Reviews by Kevin Kwong and Clarence Tsui
Monsters (IIA) (English and Spanish)See review on this page.
Unknown (IIB)See review on next page.
The Adjustment Bureau (IIA)
Matt Damon stars in a romantic drama dressed up as a political sci-fi thriller about a young congressman whose attempts to connect with a ballerina are hampered by mysterious forces. Also starring Emily Blunt. CT
Hanamizuki (I) (Japanese)
Singer-actress Yui Aragaki stars in a romantic drama about a studious Japanese schoolgirl who falls for a man who loves the sea. Not reviewed.
Last Night (IIA)
Romantic drama about a married couple who spend a night apart when the husband takes a business trip with a colleague he's attracted to. Starring Kiera Knightley. CT
Rabbit Hole (IIB)
John Cameron Mitchell directs David Lindsay-Abaire's film adaptation of his play about a couple (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) whose life is turned upside down after their young son's accidental death. Not reviewed.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (IIA) (Thai)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's whimsical drama about a dying man who spends his last days in the countryside surrounded by his loved ones. CT
Biutiful (IIB) (Spanish, Putonghua and Wolof)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's drama centring on a man (Javier Bardem) living and working on the fringes of Barcelona society who is driven by a desire to protect people. CT
Black Swan (IIB)
Natalie Portman stars in Darren Aronofsky's thriller about a ballerina who wins the lead part in Swan Lake but slowly loses her mind as she tries to capture the essence of the ballet's twin roles. CT
Carmen in 3-D (IIA) (French)
Stereoscopic film adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera about a beautiful gypsy with a fiery temper, the inexperienced soldier who falls for her and the bullfighter she lusts after. KK
The Fighter (IIB
)Biopic about an unlikely boxing hero (Mark Wahlberg) and his half brother (Christian Bale) who helped train him for a long-shot championship fight. Also starring Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. CT
Hip Hop Storm (I) (Mandarin)
Su Che-hsien's documentary about two generations of Taiwanese hip hop dancers. CT
I Am Number Four (IIA)
D.J. Caruso's sci-fi suspense-thriller centring on a teenage alien (Alex Pettyfer) who masks his true identity and pretends to be a typical human student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to kill him. CT
The King's Speech (IIB)
Historical drama about King George VI of Britain and the speech therapist who helped the monarch overcome a debilitating speech impediment on the eve of the second world war. Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter. CT
Men Suddenly in Love (IIB) (Cantonese)Wong Jing's comedy about five men with marital problems, who meet up to ogle and chase young women. Starring Eric Tsang Chi-wai. CT
The Rite (IIB)
Real-life inspired supernatural thriller that follows a seminary student (Colin O'Donoghue) sent to apprentice with a priest-exorcist (Anthony Hopkins). CT
Thriller about divers desperately searching for an escape route after a storm forces them into a cave system. CT
Space Battleship Yamato (IIA) (Japanese)
Sci-fi anime about an Earth Defence Force space battleship sent on a mission to a distant planet in search of a device that can heal a ravaged earth. CT
World Invasion (IIA)
Sci-fi actioner in which a US Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon battle against alien attackers in Los Angeles. CT
The 16th ifva Festival
The HK Arts Centre presents a selection of independent short films and videos, including the following five film programmes. Until Mar 20. HK Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; and Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$50 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2824 5328
The 16th ifva Open Category Finalist Showcase (Programme 2) + Eleven to Seven
Five short films about the wild days of youth including Cheung King-wai's Crimson Jade about a middle-school dropout and drug addict who, upon discovering she is pregnant, decides to take more drugs to induce an abortion (in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles). Also showing: Heiward Mak Hei-yan's short film about a white-collar worker who works from 7am to 11pm and a part-time worker in a convenience store who works from 11pm to 7am (in Cantonese). Mar 17, 7.30pm, HK Arts Centre.
The 16th ifva Animation Category Finalist Showcase + 7-wishes
Ten animated short films including Yip Wing-chung's The Shoes about the close bonds between the filmmaker and his grandmother (in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles). Also showing: Stella So Man-yee's 7-wishes, in which a 7-Eleven store is depicted as a haven for old maids (no dialogue). Mar 18, 7.15pm, HK Arts Centre.
Lecture by Eric Riewer + Selected Works of Gobelins (Programme 1) + Single Serving Friends
Talk by Gobelins' film animation department head and 30 student works of the French animation school made between 1993 and 2010 (all without dialogue). Also showing: Kwok Zune's short film about a young shopkeeper who meets with a magazine delivery boy at around dawn each day (in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles). Mar 20, 1.30pm, HK Arts Centre.
Selected Works of Gobelins (Programme 2) + X
Eleven works by Gobelins alumni and instructors, including Moritz Mayerhofer's URS and Fabrice Joubert's French Roast. All without dialogue except for one in French with English subtitles. Also showing: Vincent Chui Wan-shun's short film about what makes a good shopkeeper (in Cantonese). Mar 20, 6.30pm, HK Arts Centre.
The 16th ifva Jury Recommendation
Nine short films selected from the competition's Open, Youth and Animation categories. Three with no dialogue, one in Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles, three in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles, and one with no dialogue with Chinese and English subtitles. Mar 20, 9pm, Space Museum.
Classical in Cinema
iMagine presents a HD programme of classical music concerts and operas, including the following four. Until Jan 2012. AMC Festival Walk, U/G Level, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong; AMC Pacific Place, L1 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; Broadway The One, 6-11/F, The One, 100 Nathan Rd, TST; and Palace IFC, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central, HK$75-HK$120 www.amccinemas.com.hk and www2.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 6336 3595
Karajan Memorial Concert on his 100th Birthday
Film of a concert at Vienna's Musikverein during which Seiji Ozawa conducts German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker playing works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and J.S. Bach. Mar 19, 11.30am, AMC Festival Walk, Mar 20, Apr 2, 11.30am, Broadway The One, Mar 27, 11.30am, AMC Pacific Place, Apr 3, 11.30am, Palace IFC.
Chen Kaige directs the Theatre Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana Escolania de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats' performance at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia of Giacomo Puccini's fairy-tale opera about a Chinese princess who will only marry a prince who can solve her three riddles. In Italian with English subtitles. Mar 19, 5.30pm, AMC Pacific Place, Apr 2, 5.30pm, Palace IFC.
The Chopin Piano Concertos
Film of a concert at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen during which pianist-maestro Daniel Barenboim turns over the conducting reins to Andris Nelsons to perform works by Chopin with the Staatskapelle Berlin. Nelsons also conducts the orchestra performing Haydn's Symphony in E Minor, Mourning. Mar 20, 11.30am, Palace IFC, Apr 3, 11.30am, AMC Pacific Place, Apr 2, 11.30am, AMC Festival Walk.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Placido Domingo stars in Franco Alfano's operatic adaptation of Edmond Rostand's play about a big-nosed man of many talents who falls for a beautiful woman but believes that his physical appearance will make it impossible for her to love him. In French with English subtitles. Mar 20, 5.25pm, AMC Festival Walk, Apr 2, 5.25pm, AMC Pacific Place.
HK International Film Festival
The HK International Film Festival Society presents 335 films from 56 territories, including the following 47 films. Mar 20-Apr 5. City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central; Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST; Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho; HK Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST; The Grand Cinema, 2/F Elements, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon; UA Cityplaza, 5/F Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Rd, Taikoo Shing; UA iSquare, 7/F iSquare, 63 Nathan Rd, TST; UA Langham Place, 8/F-11/F Langham Place, 8 Argyle St, Mong Kok; and UA Times Square, G/F-2/F Times Square, 1 Matheson St, Causeway Bay. HK$30-HK$100 HK Ticketing and Urbtix. Inquiries: hkiff.org
Olivier Assayas' 5 1/2-hour cut of the biopic of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (aka Carlos the Jackal). In English, Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Japanese and Russian with English subtitles. Mar 20, noon, UA Cityplaza.
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Johnnie To Kei-fung's rom-com about a love triangle involving a playboy, a female executive and a talented architect. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 20, 7.15pm, also 10pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Comedy about a housewife who takes over her loutish husband's umbrella business after he falls ill. In French with English subtitles. Mar 20, 10pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apr 2, 10.30am, Cultural Centre.
Quattro Hong Kong 2
Anthology of four short films set in Hong Kong comprising: Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza's Purple, Malaysian director Ho Yu Hang's Open Verdict, Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul's M Hotel and local filmmaker Stanley Kwan Kam-pang's 13 Minutes in the Lives of ... In Cantonese and English with English subtitles. Mar 20, 10pm, Mar 23, 6.15pm, Mar 25, 10.10pm, UA Cityplaza. (See Don't miss, pg 5)
Once A Gangster
Organised crime spoof about two ageing mobsters trying to go legit. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 21, 12.30pm, UA Times Square.
Congolese crime drama about a fugitive playboy who sets his sights on an seemingly unattainable goal. In French and Lingala with English subtitles. Mar 21, 2.30pm, UA iSquare, Mar 24, 9.40pm, UA Langham Place.
Chen Kuan-tai stars in Kuei Chih-hung's social drama centring on a righteous transplanted mainlander who runs a successful teahouse that employs immigrants like himself. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 21, 2.45pm, Science Museum.
Aleksei Fedorchenko's drama centring on a widower who enlists another's help to go on a journey to cremate the dead body of his beloved wife on a riverbank where they spent their honeymoon. In Russian with English subtitles. Mar 21, 5.30pm, UA Times Square, Mar 26, 10.15pm, UA Langham Place.
Crime thriller about a new father and his recently discharged soldier friend whose lives are threatened by a gang they previously were members of. In Polish with English subtitles. Mar 21, 5.30pm, UA iSquare, Mar 24, 9.45pm, The Grand Cinema.
How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?
Documentary tracing the rise of British architect Norman Foster. In English. Mar 21, 5.45pm, Mar 24, 10.10pm, UA Cityplaza.
Drama centring on a troubled middle-aged engineer who comes into possession of a pair of shotguns. Cristi Puiu directs. In Romanian with English subtitles. Mar 21, 7.15pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Documentary about the lives of late fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge. In French with English subtitles. Mar 21, 7.15pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apr 2, 10.30am, City Hall.
Frederick Wiseman's documentary captures the beauty and elegance of boxers in a no-frills Texas gym. In English. Mar 21, 7.30pm, Mar 24, 5.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Too Many Ways to be No 1
Wai Ka-fai's comedic crime movie follows a band of underworld flunkies. Starring Lau Ching-wan. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 21, 7.30pm, UA iSquare.
Come Rain, Come Shine
Relationship drama revolving around the final day together of a couple of three years who have decided to break up. In Korean with English subtitles. Mar 21, 9.30pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apr 3, 10.30am, City Hall.
I Wish I Knew
Jia Zhangke's documentary examines the history of Shanghai through the use of personal interviews and archival film footage. In Shanghainese, Mandarin and Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 21, 9.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Ecological documentary looking at the life and death dramas taking place daily in the world's oceans. In French with Chinese and English subtitles. Mar 21, 9.30pm, UA Langham Place, Apr 3, 10.30am, Cultural Centre.
Wang Bing's political period drama about life in a Maoist re-education camp in the Gobi desert where 'rightists' were sent to be 're-educated through labour'. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 21, 9.30pm, Science Museum, Apr 3, 6pm, HK Arts Centre.
Zhao Liang's documentary about HIV-positive Aids patients on the mainland. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 21, 9.50pm, UA Cityplaza, Apr 4, 2.45pm, HK Arts Centre.
The Stool Pigeon
Dante Lam Chiu-yin's crima drama centring on a policeman (Nick Cheung Ka-fai) playing the puppetmaster controlling the fate of his informer (Nicholas Tse Ting-fung). In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 22, 12.30pm, UA Times Square.
Chen Kuan-tai stars in Kuei Chih-hung's wuxia film as the ruthless security chief of the Empress Dowager who finds his faith in the governance of China shaken by what he sees on a trip to southern China. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 22, 2.30pm, Science Museum.
The Longest Nite
Crime drama set in crime-ridden late 1990s Macau pitting a shady, sadistic cop (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) against a mystery man (Lau Ching-wan) involved with a triad feud. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 22, 2.30pm, UA iSquare.
Man with No Name
Wang Bin's documentary portrait of a man living outside the confines of modern society. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 22, 5.15pm, Science Museum, Apr 5, 7.45pm, Space Museum.
Documentary look at the world's largest landfill. In English. Mar 22, 5.30pm, UA Cityplaza, Apr 5, 9.15pm, HK Arts Centre.
The Fourth Portrait
Drama about a 10-year-old boy whose estranged mother decides to claim him after his father unexpectedly dies. In Mandarin and Fujianese with English subtitles. Mar 22, 7.15pm, UA Langham Place, Apr 5pm, City Hall.
Programme of 12 short films about 12 outstanding Chinese people, all aged under 40. Jia Zhangke, Wei Tie, Chen Tao, Song Fang, Chen Ziheng, Wang Zizhao and Tan Chui Mui direct. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 22, 7.15pm, Mar 29, 5.30pm, Science Museum.
Little Ghostly Adventures of the Tofu Boy
Stereoscopic animation feature about the gentle but courageous son of the king of the goblins who tries to foil a heinous plot by a villain intent on becoming ruler of the world. In Japanese with English subtitles. Mar 22, 7.30pm, Mar 26, 4pm, The Grand Cinema.
Shunji Iwai's romantic drama about a love letter that connects two women after a tragic death. In Japanese with English subtitles. Mar 22, 7.30pm, UA iSquare, Mar 28, 7.45pm, UA Times Square.
The Old Donkey
Li Ruijun's drama centring on a man forced off land the government had previously given him and left with only a small plot of land and an old donkey. In Ganzu dialect with English subtitles. Mar 22, 7.50pm, UA Cityplaza, Apr 4, 12.30pm, HK Arts Centre.
Ricardo Darin stars in a romance-infused crime drama/thriller about a scheming lawyer who preys on accident victims and the tense relationship he has with an ambulance duty doctor working night shifts. Also starring Martina Gusman. In Spanish with English subtitles. Mar 22, 9.30pm, UA Langham Place, Mar 28, 5.30pm, UA Times Square.
Chen Kaige's period epic about a court doctor in the time of the Warring States who plans revenge after being forced to sacrifice his son to save his master's life. Starring Ge You. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 22, 9.30pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Superhero action-comedy revolving around a transvestite hairstylist who is prophesied to become a champion of homosexuals. In Indonesian with English subtitles. Mar 22, 9.40pm, Apr 2, 11.45pm, UA Langham Place, Mar 28, 9.30pm, City Hall.
Chico & Rita
Animated romantic comedy about the love affair between a playboy pianist and seductive chanteuse. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. Mar 22, 9.45pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apr 5, 10.30am, City Hall.
Wim Wenders' 3-D dance documentary about the late German choreographer Pina Bausch and her work. No dialogue. Mar 22, 9.45pm, Mar 27, 4pm, Mar 29, 7.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Needing You ...
Sammi Cheng Sau-man and Andy Lau Tak-wah star in a romantic comedy revolving around a quirky office lady and her suave manager. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 23, 1.30pm, Space Museum.
Gothic noir centring on a young Ozark Mountain woman intent on hunting down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep the rest of her family intact. In Chinese and English subtitles. Mar 23, 3pm, UA Times Square, Mar 28, 9.45pm, Cultural Centre.
Janus Metz's war documentary follows a group of Danish soldiers stationed near the frontline in Helmand, Afghanistan. In Danish with English subtitles. Mar 23, 5.30pm, UA iSquare, Mar 28, 10pm, UA Times Square.
Michael Rowe's drama centring on a female journalist who embarks on an intense, disturbing relationship. Starring Monica del Carmen. In Spanish with English subtitles. Mar 23, 5.30pm, The Grand Cinema, Mar 26, 9.30pm, UA Times Square.
Sivaroj Kongsakul's metaphysical love story told through three stages of one man's being. In Thai with English subtitles. Mar 23, 7.15pm, UA Langham Place, Mar 26, 8pm, The Grand Cinema.
Hanoi Little Girl
War drama depicting the American multi-day bombing of Hanoi in 1972 as seen through the eyes of a little Vietnamese girl. In Vietnamese with English subtitles. Mar 23, 7.15pm, Space Museum, Apr 23, 7pm, HK Arts Centre.
Pat Ha Man-chik, Carrie Ng Ka-lai and Michelle Ye Xuan star in a drama about three desperate tai-tais whose friendship is put to the test after they fall for the same handsome gigolo. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Mar 23, 7.15pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Nader and Simin, a Separation
Asghar Farhadi's drama about a married man with an 11-year-old daughter whose life is dramatically affected by one poor decision, and the resulting tragedy. In Persian with English subtitles. Mar 23, 7.15pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apr 3, 12.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Man with a Movie Camera
Avant-garde 1929 silent documentary that provides glimpses of life in Russia during the Soviet era; with live accompaniment by pianist Eunice Martins. Mar 23, 7.30pm, Science Museum.
Li Hongqi's deadpan comedy revolving around Chinese teenagers waiting for their winter holidays to end and a young boy who longs to be an orphan. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Mar 23, 7.50pm, UA Cityplaza, Apr 5, HK Arts Centre.
Abdellatif Kechiche's drama based on the true story of Saartjes Baartman, a black servant who, in 1808, left southern Africa for Europe, where she was displayed as a freak show attraction. In French, Afrikaans and English with English subtitles. Mar 23, 9.30pm, Mar 27, 6pm, The Grand Cinema.
Shunji Iwai's horror drama about a biology teacher who convinces suicidal women that he's helping them by draining their blood. In English. Mar 23, 9.30pm, Mar 24, 9.45pm, Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Elite Squad 2 - The Enemy Within
Jos?Padilha's sequel takes place 10 years after the events of the first crime drama about corruption having infiltrated the special crime-fighting unit. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Mar 23, 9.40pm, UA Langham Place, Apr 5, 12.30pm, City Hall.
All for One and One for All: Union Film
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents the complete retrospective of Union Film's catalogue of titles, including the following two films. Mar 20-May 29. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$30 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
Chun Kim's drama about a family headed by an unemployed Cantonese opera performer struggling to provide a better future for his children. Starring Ma Si-tsang. In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Mar 20, May 14, 2pm, Film Archive.
The More the Merrier