectacle.
The love relationship between the Udine audience and new Asian film continues to grow and is considered the most spectacular showcase of its kind in Europe.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Udine Italy
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11th Far East Film Festival, Udine Italy, Part 2