We present a list of thirty films you cannot miss at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival 2017 that will take place from October 12th – 21st in Busan, South Korea.
Narratage by Yukisada Isao – Japan | 2017 – 140 min.
The latest work by Yukisada Isao, who is establishing his own refined sub-genre, crafting films about love rendered with an exquisite and subtle sensitivity. He narrates the scenes of a heartbreaking love story, weaving it together like the threads of a delicate fabric. The director, who spent ten years preparing this film adaptation of the original novel, uses emotionally charged images to depict the longing, jealousy and frustration of a love. Hayama and Izumi’s attraction for each other exceeds the boundaries of a high school teacher-student relationship. After entering college, Izumi meets Hayama again but feels too constrained by reality to accept her love. When Ono, a college boy, appears to Izumi, she accepts his heart, but Hayama is still on her mind. Noticing this, Ono is hurt and eaten up with jealousy. It is the acute pain of loving someone who loves someone else. Many films have dealt with similar subject matter, but the excellent performances will deeply move audiences. Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi both take up the roles of heartrending lovers, while Sakaguchi Kentaro plays the heroine’s boyfriend with seasoned skill. (KIM Young-woo – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | Busan Cinema Center Haneulyeon Theater | 19:30 pm
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 6 | 10:00 am
October 20th, 2017 | Friday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 3 | 16:30 pm
Notebook from My Mother by Kim Sungho – Korea | 2017 – 103 min.
Aeran, a hardworking mother who runs a side-dish store in the neighborhood, and her son, Gyuhyon, a part-time instructor, whom she considers incompetent, do not get on well. The son abhors his mother’s prickliness, but he isn’t sweet to her either. The side-dishes that Aeran makes become famous for their healthy herbal ingredients, securing a good number of regular customers. Aeran always writes down her recipes and cooking process in detail along with drawings in a notebook. One day, Aeran is diagnosed with dementia, out of blue. When the symptoms get too severe, she decides to close her dearly-loved store, and, as independent as ever, enters a live-in senior care center on her own. Notebook from My Mother is a good-hearted nostalgic film about the so-called “taste of Mom’s cooking.” Aeran’s dementia ushers the mother-son relationship into a new phase. Gyuhyon begins to understand his mother through her absence. Cooking with the help of his mother’s notebook, the son recaptures and feels the loving flavors of family handed down over generations. (NAM Dong-chul – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 3 | 16:30 pm
October 14th, 2017 | Saturday| Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 19:00 pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday| Lotte Cinema Centum City 10 | 20:00 pm
October 18th, 2017 | Wednesday| MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 4 | 20:00 pm
Outrage Coda by Takeshi Kitano – Japan | 2017 – 104 min.
The final episode of the Outrage series depicts the Yakuza world so vividly, presenting the audience the pleasure of a genre movie. Otomo, thought to be dead in the previous episode, Outrage Beyond, is working for Mr. Chang on Jeju Island in Korea, concealing his identity. Due to a skirmish at a bar, tension is building between Mr. Chang’s family and the Hanabishi group. To solve this problem, Otomo returns to Japan, and his appearance ignites a war. Kitano’s Yakuza movies are called “the aesthetic of violence,” and this movie is one of them. The appeal of this movie is to depict extreme violence though short breaths and simple motions. However, the best of it is the actor Kitano as Otomo, whose simple staring makes the audience’s blood run cold. His presence is timeless. It may be the privilege for fans of the Outrage series to match the genealogy and relationship in the series, but without understanding the previous episodes, only following Otomo enables you to participate in the finale of this epic story. (KIM Young-woo – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | CGV Centum City Starium | 13:00 pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 3 | 20:00 pm
October 20th, 2017 | Friday | CGV Centum City 1 | 19:30 pm
Radiance by Naomi Kawase – Japan, France | 2017 – 101 min.
The narrator of barrier-free movies feels rewarded in her job. While monitoring movies for pre-release with some blind people, she meets a prickly photographer, Nakamori, who is losing his sight gradually. She has good and bad feelings for him at the same time. Nakamori who used to be famous lives alone after a divorce, but he still carries his camera to take pictures of people. With the repetition of chance and necessity, fate dictates Misako and Nakamori become intimate. To Nakamori in despair, Misako asks to take a trip to places in his pictures. Whenever Kawase makes a movie, the Cannes Film Festival seems to invite her, and with this movie, she was in official competition at Cannes for the fifth time in seven invitations. In comparison to her earlier movies, like Suzaku and The Mourning Forest, there has been a critical eye, but the emotions of loss, sadness, and gloom the director commonly possesses arouse our sympathy fully. (KIM Young-woo – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | CGV Centum City 6 | 13:00 pm
October 16th, 2017 | Monday | CGV Centum City 6 | 10:00 am
October 20th, 2017 | Friday | CGV Centum City 5 | 11:00 am
Sea Serpent (Baconaua) by Joseph Israel Laban – Philippines | 2017 – 93 min.
International Premiere – 2017 ACF Post-Production Fund
In a sleepy fishing village island located in Philippines, a growing fear exists beneath the beautiful scenery. Divina, a sixteen-year-old girl, doesn’t complete a death report for her missing father. There is no body but he’s been gone for almost three months. Her ex-boyfriend and her younger sister start seeing each other, and her younger brother is still a troublesome little boy. The villagers are poor but kind, and try to help her, but the sea that never returns what it takes doesn’t answer. Until one day thousands of apples suddenly drift to the shore. The director Joseph Israel Laban got a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking in the United States, and has won various awards as a director and/or writer. Sea Serpent was supported by the ACF Post-Production Fund of the Busan International Film Festival, and won the Best Director Award at Cinemalaya Film Festival. It reveals the director’s sharp perspective that the place a monster is born is not in nature, but in the human world. (PARK Sungho – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 10 | 17:00 pm
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday| CGV Centum City 5 | 17:00 pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 16:00 pm
October 10th, 2017 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 8 | 19:00 pm
Silent Mist by Zhang Miaoyan – China, France | 2017 – 101 min.
World Premiere – APM 2015, 2017 ACF Post-Production Fund
In a village in southern China, where a river passes through, some women are raped. However, rather than causing an uproar, the village is silent. Instead, the villagers whisper behind backs, and a racketeer even preys on the parents of the victims, promising them that he would solve the case. Before the case occurs, the village is shrouded in mist, just like a prelude. “Mist” is the key to understand the movie. As the title Silent Mist suggests, the aftermath of the incident pervades the whole village like a mist, but the villagers keep silent as if it is no business of theirs. The camera plays a role in the film, like a witness following the victims, but at the moment the assailant commits the crime, it steps back like a bystander. The camera traces every path and turn in the village and captures the scenes where the victims, the attacker, and the villagers encounter each other as if nothing happened. Through this camera movement, the film delineates in a silent but hideous manner the appalling fact that it is the victims who have to suffer all the pain of the crime. (HER Namwoong – BIFF Catalogue)
October 16th, 2017 | Monday | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 1 | 20:00 pm
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 4 | 16:00 pm
October 21st, 2017 | Saturday | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 2 | 13:00 pm
Smaller and Smaller Circles by Raya Martin – Philippines | 2016 – 112 min.
A boy’s body is found in a waste disposal site in Manila. The case intrigues Father Gus, a Jesuit specializing in forensic medicine. Collaborating with Father Jerome and helped by his disciple and journalist Joanna, Father Gus goes through Manila’s narrow streets to investigate the case. They find more bodies of boys whose faces and internal organs are entirely damaged and this grotesque case comes under the media spotlight. Reviewing the clues he finds, Father Gus realizes that the victims have something in common: boys from communities suffering from poverty. Based on the renowned novel of the same title, this thriller focuses on the link between good and evil in human nature. Sacred religion, medical practices, sacrifice and service often end up hiding the reality of corruption and violence. In this context, this film overlaps contamination and purity, corruption and sublimity, infernality and holiness like decalcomania. (HONG Soin – BIFF Catalogue)
October 16th, 2017 | Monday | CGV Centum City 6 | 13:00 pm
October 18th, 2017 | Wednesday| MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 5 | 11:00 am
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 9 | 20:00 pm
Sweet Country by Warwick Thornton – Australia | 2017 – 113 min.
Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith. When Harry March, an ill-tempered and bitter man returning from the Western Front, arrives in town, Sam is sent out with his family to help renovate Harry’s outpost. His relationship with Sam quickly deteriorates, and culminates in a violent shootout, where Sam kills Harry in an attempt to save his own life. Sam, now a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man, is forced to flee into the deadly outback with his wife. A hunting party led by Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track him down, but the details of the story soon start to surface and locals begin to question the justice behind this manhunt. Helmed by Australian director and screenwriter Warwick Thornton, Sweet Country is western-like drama with a compelling story of an indigenous man who has to survive through severe racism of the time. (BIFF Catalogue)
October 14th, 2017 | Saturday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 20:00 pm
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 17:30 pm
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 2 | 16:00 pm
The day after by Hong Sangsoo – Korea | 2017 – 92 min.
It’s Areum’s first day at work at the publishing company where Bongwan, a literary critic, is the boss. His wife, thinking Bongwan is fooling around with a new girl, shows up and thinks Areum must be the one. That’s how Areum gets assaulted by the wife of her new boss. Now, Bongwan’s past interrupts. In fact, Bongwan had fooled around with the girl who used to work in Areum’s position. Scenes from the past emerge into the present. Hong Sangsoo’s movies often show us a new slice of life not usually perceived, by mixing up two different levels of reality or comparing them. Sometimes, two characters have different recollections of one and the same situation, or sometimes dreams or a film-within-afilm infiltrates reality. In The Day After also, a strange sense is evoked through a crack where different timeframes become intertwined. When it seems to be the present, suddenly the past leaps out, or past and present are repeated in parallel. That’s why the title, “The Day After”, specifically indicating time, was chosen. (NAM Dong-chul – BIFF Catalogue)
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 3 | 17:00 pm
October 18th, 2017 | Wednesday | CGV Centum City 7 | 14:00 pm
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 5 | 14:00 pm
The Decaying by Sonny Calvento – Philippines | 2017 – 95 min.
A thriller boldly questioning the decaying humanity and community. A small town in the Philippines ahead of a festival. Luna, who used to work in a nail shop, is married to Jason, an American, and they have three children. She suddenly goes missing one day. Her aunt witnesses Jason washing bed sheets covered with blood and begins to wonder if Jason killed Luna. Then neighbors gain confidence in the aunt’s theory when they see silenced children. As Jason’s plan to return to America with the children is revealed and evidence that Luna had an affair is found, more and more villagers agree with the suspicion, but no one is willing to intervene in any way. And Jason is frustrated to realize that he cannot travel with his youngest daughter legally without Luna’s consent. Sonny Calvento has worked for TV series as a writer, and his feature debut leaves audience questioning what causes trust and human relationships to collapse. (PARK Sungho – BIFF Catalogue)
October 13th, 2017 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 10 | 14:00pm
October 15th, 2017 | Sunady | CGV Centum City 2 | 13:00 pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 19:00 pm
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 15:30 pm
The Seen and Unseen by Kamila Andini
Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, Qatar | 2017 – 83 min.
Brother and sister Tantra and Tantri are fraternal twins. Lately Tantra has been bedridden in hospital and his brain becomes weak, almost losing consciousness. Now, there is little time left for Tantri to spend with her brother, and she has to accept that she will soon confront a life alone without Tantra who has always been beside her. Tantri often withdraws into her imagination. Her daydreams are tinged with loss and hope. In dream, fantasy and play, Tantri dances and performs a puppet show for Tantra. Through magical images, the film reveals the inner world of a girl who is facing loss, and in her own way, she is holding a farewell ceremony for her brother to deal with it. The magical images in the movie arise with a peculiar sound. The whirring of a fan in the middle of the night or the crunching sound shelling a boiled egg makes, is heard only if you listen carefully. However, such sounds create a peculiar resonance, leading the audience into a world of magical healing. (HONG Soin – BIFF Catalogue)
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | CGV Centum City 5 | 10:30 am
October 18th, 2017 | Wednesday | Bucan Cinema Center Cinematheque | 11:00 am
October 20th, 2017 | Friday | Bucan Cinema Center Cinematheque | 14:00 pm
The Tailor by Tran Buu Loc, Kay Nguyen – Vietnam | 2017 – 100 min.
What if the movie The Devil Wears Prada were set in Vietnam? The vibrant fashion world of Saigon meets the Ao Dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress, in a movie that criss-crosses the 48 years from 1969 to 2017. Arrogant Nhu Y, the daughter of a boutique-owning family for nine generations, is only interested in western outfits, so she ignores the Ao Dai. One day, she accidentally shifts in time to 48 years later, finding herself old, fat and alcoholic. However, her mother’s tailor, the earnest Tanroan, has become the best designer in Vietnam. The movie shows the whole process of Nhu Y’s transformation, from opening her eyes to the beauty of the Ao Dai in the future to rebuilding the ruined family business. Watching beautiful actresses representing Vietnamese cinema in gorgeous Vietnamese fashion is a pleasure. The common notion that Asian countries have future development rooted in traditions of westernization melts into this comedy. We can see the present state of Vietnamese commercial films demonstrated through it. (JEONG Minah – BIFF Catalogue)
October 14th, 2017 | Saturday | CGV Centum City Starium | 16:00 pm
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 13:30 pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 16:00 pm
The Third Murder by Koreaeda Hirokazu – Japan | 2017 – 124 min.
The film opens at the scene of a homicide with the murderer setting fire to a corpse. He confesses his crime shortly after, making a lawyer named Shigemori begrudgingly take the case. As Misumi already has a prior conviction for homicide, a death sentence seems inevitable. So, Shigemori’s goal is to reduce the punishment to a life sentence. Dialogue commences with Misumi to grasp his motives, but confusion sets in as pieces of truth and fragments of the incident begin to emerge. Fans of director Kore-eda, whose subject has been the family story for years, may feel disconcerted by this movie. However, The Third Murder is a crime thriller set in the courtroom and poses questions about the legal system, and furthermore, broaches the fundamental problem of human nature and evil. Both Yakushyo Koji who plays the murderer and Fukuyama Masaharu as the successful lawyer outdo each other in powerful performances, while the talented Hirose Suzu appears as Sakie, the daughter of the murdered man, who holds the secret to the entire case. (KIM Young-woo – BIFF Catalogue)
October 19th, 2017 | Thursday | Busan Cinema Center Haneulyeon Theater | 20:00 pm
October 20th, 2017 | Friday | CGV Centum City 3 | 10:30 am
Those Long Haired Nights by Gerardo Calagui – Philippines | 2017 – 72 min.
At night, Manila’s red light Burgos district starts shining and its shops get busy welcoming tourists and women from different countries. The life of Tuesday, Amanda and Barbie is also here. Providing sexual services, the three transgender women are close friends. Tuesday hopelessly longs for romantic love. Wise Amanda visits her hometown to attend her ex-girlfriend’s son’s christening. She told her family that she works for a bank and her parents have been renovating their home with her money. To her parents, she is a great son or daughter. To her friends, she is an object of both envy and temptation. Recklessly ambitious Barbie tries to make money through drug dealing, but she feels threatened by dangers hidden everywhere. Pursuing love, success and dreams, their lives become part of a confusing night. (HONG Soin – BIFF Catalogue)
October 15th, 2017 | Sunday | CGV Centum City 6 | 13:00pm
October 17th, 2017 | Tuesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 19:00pm
October 20th, 2017 | Sunday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 3 | 14:00pm
Where Has Time Gone? by Various Directors – China, Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa | 2017 – 110 min.
An omnibus made by five directors representing five countries. Outstanding directors, Walter Salles, Alexey Fedorchenko, Madhur Bhandarkar, Jia Zhangke and Jahmil X.T. Qubeka have made short films with the common theme of “time”. The movie depicts the pain of loss people suffer when the value of individuals is ignored. The Brazilian episode shows a family standing against the trauma of an accident, where a dam holding back the sediment from an iron mine was destroyed, hitting the village. The Russian episode is a comedy depicting a couple who support themselves with musical instruments in an isolated forest. The Indian episode is a pleasant but sad story where a wealthy old man meets a street boy, cultivating a friendship. The South African episode is a sci-fi movie depicting the desperate struggle of humanity 1,000 years in the future, while the Chinese episode deals with a family agonizing over having a second child under new family policy. Each episode raises the alarm about forgetting love as time flies by. (Minah JEONG – BIFF Catalogue)
October 14th, 2017 | Saturday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 4 | 13:30 pm
October 16th, 2017 | Monday | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 4 | 11:00 am
October 18th, 2017 | Wednesday | CGV Centum City 1 | 19:00 pm