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30 Films you cannot miss at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival (Part 1)

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We present a list of thirty films you cannot miss at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival which will take place from March 19th to April 5th, 2018.

29

29+1 by Kearen Pang – Hong Kong | 2016 – 110 min.
Section: Pan-Chinese Cinema | Hong Kong Panorama 2017-18

Successful career woman Christy (Chau) faces multiple crises right before her 30th birthday, but finds unlikely inspiration and support from a cheerful ordinary woman (Cheng) born on the very same day. Kearen Pang adapts her one-woman stage show to the screen, delivering an incisive and intelligent look at contemporary Hong Kong women exiting their twenties. Drawing surprising performances from her two leads, Pang establishes herself as a talent to watch. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
April 3rd, 2018 | Tuesday | Hong Kong Arts Centre – 2:00 pm

Trailer:

AmikoAmiko by Yamanaka Yoko – Japan | 2017 – 66 min.
Section: Firebird Awards | Young Cinema Competition

Amiko falls helplessly in love with the cool boy Aomi. She thinks he is cool, like her. But then he shacks up with another girl who is “the embodiment of mass culture.” Confronting a stupid world of lies and mediocrity, Amiko remains a wild romantic and chooses her own way to mourn her lost love. This zany film forges a new expression of pure love, with Amiko’s cynical and selfdeprecating inner monologue going off like a vibrant stand-up comedy. Audience Award, PIA Film Festival. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 29th, 2018 | Thursday | The Grand Cinema – 9:45 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | The Grand Cinema – 12:00 pm

Trailer:

An Elephant Sitting StillAn Elephant Sitting Still by Hu Bo – China | 2017 – 230 min.
Section: World Cinema | Indie Power *Asian Premiere*

In Manzhouli, people say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. A rookie accidental killer, a man who seeks revenge for his brother, an old man about to be abandoned, and a girl behind bars, all long for escape from the downward spiral and see the elephant. Hu Bo’s electrifying directorial debut is a mesmerizing tale about the emotional negative space in a city where all shattered characters are heading nowhere. Tragically, it’s also the final chapter in his legacy. The writer-director took his own life at age 29. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 24th, 2018 | Saturday | Hong Kong Arts Centre – 2:00 pm
April 5th, 2018 | Thursday | Hong Kong Arts Centre – 7:15 pm

Angels Wear White

Angels Wear White (Jia nian hua) by Vivian Qu – China | 2017 – 107 min.
Section: Firebird Awards | Young Cinema Competition

In a quiet seaside village, tranquility is torn asunder by a terrible crime: two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middleaged man. The only witness, Mia, who was working the graveyard shift at the motel, chooses to keep silence. Caught in an ever-tightening net of danger, Mia and Wen, one of the victims, have to find their own way out. Winning the Golden Horse Award for Best Director with her sophomore effort, Vivian Qu crafts a brave and hardhitting drama, at once luminous and dark, that tackles social injustice and violence against women. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 20th, 2018 | Tuesday | Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – 7:45 pm
March 31st, 2018 | Saturday | The Grand Cinema – 12:00 pm

Trailer:

Ashwatthama

Ashwatthama by Pushpendra Singh – India, South Korea | 2017 – 120 min.
Section: World Cinema | Indie Power

After his mother was killed by bandits, nine-year-old Ishvaku moves to live with her family in the Chambal ravines, whose closed terrains seemed to have locked its communities in mythic time. Holding onto his mother’s tale of the tragic hero Ashwatthama – an immortal who is eternally cursed with the pain of his wounds – the young boy begins to have strange encounters in the village. Singh’s second feature, redolent of Victor Erice’s cinema, weaves the mythical and the real in a child’s coming-of-age drama. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 21st, 2018 | Wednesday | The Metroplex – 9:15 pm
March 23rd, 2018 | Friday | The Grand Cinema – 4:30 pm

Trailer:

Die Tomorrow

Die Tomorrow by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit – Thailand | 2017 – 71 min.
Section: World Cinema | Global Vision

Emerging Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit played with life, mortality and choice in his awardwinning Heart Attack (2015). Here, he breaks taboos and looks death directly in the face. Not with the slow decay of the elderly, or the reign of horror films, but with episodic essays of those who die – happy, young, prepared or otherwise. Drawing on news reports and fiction, twelve vignettes ask what it means to say goodbye – and to grapple with how we have lived. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 20th, 2018 | Tuesday | The Sky – 9:45 pm
March 22nd, 2018 | Thursday | Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – 7:45 pm
March 30th, 2018 | Friday | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm (Community Screening: Please come 30 minutes before the Screening)

Trailer:

Girls Always Happy
Girls Always Happy by Yang Mingming – China | 2018 – 116 min.
Section: Firebird Awards | Young Cinema Competition *Asian Premiere*

In 2012, Beijinger Yang Mingming bursted out of film school with her short but inventive mockumentary of sorts, Female Directors (2012), in which she and a film school classmate seemed to become recorders of life and love for a new social media generation. She continues to explore female dreams and dynamics in this feature comedy, shifting to a mother and daughter dyad whose quest for fame and wealth through arts takes second place to the verbal interactions that create the film. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 30th, 2018 | Friday | The Grand Cinema – 4:45 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | The Grand Cinema – 2:15 pm

Trailer:

Girl's EncounterGirl’s Encounter by Eda Yuka – Japan | 2018 – 101 min.
Section: Kaleidoscope | I See It My Way *World Premiere*

Miyuri, a vulnerable Japanese adolescent, has been driven to the brink by pressures of her provincial school and university entrance exams as well as the viciousness of her classmates, who even toss away her only companion, a silkworm. But then a mysterious new student, Tsumugi, suddenly arrives and begins to spin webs of connection, aspiration, secrets, adventure and sensuality that transform Miyuri. But what secrets is Tsumugi herself hiding? And what, indeed, does a silkworm become when it grows up? (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 28th, 2018 | Wednesday | The Grand Cinema – 8:00 pm
March 30th, 2018 | Friday | Hong Kong Cultural Centre – 9:00 pm

Trailer:

GrassGrass by Hong Sang-soo – South Korea | 2018 – 66 min.
Section: Masters & Auteurs | The Masters *Asian Premiere*

So, who is that girl in the corner? That one, who always seems to have her laptop open, writing away? Is she picking up scraps of conversation and life from those around her and weaving them into new dramas and connections? Is it fiction or reality? Working once again with his muse, Berlinale Best Actress winner Kim Min-hee, Hong (The Day After, 2017 Summer IFF) weaves together a tale of the trappings of romantic longings, and the sorrows of arriving at middle-age. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 31st, 2018 | Saturday | Festival Grand Cinema – 5:15 pm
April 3rd, 2018 | Tuesday | Hong Kong Cultural Centre – 7:30 pm

Trailer:

In Your DreamsIn Your Dreams by Tam Wai-Ching – Hong Kong | 2017 – 94 min.
Section: Pan-Chinese Cinema | Hong Kong Panorama 2017-18

In Your Dreams marks an impressive debut for Tam Wai-ching. Directing from her own script, Tam explores the unusual bond between Chi-hang (Ng Siu-hin), a disaffected youth with wayward parents, and Yeuk-mei (Carina Lau), a middle-aged teacher pained by loneliness. Thrown together by circumstances, the two engage in a friendship/flirtation akin to a dance. Tam’s sometimes elliptic, sometimes romantic drama is a subtle and surprising achievement in character and mood. (HKIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
March 26th, 2018 | Monday | Hong Kong Arts Centre – 2:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Part 2
Part 3

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