I’m here at the 31st Göteborg International Film Festival
in Sweden, running from Jan 25th to Feb 4th the reigning film market in Scandinavia and which features a Nordic competition for new films. This year the festival features films from several other international pageants such as the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival. One special guest is Arthur Dong whose film Hollywood Chinese
was presented last March and which will be released later this spring in San Francisco. Arthur was invited to be part of a special seminar dedicated to his subject material in his excellent documentary with over 90 films clips of Chinese American films.
Also in attendance was director Hou Hsiao Hsien from China together with actress Juliette Binoche to present his new film Flight of the Red Balloon
, a film inspired by Albert Lamorsisse's award winning short film from the 1950’s The Red Balloon
previously reviewed on Movie Magazine.
Actress Parker Posey is also here with director Zoe Cassavettes to present Broken English
. We had the privilege of speaking with Zoe last spring for a special Movie Magazine report. Posey reported that the film about a 30 plus woman who has never had a functioning long term relationships would have been treated differently by a male director and she was “totally” glad to have Cassavettes as director.
The special focus of this year’s festival in Göteborg is new films from Mexico and in attendance was Gael Garcia Bernal who gave a special master class. He has recently finished making a film in Sweden with Lukas Moodysson and was here to promote his directorial debut Deficit
, a film about social divisions in Mexico.
Films on music is always a big hit in Göteborg and one of the films this year is the debut of Tims Perkis’s documentary Noisy People
about the experimental music scene in the Bay Area (See review in "Special Reports"). Perkis was in attendance.
As Göteborg gathers most of Sweden’s film workers there are ample workshops on the situation for quality film in Sweden and the support given to films from the Swedish Film Institute. Almost every film made in Sweden gets some kind of support from the Institute. Some of the work of Swedish filmmakers who have made a hit internationally are featured at this year’s festival. This includes Roy Andersson whose dystopian film You the Living
recently won the best film, best script and best director prize at the recent Swedish Golden Beetle awards. Jens Jonsson’s new film The King of Ping Pong
which has recently received critical attention in the USA is also featured..
The Göteborg festival was supported by the late director Ingmar Bergman who is honored this year in a special retrospective of his work. There is also a special Ingmar Bergman debut prize that will be awarded to a new filmmaker this year.
All in all this special festival attracts several important directors of quality film, as a wide range of international films and is the festival to see new work of Scandinavian directors.
For Movie Magazine This is Moira Sullivan, Göteborg SWEDEN
© 2008 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 2/08
31st Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, Report 1