Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2008 Day 4 - Saturday November 15, 2008

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Day 4! Today had a lot of aggressive weather! Started off with rain, it was chilly throughout and ended with pelting wet snow. Gotta love November in Toronto! Want to hear all about it? Check out my Day 4 & 5 Vlog or check out the highlights of the day below.

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Long Story Short director Christine Choy and writer/narrator Jodi Long

Long Story Short
Dir: Christine Choy
Documentary on entertainers Larry & Trudy Long and their daughter Jodi Long
USA

It was a true joy to see not only the film Long Story Short but also the Intro and Q&A by director Christine Choy and Jodi Long. The energy they provided to the screening was playful, practical and proud. The film traces the history of Jodi Long's parents, Larry & Trudy Long as innovative entertainers through the 40's and the 50's including an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The journey is not only historical but personal to shows the realities of a show business family, which unfortunately shows how although we may have come along way that it doesn't mean we have actually come very far.

See selections from Q&A with director Christine Choy and writer Jodi Long here.

Damn the Past
Dir: Juli Kang
USA, 2007
29 minutes

A beautiful short film filled with song, dance, unconventional relationships which confront and embrace telling your own story and creating your own history in the midst of presumptions and assumptions.

Flower in the Pocket
Dir: Liew Seng Tat
Cast: Lim Wing Wei, Wong Zi Jiang, James Lee, Amira Nasuha Binti Shahiran, Mislina Mustaffa
Malaysia

Flower in the Pocket is an absolutely wonderful film following the tale of two young brothers, mostly unattended and getting into trouble but they appear to know nothing different. Fragile friendships, odd explorations and more than a few shocking moments kept the audiences attention for the duration of the film. Ultimately the film feels like a tale of familial and social completeness but the joy lies in its simplicity of togetherness and family regardless of the situation.

The Audience
Dir: David Eng
Canada, 2008

Hilarious short that prods, questions and validates not only the audience we are but the audience we see. This film was a definite crowd pleaser.

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West 32nd director Michael Kang

West 32nd
Dir: Michael Kang
Cast: John Cho, Grace Park, Jun Kim
South Korea/USA

This slick New York set Korean gangster flick took me by surprize. Star power including John Cho and Grace Park was certainly a draw, but the complex nature and desire to understand the underground culture is what hooks you into the film. The exploration shows how quickly the lines can be blurred from professional to personal, as well as demonstrating the powerful dynamites of the community. I’m not usually one for gangster films, but the story pulls you tightly into the intriguing world and gives you many characters to connect to on multiple levels. Add to that a great cast including stellar performances especially from Jun Kim and you are ready to roll.

Want to hear the whole Q&A? You can! Check it out here at Toronto Screen Shots, film content is discussed (including the end) so spoilers sensitive folks beware.

See selections from Q&A with director Michael Kang here.

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The packed house for the screening of West 32nd and The Audience

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2008 runs from November 12-16, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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1 comment:

Michael Kang said...

Thanks for the props! Glad you enjoyed the film.

-Mike

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