The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is very easy to summarize.
Get together in West Village at the Magnolia theater and watch a ton of movies that you would never get to see otherwise with a bunch of like-minded folk. Answer trivia and win free DVD’s, go to the bar and bring in a bottle of wine to your movie, talk with some of the film makers themselves, and afterwards all of West Village is available to you after you leave.
Featuring films from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, the Philipines, and even USA the AFFD was a blast and I will surely be going next year.
I will now quickly give my thoughts on every film I saw this year, in order that I saw them.
ACE ATTORNEY (JAPAN)
A good movie if you haven’t played the games and great movie if you have played the games.
LOVE FICTION (SOUTH KOREA)
A great romantic comedy with a sense of realism to it.
OVERHEARD 2 (HONG KONG)
Exciting and there is an exceptional motorcycle chase, but if you don’t understand the politics of the stock market, much of the movie can leave you lost.
DRAGON (HONG KONG)
My new favorite Donnie Yen film!
NIGHTFALL (HONG KONG)
This takes the cop vs serial killer formula and twists it to something fresh.
What starts off with some potential turns into a wtf-fest.
THE GREAT MAGICIAN (HONG KONG)
A lot of fun, although it gets a little zany towards the end.
A movie that could be really good, but they choose to jump back and forth in time without any reason far too often. There are some truly incredible scenes though, although I still felt the pacing of the movie was too strange.
DARK SHORTS (CANADA, SINGAPORE, SOUTH KOREA, USA)
This collection ranged from quirky, to terrifying, and even had a strong message with “Her Story”
GUNS N’ ROSES (CHINA)
The story goes in directions you wouldn’t guess and the final product is a bit of a mash-up, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.
Quite wonderful!! I’ve been humming “Megumiiiiiii” for days now.
YES OR NO (THAILAND)
Very girly (get it?)
I AM A GHOST (USA)
It starts a bit repetitive (on purpose) but this quickly becomes the films greatest strength and leads to some bone-chilling scares.
DEATH OF A CEMETERY (PHILLIPINES)
Extremely interesting, but not terribly exciting. You should still watch it!
TOO MANY VILLAINS (SOUTH KOREA)
A competent noir film with a dark flair
A good ghost story although the middle act is drawn out too long
What starts off as an unconnected series of small dramas in a similar area, ties together for a pay off that is worth the wait.
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT (CANADA, CHINA)
A great film, but I felt the final message was rather depressing.
HARA KIRI (JAPAN)
There are some great shorts in this and then a few that left me baffled.
DOOMSDAY BOOK (SOUTH KOREA)
A really great collection that gets better with every entry. The final one is a laugh riot.
As decided by a special jury, here are the official winners of this years AFFD…
Best Documentary Feature: CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT
Best Narrative Feature: LOVABLE
Special Jury Prize for Cinematography: PEARLS OF THE FAR EAST
Special Jury Prize for Acting: Yoo Hae-Jung, LOVABLE
Special Jury Prize for Advocacy Filmmaking: GIVE UP TOMORROW
Special Jury Mention: GOLDEN SLUMBERS
Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
AFFD is proud to announce the short film award winners:
Best Narrative Short: MODERN FAMILY
Special Jury Prize: LOVE LIKE ALIENS
Special Jury Award for Acting: GUEST