Chinese film 'Rumination' honored at Vancouver festival

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 9, 2010
Adjust font size:

The Chinese film "Rumination" ("Fanchu") was among two East Asian films honored with "special mentions" at the Vancouver International Film Festival Dragon and Tigers Award for Young Cinema on Thursday night in the Canadian city.

The film by Beijing director Xu Ruotao about life in the 1960s and 1970s during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was honored along with the Vietnamese production "Don't Be Afraid, Bi!" by Phan Dang Di.

The Japanese film "Good Morning to the World!" won the top prize, earning Hirohara Satoru the first prize of 10,000 U.S. dollars the festival awards an up-and-coming East Asian director. His 81-minute film tells the story of a Japanese teenager who is motivated to investigate the identity and background of a homeless man found murdered near his home.

The judging panel consisted of directors Bong Joon-ho, Denis Cote and Jia Zhangke praised Satoru for "his fresh and frontal way of addressing his society's problems".

"Unbelievable," said the 23-year-old director who was presented with his award in front of a packed theater before the screening of Feng Xiaogang's "Aftershock", the Chinese blockbuster about the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. "I made this film for the young audiences of Japan. I never thought that I would be standing here talking to you, receiving this award. I am very, very happy."

Satoru's film triumphed over seven other films from around Asia including "Rumination", the only Chinese film among the eight nominees. Altogether, 43 Asian films, including 10 from the Chinese mainland, were showing at the 29th annual festival that runs through Oct. 15.

The judging panel said "Rumination", which was making its North American debut, stood out for its "unusual" time structure. "This film uses political movements as action, political ideology as dialogue, to understand history in a new way within the realm of contemporary art and cinema."

"It's an experimental film talking about the Cultural Revolution and it has 10 chapters in the film. It has some characteristics different from other films," said Shanxi native Jia who was in Vancouver promoting his latest release, "I Wish I Knew".

The director of such films as "Still Life" and "The World", said the Dragon and Tigers Award was famous for young directors to "cut their teeth". Jia won the award in 1998 for his breakthrough film "Xiao Wu".

"This award is kind of a channel where they are looking for young, talented directors in the Asian filming arena."

Bong, director of such Korean films as "The Host" and "Mother", was also full of praise for "Rumination", hailing "its unique visual style".

"The frame is almost the shape of perfect scale. The director used that frame very well and creatively. I really enjoyed the fresh approach of the visual style and also the very unique way to deal with a story about China in the 1960s and 1970s. There are many movies which deal with that kind of political historical stories in China, but this movie is very quite different, very unique visual style and very unique way of approaching the subject."

Alan Franey, the VIFF director, said Asian films had been a focus of the festival since 1985. In addition to the films, he added, one of the best returns from exposing the work of young directors in the Dragons and Tigers series was that many had become important figures in world cinema. Often, many had returned to the festival over the years.

"The reason it is important to us is because we look toward Asia, as a city (Vancouver). We are very interested in the Pacific Rim, we have trade ties, cultural ties, and we'd like to build a bridge to the region."

He praised the output of Asian cinema for its diversity.

"They've always been good, frankly. There's generational change but some of the great films from the '30s and '40s were Asian, Japanese and Chinese. We are pretty confident that we can bring very, very good films from China, for example, to the festival every year."

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from