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Three Gems from the Far East

Three Gems from the Far East

Three Gems from the Far East

by Andrew Thomas

TIFF continues with increasingly sold-out performances and a typhoon
providing the only dampener on the proceedings. (A typically british
introduction – commerce and the weather!)

The great thing so far has been the diversity of the screenings – from the
young cinema competition I checked out “Boston Kickout“, a British independent
production written and directed by Paul Hills, focusing on teenage lives and
that of their families in the concrete jungle of Stevenage, a new town 30
miles north of London. “Kickout” is influenced by Ken Loach’s work in spirit and
despite the bleak and bland has a positive comedic front. It’s not “Kids” and
definitely not “Mean Streets“, but adds to the output of young filmmakers who
are capturing the essence of youth and their experiences in the 90’s.

And for something completely different I saw “Few of Us” from Lithuanian
director Sharunas Bartas. It is an amazing film with zero spoken dialogue,
set in an unspecified location in central Asia – which depending on your
perspective could be the most boring town on the planet or the “edge of the
world/land that time forgot” where only interesting and cool stuff goes down.
It’s the kind of movie that you create yourself, which I found inspirational,
a blend of Leone and Warhol.

Cuban director Arturo Sotto’s “Think of Me” is loaded with images and
references to classic theatre and film in an allegorical tale of the
messiah’s possible second coming – really inventive and actually worth a
second view, like “The Usual Suspects” in this film the story-telling and pace of
the narrative make you want to check whether you got it all. That’s the gen
so far…….sayonnara.

[Andy is a Tokyo-based producer/director and writer on film and performance art who has recently relocated to Japan from Britain as part of cultural exchange “experiment”.]

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