Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2011 Day 1: Tuesday November 8, 2011

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The Isabel Bader theatre was buzzing with excitement last night for the Opening Night Gala Screening of Lover's Discourse which opened the festival for it's 15th anniversary year. Red was the colour of the evening with from red carpet & photo op space in effect, to friendly voluneteers sporting red t-shirts to of red balloons to guide people to the opening night party. Honestly, how cool is that? I think it's awesome, as was the audience being sereaded to by Choir Choir Choir who chose a song to 'take us back 15 years to 1997' when the festival began. Wow. I've been attending the festival for 5 years now and I was won over right from the very first screening of Finishing the Game in 2007 and continued to be impressed by the extremly strong and diverse programming that brings a fantastic set of films to Toronto each an every year. If Lover's Discourse is any hint of what's to come for 2011 we are in for another stellar year at the festival. And I'd expect nothing less.

In addition to the review below, make sure to check the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage for photos & videos from the festival.

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Lover's Discourse
Dirs: Derek Tsang Kowk Cheung, Jimmy Wan
Cast: Eason Chan, Karena Lam, Kay Tse, Eric Tsang, Eddie Peng, Kit Chan, Eric Tsang, Jacky Heung, Mavis Fan
Hong Kong

Lover's Discourse is sectioned off to 4 seemingly separate shorts that deal with slightly darker areas of love and shines a shimming light on a multitude of shades of grey from themes of desire, distanced adoration, fantasy, and every borderline stalker behaviour. But at the heart of the film is always love, even if it's unrequited or from the perspective of jealousy, it always comes back to love. And I loved this film. I particularly enjoyed the first two segments which were lighter on the surface than the final two, but all of them were carefully constructed, beautifully acted and had a sizzling emotional strength. The acting is so strong and we are giving a refreshingly large cast of characters to response to whether it be by identifying with them, empathizing with them, laughing with (or at) them or not agreeing with them you certainly have a strong reaction to each and every one. I was particularly impressed with the acting in section one with Eason Chan and Karena Lam who literally pulled me right into their world. Lover's Discourse was a beautiful way to open the festival, and I thoroughly enjoyed the with tales of love, longing and desire.

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Lover's Discourse co-director Derek Tsang Kowk Cheung with Reel Asian Artistic Director Heather Keung

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Lover's Discourse co-director Derek Tsang Kowk Cheung with Reel Asian Artistic Director Heather Keung

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2011 runs from November 5 - 13, 2011 in Toronto and November 18-19, 2011 in Richmond Hill in Ontario, Canada.

For more information, check out the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival: Website, 15th Anniversary, How to Buy Tickets, Buy Tickets, Full Festival Schedule, Industry Series Information and Venue Information and Festival Awards & Jury Information. Also see the Reel Asian Facebook Page and you can follow the festival on Twitter.

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