Friday, August 1, 2008

A glut of marvellous movies

Ah joy - it's time for the Dunedin Film Festival again. So many wonderful features, docos and short films all at once, a smorgasbord I find hard to resist. I open up the timetable at the back of the book and work through, trying to plot a do-able schedule. Here are my highlights so far:

Vincent Ward's Rain of the Children - a return to form for this gifted New Zealand director

State of Siege (1978) and In Spring One Plants Alone (1981) heralded the arrival of a startling new talent with uncompromising standards, heaps of energy and a determination to translate his singular vision onto the screen. I can remember the awe I felt in seeing those early Vincent Ward movies and it was deeply satisfying to watch Rain of the Children, not so much a 'remake' as a revisit, a rediscovery, of In Spring One Plants Alone. An absolute must-see for NZ film fans. Moving, beautifully filmed, and so much to tell us about our history and our present times.
Yung Chang, Canada 2007

"Chinese Canadian Yung Chang’s documentary observes life on the soon-to-be-flooded banks of the Yangtze from aboard a cruise ship taking English-speaking tourists up the river."
"An astonishing documentary of culture clash and the erasure of history amid China’s economic miracle." — Stephen Holden, NY Times."
An incredible documentary, on a vast scale, of change happening to a vast river and a vast country. I think I'll go to see it again while I have the chance to see it on a big screen at the Regent theatre.

No comments: