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22 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 26th Busan International Film Festival (Part 2)

We continue our list of films you shouldn’t miss at the 26th Busan International Film Festival which will take place from October 6th – 15th, 2021 in Busan, Korea.

– Selected Shorts –

Seire by Park Kang – Korea | 2021 – 102 minutes
Section: New Currents | World Premiere

Seire is the period of twenty-one days in which people are supposed to take utmost care in their behaviors and strangers are not allowed to visit to protect a newborn baby from bad luck. The film Seire takes an idea from this folk belief. Woojin, who has just became the father of a newborn baby, hears that Seyoung, whom he had once dated, has died. He goes to her funeral without telling his wife, and comes across Yeyoung, Seoyung’s twin sister. Following this encounter, Woojin and his family experience a series of horrific misfortunes. Seire is a creative horror movie. It skillfully adopts the old convention of horror movies and, at the same time, modernizes the fear that comes from breaking the taboos of folk beliefs, crossing the border between reality and fantasy vaguely and ominously with bold camera moves and editing. (JUNG Hanseok – BIFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
October 10th, 2021 | Sunday | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 1 | 15:30 pm
October 11th, 2021 | Monday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 4 | 20:00 pm
October 12th, 2021 | Tuesday | CGV Centum City 4 | 12:30 pm

Trailer:

Taste by Le Bao – France, Singapore, Vietnam | 2020 – 98 minutes
Section: A Window on  Asian Cinema

Bassley has traveled all the way to Vietnam from Nigeria as a professional football player. One day he is injured and as a result, is expelled from the team. He cannot tell his family the truth because must find a way to continue to support their living. He stays in a small hair salon and becomes one of the low-class laborers in the metropolis. One of his new friends makes hot air balloons all day long, although she never has ridden in one. All of them are tired of working long hours doing whatever jobs they can take. One day, they decide to live together in an old house. In the most natural way, they wash themselves, prepare food, eat together, and sleep together. At first, they seem to have had their own paradise. However, small cracks form as jealousy and pettiness threaten their idyllic relationship. Director Le Bao, who studied film on his own without formal education in Vietnam, has created a masterpiece in which he boldly portrays realistically drawn, modern human beings on the silver screen. (PARK Sungho – BIFF 2021)

* This film received the Special Jury Prize at Berlin International Film Festival in Encounters Competition *

Screening Dates:
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 15:00 pm
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 20:00 pm
October 13th, 2021 | Wednesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

The Apartment with Two Women by Kim Se-in – Korea | 2021 – 140 minutes
Section: New Currents | World Premiere

Sookyung lives with her daughter Yijung. They don′t quite get along, though. Sookyung is too hot tempered, while Yijung is slow and passive. After having a fight one day, Sookyung runs over Yijung, who thinks she did it on purpose. Their clash ends up in court. The conflict between a mother and a daughter is common, but this film makes it rarely common by showing the fierce battle between them for an unusually long run time a length that seems emotionally understandable. The Apartment with Two Women strongly attracts audiences with its realistic characters, good performances, dynamic narrative, unexpected humor, harp details, pressing questions, and often uneasy answers. What is a family? The film asks this long and complex question with all its heart. (JUNG Hanseok – BIFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
October 10th, 2021 | Sunday | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 1 | 19:00 pm
October 11th, 2021 | Monday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 3 | 10:00 am
October 12th, 2021 | Tuesday | CGV Centum City 4 | 19:00 pm

Trailer:

The Book of Fish by Lee Joonik – Korea | 2021 – 126 minutes
Section: Panorama

The Book of Fish depicts the process of Jeong Yakjeon (Sul Kyung-gu) and fisherman Changdae (Byun John) interacting beyond their social status. Jeong Yakjeon wrote a dictionary of sea life called ‘The Book of Fish’ on Heuksando Island, an exile site in 1814. Director Lee Joonik developed this project into a human story by unfolding the layers of history through this one book, which contains the essence of practical studies and love for people at that time. There are no spectacular events or provocative situations in The Book of Fish; there is, instead, only a deep and beautiful relationship that forms the story. With the help of Changdae, Jeong Yakjeon practices studies that will help people, but Changdae, who dreams of becoming a Neo-Confucian, becomes frustrated looking at Jeong Yakjeon. Nevertheless, the two men, who are of different ages, social statuses, and philosophies, are gradually reborn as the meanings of each other. The process of reaching the one-line phrase, ′When I know my friend deeply, I become deepened,′ is as beautiful as the picturesque landscape. (SONG Kyung-won – BIFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | Busan Cinema Center Cinematheque | 19:00 pm
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Daeyoung 1 | 9:30 am

Trailer:

The Cave by Lee Young-ah – Korea | 2021 – 112 minutes
Section: Panorama | World Premiere

After her husband dies suddenly, Minhee (Yoo Da-in) goes to Jeju Island to live in her husband′s hometown. It is the place where she can meet people with whom she can share the memory of her husband and the house he cherished. As a writer and lifeguard, she begins to feel comfortable there until she learns about the past of Mokha (Cho Eunji), her neighbor. She thinks they can be good friends at first. But in fact there is some secret story in their relationship. The film begins with calm sorrow, but as the story develops, it reveals episodes that are impossible to expect. With the actors′ veteran performance that unfold this sad, unexpected, and cheerful story, The Cave becomes filled with both sadness and shining moments. (HONG Eunmi – BIFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 6 | 16:30 pm
October 9th, 2021 | Saturday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 6 | 10:00 am
October 13th, 2021 | Wednesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 14:00 pm

Trailer:

The Girl on a Bulldozer by Park Ri-woong – Korea | 2021 – 113 minutes
Section: Panorama | World Premiere

Haeyoung (Kim Hyeyoon) is a hopeless girl. She has tattoos all over her arms. She uses vulgar language, and is even violent. She is a terrible troublemaker. She does not have a mother and lives with her father (Park Hyukkwon), who runs a Chinese restaurant, and a younger sibling. One day, her father has a mysterious accident, which places her in a position of responsibility. She is now not only the head of the house and must look after her younger sibling, but also an investigator tasked with finding the truth about the accident, and a fighter standing against the ugly world. A detective (YeSung) tries to help her, but her life is far from being easy or organized. The way she lives her life remains unchanged. As the story develops, however, her boldness brings honesty and innocence, which eventually fills the film with touching moments. How will she operate a bulldozer? (JUNG Hanseok – BIFF 2021)

* This film received the 2014 ACF Script Development Fund *

Screening Dates:
October 8th, 2021 | Friday |Lotte Cinema Centum City 3 | 9:00 am
October 9th, 2021 | Saturday | Lott Cinema Centum City 6 | 13:30 pm
October 13th, 2021 | Wednesday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 10 | 15:00 pm

Trailer:

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Edwin – Indonesia, Singapore, Germany | 2021 – 115 minutes – Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

Ajo, a gangster who is not afraid of death, has a secret he does not want to reveal to anyone: He is impotent. This symptom becomes a source of anger and eventually triggers his violence towards everyone around him. He runs into a tough woman, Iteung, as an enemy while he is working on a contract job, and then falls in love with her. She also finds him attractive, as both of them suffer from childhood trauma. The two are soon married, but their troubled pasts continue to haunt them, and cast shadows on both of their happiness. Based on the novel of the same name by Eka Kurniawan, known as “the Quentin Tarantino of Indonesian literature,” the film was well polished by renowned director Edwin. It won the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival. Following the fast-paced story, flashbacks and black comedy, it is easy to fall into the bittersweet charm of the film, feeling like squeezing pus from wounds. (PARK Sungho – BIFF 2021)

* This film received the Golden Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival, and the 2016 APM Project *

Screening Dates:
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Sohyang Theater Centum City | 19:30 pm
October 9th, 2021 | Saturday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 9:00 am
October 10th, 2021 | Sunday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

What she likes… by Kusano Shogo – Japan | 2021 – 122 minutes
Section: Open Cinema | World Premiere

A popular webnovel that was adapted into a TV drama and a film, What She Likes… was also published in Korea under the title What She Likes Are Homosexuals, Not Me. High school student Jun is a closeted gay who is secretly dating an older man. His classmate Sae, who doesn′t know his secret, shows interest in him. One day, Jun runs into Sae at the bookstore and realizes that she enjoys yaoi manga. Now that Jun knows her secret, Sae develops even stronger feelings and confesses her love for him. Flustered, Jun ends up agreeing to date Sae, and the situation unfolds in an unexpected way. Rather than sweet romance befitting a school life drama featuring pretty boys and girls, the film asks serious questions about homosexuality. Instead of romance, a new level of friendship that comes from a deep understanding of each other blossoms beautifully as the characters overcome adversity. (NAM Dong-chul – BIFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Busan Cinema Center Cinematheque | 9:00 am
October 13th, 2021 | Wednesday | Busan Cinema Center BIFF Theater | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy by Hamaguchi Ryusuke – Japan | 2021 – 122 minutes
Section: Gala Presentation

Hamaguchi Ryusuke once mentioned Eric Rohmer as his inspiration for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. He said thematically he wanted to focus on coincidences that Eric Rohmer often featured in his films, and he finds short films appealing as they help prepare for feature films and simultaneously provide opportunities to shape experimental ideas. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is a triptych of shorts about coincidences. Each vignette stands on its own, but the three films are thematically linked. Coincidences lead to horribly tragic events at times or events that make you smile at other times. In his unique style, Hamaguchi depicts the world that is revealed through coincidences. This film is the first three of the seven stories on coincidences he conceived. Although it was made lightly, this powerful film has turned Hamaguchi into a household name in contemporary Japanese cinema. (NAM Dong-chul – BIFF 2021)

* This film received the Grand Jury Prize at Berlin International Film Festival *

Screening Dates:
October 7th, 2021 | Thursday | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 1 | 9:00 am
October 9th, 2021 | Saturday | CGV Centum City 6 | 14:00 pm
October 10th, 2021 | Sunday | CGV Centum City 6 | 9:00 am

Trailer:

White Building by Neang Kavich – Cambodia, France, China, Qatar | 2021 – 91 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

The White Building was once an icon of the successful urbanization and modernization of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. As it decays, its residents are leaving one by one. The tension of the conflicts among them are rising, as the demolition and relocation become imminent. The unfolding stories focus on a young man, Samnang, and his father. Samnang wants to make a living as a hip-hop dancer but has to face the harsh reality that this is simply not possible. Meanwhile, his father hopelessly tries to negotiate with the authorities on behalf of the residents. As a former resident (he was born and raised in this vary building) director Kavich Neang reflected his own experiences in writing and directing this work. His previous documentary film, Last Night I Saw You Smiling (2019), captured his neighbours in a loving perspective, while White Building delves deeper into the inner atmosphere of the family and the community. White Building won the CJ Entertainment Award and Arte Award at the Asian Project Market at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival, and is the first Cambodian film officially invited to Venice Orizzonti. (BOO Kyunghwan – BIFF 2021)

* The film received the Orrizzonti Award for Best Actor at Venice International Film Festival, and the 2016 APM Project *

Screening Dates:
October 13th, 2021 | Wednesday | CGV Centum City 1 | 19:00 pm
October 14th, 2021 | Thursday | CGV Centum City 6 | 20:30 pm

Trailer:

Yuni by Kamila Andini – Indonesia, Singapore | 2021 – 96 minutes
Section: A Window on Asian Cinema

Yuni, a high school girl, is obsessed with the color purple. Her family, who lives in the countryside, is not affluent, and thus realizes how important it is for her to get a scholarship to continue what she wants – to study in a university. She is not a perfect person, though. She does not hesitate to steal small things if they are purple, and she uses her friend to write poetry for her to improve her grades in literature, the only subject with which she struggles. Despite this, she is considered to be both pretty and smart by her classmates and even other men. Now she finds herself unable to decide what exactly she wants. As she begins to reject proposals, bad news starts to circulate in the small town. Directed by Kamila Andini, Yuni is an adorable film on the surface, but the critical point—the view underneath against the conservatism and sexism—makes it a masterpiece. (PARK Sungho – BIFF 2021)

* This film received the Platform Prize at Toronto International Film Festival *

Screening Dates:
October 8th, 2021 | Friday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 7 | 15:00 pm
October 10th, 2021 | Sunday | Sohyang Theater Centum City | 17:00 pm
October 14th, 2021 | Thursday | Lotte Cinema Centum City 9 | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

For more information please visit: https://www.biff.kr/eng

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