Film festival falls down when it comes to keeping its fans informed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 April, 2010, 12:00am

He's not exactly Steven Spielberg, but Greek director Theo Angelopoulos (right) has won prizes at the Berlin, Venice and Cannes film festivals. He is also regularly included on lists of the world's greatest directors. Angelopoulos was set to attend this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival but a sudden illness prevented him from flying in for his appearances on Monday and yesterday, the festival's last two days.

Given his stature, you would think the festival would at least issue a press release to notify the media and audience of the cancellation. Nope. Instead they simply put an item on their website, added a small note on the bottom of last Tuesday's daily Festival News newsletter and projected the information on a card before screenings. If you only purchased festival tickets to Angelopoulos' movies, how would you have known he wasn't coming? The festival really should make a greater effort to disseminate this kind of news. Indeed, if CitySeen had known earlier, we would have told you.

But the festival's organisers are holding out hope that Angelopoulos will get better soon and attend his post-festival retrospective, which starts on Saturday and runs until May 2. You wouldn't say his languid masterpieces are easy viewing, but there's enough interest that additional screenings have been added for two movies. Landscape in the Mist, a 1988 tour de force about Greece's modern history, will get another viewing on May 2 at 2.30pm in the Arts Centre. Eternity and a Day - a picaresque meditation on memory and European immigration (caddish critics joked that the title is also a reference to the running time) will screen on May 1 at 8.30pm by popular demand. Tickets are available from Urbtix.