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  • 13 Little Pictures on Senses of Cinema

    Chris Fujiwara’s coverage on the 11th Jeonju International Film Festival includes a glowing review of Liao Jiekai’s Red Dragonflies:

    The international competition at Jeonju is usually worthwhile; a highlight this year was Liao Jiekai’s Red Dragonflies, which won the Special Jury Prize. The film delicately interweaves personal memory with the excavation of the recent past of Singapore, various lines of the film converging at a rickety pedestrian bridge crossed by three young hikers, and then at a quiet coffeehouse/bookshop. The drifting mood the filmmaker sustains is subtly obsessive without being smothering. Debts of style and sensibility to both Hou Hsiao-hsien (leisurely pans on slowly developing interior scenes; long camera distance) and Apichatpong Weeresethakul (dream narration and unceremonious narrative bifurcation) are apparent. Some of the acting (by non-actors) comes off as studied, and on the whole the film is stronger in its non-narrative aspects, for its purely visual discoveries, than as a portrayal of the concerns of young Singaporeans (which it also is). Red Dragonflies is above all the revelation of a director’s personality.

    Read the rest of the article here.

    Red Dragonflies; Liao Jiekai 2010

    Ian Mundell weighs in on the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam’s “Forget Africa” program, of which Sherman Ong’s Memories of a Burning Tree was a part:

    In Memories of a Burning Tree, Sherman Ong from Malaysia worked with local filmmaker Peter Mbwago to tell the story of a young man arriving in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in order to look for a grave. In the course of his search he encounters a number of other characters whose life revolves around the graveyard and a local cafe, each also looking for something. With understated performances from non-professional actors speaking Swahili, the film gives a striking impression of urban African life without pushing violence, poverty or disease.

    Read the rest the article here.

    Memories of a Burning Tree; Sherman Ong 2010


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