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  • Demons at Berlinale Forum

    Cast and crew of Demons will be at the screenings for QnA.

    Trailer

    A horror film with a point. Happily, this satirical horror film is keenly funny when it isn’t being scary. Shot in English and Mandarin and spiked with offbeat humor that sweetens its dark thoughts, the Berlinale Forum title is quite the trip for those who get into it. Although a hallucinatory journey into the psychic well is not for everyone, those willing to dip into experimental cinema will probably hang on to the dazzling, mythical ending…. Hui, who has made a name for himself on the festival circuit for his innovative films with a strong social and political bent, has an idiosyncratic approach to storytelling verging on experimental kitsch.” 

    – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

    “Demons is a spectacularly unsettling accumulation of diverse and fragmented images, techniques, sounds and themes. It clearly has a point to make about the environment that produced it, as well as the men who continue to overpower this landscape. It need not be understood entirely, and that is also part of its beauty. It is dark, grotesque and simply absurd, with a wonderfully wicked sense of humour.”

    – Fenja Akinde-Hummel, The Upcoming

    “Daniel Hui builds a film pervaded by an archaic sense of restlessness, primordial as the tribal statuette in the house of the protagonist, from a Lynchian anguish.” 8/10

    – Giampiero Raganelli, Quinlan

    “Stories-within-stories-within-stories also form the weird fabric of Daniel Hui’s Demons, a hallucinatory, near-Lynchian evocation of contemporary Singaporean psychosis that centers on power dynamics in a theater troupe.”

    – Travis Jeppesen, Artforum

    “[U]nmissable…a work of a dedicated cinephile, visually and narratively outstanding…The film is sure to stay with the audience long after”

    – Maja Korbecka, easternKicks

    “Even harder and more virtuoso, Daniel Hui from Singapore jumbled up the genres. Demons begins as a painful #MeToo drama in the theatre milieu, slowly transforming into a history of revenge, combining the driest satire with ghost scare and B-movie splatter. A young actress gets a role with a renowned director. Even his cutting comments in the casting show: The collaboration is torture. Sexual oppression and attacks are becoming increasingly obvious. At the same time, the film becomes more and more tangled – and draws from it a power that goes beyond the alleged simplicity of history. Hui interweaves the elements even more complex and enigmatic than Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin Film). He cuts faster and more confusing between the levels and times back and forth – and can very skillfully create a suction, which leads to a bloody, metaphysical finale. The imagery has only a naturalistic appearance at first – the further the film progresses, the more artificial it looks.”

    – Fabian Wallmeier, rbb24



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  • A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua won Golden Leopard

    A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival 2018, awarded by a jury presided by Jia Zhangke. The film also clinched the first prize at the festival’s Junior Jury Awards, plus a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury (for “sensitising the viewer to religious, people-related, and social values”). In addition, independent critics presented A Land Imagined’s lead actress, Luna Kwok, with the Boccalino d’Oro Prize for Best Actress.

    Ultimately for Yeo, the greatest reward for winning at Locarno is to know “that what we have achieved here is something that will form ripples and have larger implications on cinema from this part of the world”.

    “I am heartened to hear some filmmaker friends from Singapore and the region who felt that my winning the grand prize in a top festival is a sign that a larger international audience is now interested in hearing our stories and feel encouraged to make their own films. We can’t just always celebrate our thriving economy. I think it’s time people look our way and see the dedication and sophistication in our arts. But before that can happen, we need to be able to embrace our own and care for the health of our arts here. It’s a film dedicated to this land, made for my audience here, and I hope it starts a conversation – not elsewhere but here”. – Yeo Siew Hua

    Excerpts from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/yeo-siew-hua-land-imagined-locarno-film-festival-grand-winner-10633608



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  • Screen and Art Forum review A Land Imagined

    “Writer/director YEO Siew Hua and cinematographer Hideho URATA swiftly establish a film noir-style ambience as detective Lok (Peter YU) drives through a neon-lit Singapore like a latter-day Philip Marlowe or J J Gittes. City lights twinkle through the haze of tumbling rain and vast industrial landscapes are silhouetted against blood red skies. The score is jazzy, the mood is fatalistic and there is the sense that the case of one individual will reveal bittersweet truths about the state of the nation.”

    Allan Hunter, Screen

    “The mutability of territory is embedded in the very title of Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined, winner of the festival’s top prize, the Golden Leopard, which was awarded by an international competition jury led by Jia Zhangke. The film takes on the issues of land reclamation and migrant labor in Singapore via an oneiric blend of detective genre convolutions and male melodrama intimacies. Cinematographer Hideho Urata lends the film’s night scenes the lurid neon-noir aesthetics of Miami Vice, and editor (and great filmmaker in his own right) Daniel Hui delicately maintains the film’s balance between its serpentine plotline and understated political commentary.”

    Leo Goldsmith, Artforum



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  • Art Forum reviews SNAKESKIN

    “Another successful experiment in hybridization was Snakeskin, which had its world premiere at Doclisboa, following director Daniel Hui’s winning of the Revelation Prize for Eclipses at last year’s festival. Documentary is crossed with science fiction as the sole survivor of an apocalyptic cult in the year 2066 meditates, via voice-over, on interviews and footage filmed in 2014 in his native Singapore. In its unraveling narrative, this unusual, thoughtful evocation of time travel probes one of history’s most complex sites of colonialist intrigue.”

    Travis Jeppesen, Art Forum



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  • Art Review on SNAKESKIN

    “Watching Lav Diaz’s epic five hour From What Is Before (2014) is like binging on a slow-cinema version of a soap opera box set, as Diaz theatrically restages his native Philippines’ 1972 revolution. Daniel Hui’s Snakeskin (2014) similarly acts to revise the history of the director’s homeland, Singapore, ambitiously rejoicing in the medium of film as a Chris Marker-esque agent of time travel and mythmaking, complete with a reincarnated cat.”

    Justin Jaeckle at Art Review



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