8 Films to Watch at 2016's Summer International Film Festival
This year’s Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival is set to be the biggest yet, with a huge selection of summer-ready musicals, cult classics and unreleased festival flicks culled from Cannes, Sundance and TIFF. Here are the highlights to look for.
Like clockwork, Woody Allen is back with a Woody Allen-esque period comedy. Set in the golden age of Hollywood, a pair of movie star-crossed lovers, played by Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, are entangled in a bi-coastal love triangle between gilded LA and gritty Manhattan. “Café Society” makes its Hong Kong debut as the festival's opening film after a favorable reception at Cannes.
Aug 16, 7:30pm; 9:45pm, The Grand Cinema, 2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
An American in Paris
The inimitable tap-dancing Gene Kelly lights up the silver screen once again in this digitally restored 1951 musical “An American in Paris,” directed by Vincente Minnelli. Gene Kelly is a broke artist who sings and dances his way through post-war Paris, accompanied by Gershwin’s most memorable hits. Worth the ticket price to watch the epic closing number, a 16-minute balletic dream sequence that unfolds from the cabaret down les grands boulevards de gay Paree, all on the big screen.
Aug 20, 5pm, Aug 25, 7:30pm, Festival Grand Cinema, U/G, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong.
The Wizard of Oz
3D “Trippy” in all possible senses of the word, this version of the 1939 Judy Garland classic is strictly for the diehard fans who won’t mind the stereoscope-induced headache to see some munchkins come to life.
Aug 18, 7:30pm, The Grand Cinema; Aug 28, 2pm, Festival Grand Cinema.
Paul Verhoeven’s first French-language feature has left some critics speechless, some confused, and most in applause. Reeling from a rape by a masked attacker, a high-powered CEO calmly resumes her life in unexpected ways, challenging and individualizing the experience of sexual assault. This rape-revenge fantasy comedy premiered at Cannes and makes its way to Hong Kong before its general release.
Aug 30, 7pm; 9:45pm, The Grand Cinema.
The big winner at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, Liu Jie’s “De Lan,” about a young Han Chinese man who falls in love with a local woman up in the Tibetan villages of northern Yunnan province. Both are heavily in debt and looking for missing family members. Don’t miss important new offering from one of China’s leading arthouse directors.
Aug 20, 10:15pm, Cine Moko, 4/F, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Rd. West, Mong Kok; Aug 26, 7:30pm, The Grand Cinema.
We Are X
Not your average rockumentary, “We Are X” follows the history and tragic personal trials of Yoshiki, leader and cofounder of X Japan, Japan’s most beloved metal band, which spanned almost thirty years with a 10 year gap. Through archival footage and even an unreleased David Lynch-directed music video, this documentary presents a unique view of the rise and dramatic fall of this iconic group.
Aug 21, 9:30pm, Cine Moko; Aug 27, 7:30pm, The Metroplex, G/F, E-Max, KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay.
Pink Floyd The Wall
Leave the psychedelics at home—this rock opera is hallucination on screen, full of surreal imagery and head-spinning visualizations of chaos and despair, with a hint of socio-political criticism: students on a conveyer belt about to be pulverized; a procession of marching hammers; flowers in bloom that would make Georgia O’Keefe blush—all stapled to a narrative about the fictional character Pink (Bob Geldof) as he grapples with Rock God-dom along with his own psychological hangups, and weaves, increasingly, in and out of consciousness. Watch it big, and brace yourself.
Aug 23, 29, 7:30pm, Hong Kong Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.
Love & Friendship
Whit Stillman, noted for his self-described “Doomed-Bourgeois-in-Love” films including 1990’s comedy of manners “Manhattan” and 1998’s, “The Last Days of Disco,” goes to the source of impolitic propriety with a delectable adaptation of Jane Austen’s posthumously published novella. Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny and Stephen Fry star in this richly appointed English garden period flick about a widowed woman on the prowl for suitable suitors for her and her estranged daughter.
Aug 17, 7:30pm, The Grand Cinema; Aug 28, 2:45pm, The Metroplex.
Check out the full film program at cinefan.com.hk