Asian films in the 71st Cannes International Film Festival

The 71st Cannes International Film Festival had just ended a few months, and in this festival, more directors and films from Asia joined the competition, which enables Asian films to be a highlight of this year’s festival. The main competition unit has 10 European and American films and six Asian films which are the most in recent years. At the same time, a large number of directors are competing for the first time,and it means the festival this year will open a new chapter in history for selecting a new generation of films. Six Asian films were selected in the main competition unit, including two Iranian films “Everybody Knows” and “3 Faces”, two Japanese films “Asako I & II” and ” Shoplifters”, the Korean film “Burning” and the Chinese film ” Ash Is Purest White”. The Palme d’Or as one of the biggest prizes in the films industry has always been paid attention to. The Japanese film Shoplifters which directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or in 2018 festival. In this year’s competition, I am most concerned about two movies, one is Jia Zhangke’s “Ash Is Purest White ” and the other is Hirokazu Kore-eda ‘s ” Shoplifters “, and these two directors were both competing for the fifth time.

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After the frustration of Chinese films in recent years in Cannes, this year has finally achieved good results. First of all, Ash is Purest White directed by Jia Zhangke was the only Chinese film competing for the Palme d’Or. It’s a gangster-fueled revenge drama that is billed as his most expensive and mainstream film to date. It explores China’s development through the experience of a woman released from prison, reflecting the rapid changes in China in the 21st century. Jia Zhangke as a director is good at capturing Chinese social landscapes to show Chinese people’s own stories. I think making the film is the way to show one’s observation of the world. With the rapid development of the Chinese film market, he insisted on being himself to express rather than being soulless like some directors.

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Then, I also paid attention to Shoplifters which won the Palme d’Or in 2018 festival. This film tells the story of several abandoned people who make up a false family and make a living by stealing. It’s not only an ordinary family movie but also a story about stealing and love, which returns to humanity. The important key to success is the emotion in this film. Like Jia Zhangke, the director Hirokazu Kore-eda is also the fifth time to enter Cannes’s main competition unit, and he insists on filming the story of Japanese families. The film has a very special sad story that love and crime are entangled with each other, but the reality is so cruel, which shows the side of our society and needs to be seen by more people. I think it is the main reason to won the Palme d’Or.

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After focusing on these two films, I think the film is divided into regions, because different regions and cultures may have different impacts and styles on the film. In fact, European films and American films have their own forms, and now the new Asian films are actually in a stage of formation. With the Asian film industry that is forming own unique style, we may be able to look forward to them becoming more mature and successful in the future film festivals.

 

Reference :

Festival de Cannes. (2018). Festival de Cannes – Official Site. [online] Available at: https://www.festival-cannes.com/en/

Xinhuanet.com. (2018). Chinese film director Jia Zhangke’s “Ash is purest white” competes for 2018 Cannes festival’s top prize – Xinhua | English.news.cn. [online] Available at: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-04/13/c_137106964.htm

The Shanghai International Film Festival and the Internet

In the middle of 2018, Beijing, Cannes and Shanghai film festivals were launched in succession. Since the world’s First International Film Festival was founded in Venice, the festival has gone through more than 80 years from 1932. Film Festival has become a magnificent event to show the influence of the film attracting film fans, which contributes to the development of the film industry and film culture in the world. However, in the current information age, the Internet as an important part has been integrated into the film culture and markets as well as fan life. It is affecting the development trend of the film festival. Using the Internet to achieve innovation in the film festival, which has become the focus to develop festivals and guide the audience, especially the younger generation. To create a more healthy and rational film culture atmosphere to improve the viewing taste and the film art of new vitality.

The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) that takes place every June, is the only A-category international film festival in China, which has become an important landscape of Shanghai’s cultural life. SIFF has attracted more than 1.5 million Chinese audiences and nearly 10,000 Chinese and foreign filmmakers to visit Shanghai. It not only gathers well-known filmmakers from all over the world but also become the best window to present the new features of the Chinese film. More and more filmmakers are taking part in the Shanghai Film Festival as an important opportunity to promote films. During the festival, many new films were launched to represent the direction of Chinese films in the next year.

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A few years ago, people were still thinking whether Internet movie is really a movie, but now the Internet film has gradually gained people’s recognition. It was an important part of the Shanghai Film Festival where it was the first time to set up awards for the network movies, having a great influence on the entire industry of network movies. The network movie is the Chinese unique movie form, and it originates from the micro movie, developing from the fusion of the Internet and the movie. Internet elements are changing the external and internal content to be a new model and force in the Chinese film industry. In SIFF, ranging from participating in the exhibition and selection of films to ticket sales and the method of communication, there is a connection with the Internet everywhere.

On the other hand, the cultural atmosphere is always the main factor attracting fans to pay attention to film festivals. In SIFF, the widespread of applications such as Douban movies has provided film and star fans with a more convenient way to get information about movies and events as well as share their feelings with friends who share common interests in the Internet. In this year’s Shanghai Film Festival, the box office was around 16 million yuan on the first day, and nearly 10 million was online tickets. The factor of the Internet makes the festival get more attention to enable the event with closer ties to the lives of people, and attracting more audiences into cinemas or participate in online activities. To achieve the popularization of film art, and to guide the public’s attention from a brief upsurge of the film festival into the normal life.

 

Reference:

Siff.com. (2018). The Shanghai International Film Festival. [online] Available at: http://www.siff.com

Sohu.com. (2018). Internet film industry report. [online] Available at: http://www.sohu.com/a/223928551_100097343

 

The connection between film festival and culture

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During my college internship, I participated in the 3RD Silk Road International Film Festival that held in Xi’an of China as a live arranger in the whole process of the festival. The International Film Festival which began in 2014 and the Third Silk Road International Film Festival was held in Xi’an in 2016. The idea of the entire film industry came from the Silk Road that has originated from hundreds of years ago. The ancient Silk Road crossed broad land and affected the cities and cultures of the countries along the road. Also, the movie is the way of memory, which brings new story and interaction to the theme of the silk road. Xi’an as the starting town of the Silk Road held with the theme of “developing film and diverse culture” to injects more cultural parts into the festival. It creates a platform for Chinese and foreign films to show the art of movies and promotes Chinese films to the world.

There are many activities in the third Silk Road International Film Festival. For example, many old films that showed in the cinemas provided fans chances to recall the classic fragments. At the same time, there are also new film recommendations for fans to watch the new film in advance, and having face-to-face interactions with many stars to exchange views of films. It also had the red carpet at the festival, as well as inviting many people from China and foreign counties. During the festival, directors and filmmakers, celebrities from different countries even famous Hollywood directors and producers also attended. They were divided by diverse film crews to join the day of the opening ceremony for the movie’s propaganda.

At the closing ceremony also had about same sessions with starting ceremony content. In addition to the traditional red carpet, Chinese and foreign guests would exchange more about cultural content of the film, and set up the film promotion activities to provide communication opportunities for film groups and citizens. The whole festival has film selection, exhibition, cultural performances and other activities, but more emphasis on reflecting the national characteristics of the film and culture along the Silk Road.

In my opinion, under the context of globalization, the International Film Festival has built a bridge to communicate the artistic and creative ideas of the world. It is no longer just about stars and news, but also about meeting colourful culture in various forms to advertise culture. Film as a microcosm of culture, like our thoughts, can never be separated from the influence of people around us. To understand the culture of a nation through a movie is a fast way for us to broaden our horizons.

The culture of the festival itself is a representation of the local culture. It cannot deny that a city culture is contained in the festival’s early planning, operation and promotion of all aspects. The image of the city through cultural influences lays the groundwork for the positioning and style of the festival itself, which is an important element. Such as the Silk Road Film Festival based on culture through the film to remove the gap. A film festival linked to culture, which can achieve real communication between the audience and film art.

Reference

The Third Silk Road International Film Festival 2018, http://www.cnsriff.com/index.htm.

The power of documentary film in MIFF

When we talk about film festivals, the first thing in mind must be the red carpet, celebrities, the open-air screening, but this Melbourne International Film Festival gave me a different experience. In this contact, I think MIFF is more like a global exhibition of sharing experience movie production. As a non-profit organization, MIFF which is one of the world’s oldest film festivals has been running since 1952 enabling it to be Australia’s leading film festival. The cultural event is more like a bridge connecting audiences with filmmakers to provide a revolutionary experience.More than 400 films have been shown at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival whichis also committed to encourage local producers, so many films have chosen to premiere at this Film Festival and many of them are worth watching. Therefore, Melbourne International Film Festival must not be missed for many film enthusiasts.

In this tour, I learned about MIFF and participated in the experience of the movie called ‘Undermined: Tales From the Kimberley’. In MIFF, audiences can understand the movie through the creator’s introduction, to have an interaction with the film. After watching, there will be a question and answer session to raise own questions, which is totally different from my experiences in cinema. Undermined: Tales From the Kimberleyas a distinctly Australian story but around the world, is a new documentarywhich brings us to the Kimberley and introduces the stories of its people and the region. The traditional owners, traditional lands and unique indigenous cultures of the Kimberley region are under threat, and more people everywhere are protesting, which makethe rights of contemporary indigenous peoples to be a major issue.

After watching the documentary and communicating with film creators, I consider movies are an important part of the entertainment industry, not only for entertaining the public, but also for promoting society. The filmcreators believe that combined with the power of the documentary and publicity campaigns, they will invite more viewers to join advocates. In addition, I think they wants to attract governments, industries and the international public to promote positive social change through the film, which may make it more than a record. The authenticity of documentary reflects its value and becomes a record of the development of history and society. Real performance and record of history reflects life, and it enable us to pay more attention to society.

Many movies have a profound impact on people, sometimes like a mirror reflecting on the real world, allowing people to think about current problems. Documentaries represent the angle of the creator’s show problems from the perspective of specific groups to arouse people’s awareness facing social reality. The progress of society is to face up to issues which may not be solved, but these social problems may cause widespread discussion and concerns to have the possibility of improvement. I think this is the meaning of the documentary and its power to change the society.Like this movie, it’s getting people to understand Kimberley’s problems, to have more power to change the current situation and make it better.

 

Reference

MIFF 2018, MIFF 2018 About Us, viewed 18 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/about.

MIFF 2018, Undermined: Tales From The Kimberley, viewed 18 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/program/film/undermined-tales-from-the-kimberley.

Valck, M,Kredell, B & Loist, S 2016, Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice, Routledge, New York.