Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chungmuro Film Festival

Hello, readers.

Am currently, as often I am on Sunday, in aA cafe, cozily typing away while, across from me, a friend cozily types away on her own things. It's a kind of double coziness. Perhaps coziness squared. Nothing like cozies, though, which, frankly speaking, I don't really know what are except that they have something to do with tea.

Also, am currently regularly attending the Chungmuro Independent Film Festival in Seoul (Chiffs). It's a week-long festival spread across two theaters, Myeongdong CGV and the Lotte Cinema at AvenueL. The theaters are across the street from each other.  There are places in Seoul where theaters began to resemble Starbucks in that they are everywhere and serve under-sized, but not terribly over-priced, iced lattes.

The festival movies are divided into several sections, including, among others, Panorama (films from everywhere), Chungmuro Now (contemporary films from Korea), Cine Asia in Love (Wong-Kar Wai's first, As Tears Go By, is here. That should give you an idea), Cine Classics (the Alien series is the main focus), and the Creators (looks at architects, designers, and so forth).

These sections, along with movie times, descriptions, and locations, are all helpfully delivered in a bi-lingual hundred page-booklet you can pick up at either of the two theaters. The volunteers, some of which are also bi-lingual, are both kind and helpful.

So far, I've seen a rock n' roll vampire movie called, Suck, and a dreamy, mostly ferry-based, love story called, One Day. Both of these were good, in their own special way.

Suck is good in a silly and lovingly melodramatic gothy way. It's a musical about a rock n' roll band whose fame is mostly based on their becoming vampires. One Day is good in a time skipping, oddly Michael Jackson referencing, slow-paced lingering shots kind of way. It's a love story in which a boy and girl meet on a ferry and deal with the strangeness of having everyone else disappear from the ferry except for themselves, a man with an axe, and a horse. There are also a lot of flashes, backs and forwards, for them, and us, to deal with as well.

One Day has the advantage over Suck, though, in that there is the most perfect use of bubble wrap I've ever seen on film. It takes a bit of patience, meandering through the dreamy timelessness to get there, but once you do, it's worth it.

Future films to watch include a movie called, Frozen, in which a woman woman is frozen in 1989 and unfrozen later to discover her daughter is as old as she is, as well as Aliens (which somehow I've never seen) and a movie called, My Name is Khan, which concerns a winning back your lost love road-trip undertaken by an Indian man in America who happens to be Muslim and also happens to have things start going wrong for him round about a certain date. In the unlikely case that Khan is, in fact, a reference to Star Trek then that will be surprising and awesome.

More later, readers.


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