色,戒 | Lust, Caution

Lust Caution

Shanghai, 1942. The World War II Japanese occupation of this Chinese city continues in force. Mrs. Mak, a woman of sophistication and means, walks into a café, places a call, and then sits and waits. She remembers how her story began several years earlier, in 1938 China. She is not in fact Mrs. Mak, but shy Wong Chia Chi. With WWII underway, Wong has been left behind by her father, who has escaped to England. As a freshman at university, she meets fellow student Kuang Yu Min. Kuang has started a drama society to shore up patriotism. As the theater troupe’s new leading lady, Wong realizes that she has found her calling, able to move and inspire audiences and Kuang. He convenes a core group of students to carry out a radical and ambitious plan to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee. Each student has a part to play; Wong will be Mrs. Mak, who will gain Yees’ trust by befriending his wife and then draw the man into an affair. Wong transforms herself utterly inside and out, and the scenario proceeds as scripted until an unexpectedly fatal twist spurs her to flee. Shanghai, 1941. With no end in sight for the occupation, Wong having emigrated from Hong Kong goes through the motions of her existence. Much to her surprise, Kuang re-enters her life. Now part of the organized resistance, he enlists her to again become Mrs. Mak in a revival of the plot to kill Yee, who as head of the collaborationist secret service has become even more a key part of the puppet government. As Wong reprises her earlier role, and is drawn ever closer to her dangerous prey, she finds her very identity being pushed to the limit…

Directed by Ang Lee | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Wei Tang, Joan Chen, Leehom Wang, Chung-Hua Tou | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Calgary Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Edmonton Film Festival, London Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival

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出埃及记 | Exodus

Exodus

After the artistic breakthrough and acclaim of Isabella, maverick director Edmond Pang Ho Cheung returns to black comedy territory with his new film Exodus. From Men Suddenly in Black, Beyond Our Ken, You shoot I shoot, Pang’s films often spin gender issues into wry commentary, and he takes this “battle of the sexes” concept to the next level with Exodus. Black comedy, suspense thriller, and male mid-life crisis drama all rolled into one, Exodus throws out a seemingly ridiculous premise – women are conspiring to kill men! – and challenges both the protagonist and the audience into amused belief. A low-ranking cop often relegated to desk duty, middle-aged Tsim Kin Yip lives a stable, mundane life with his young yoga instructor wife Ann. The monotony is broken one day when he interrogates Kwan Ping Man, a nervous, profanity-spouting man caught spying in the women’s bathroom. Kwan, who seems to have more than a few screws loose, confides to Tsim a shocking secret: a ring of women conspiring to murder men. Everyday, plans are whispered in restrooms and deaths are carefully engineered, so that men die unnoticeable from “accidents” that are anything but. Tsim initially dismisses Kwan’s conspiracy theory, but then clues crop up suggesting there is something fishy at work. Both his marriage and life could be at stake as Tsim becomes increasingly obsessed with cracking the case.

Directed by Ho-Cheung Pang | Starring : Simon Yam, Annie Liu, Nick Cheung, Irene Wan, Maggie Siu | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival

父子 | After This Our Exile

After This Our Exile

the hopeless pursuit of happiness, Aaron Kwok stars as Shing, a man who desperately attempts to hold onto the dwindling threads of his family. Once a man who had a dream, Shing has become a deadbeat gambler whose marriage is failing with wife Lin. Shing’s machoistic ego overrides any reasonable logic for change, which forces Lin to leave Shing repeatedly. After finally managing to escape, Shing is left with nothing but his son, Lok-Yun. Hoping in vain to pay back loansharks, Shing turns to his loving son, Lok-Yun, who has somehow retained his filial loyalty. In his most desperate hour, Shing forces his struggle of survival onto his son, Lok-Yun, through thievery and tests the strength of loyalty and the boundaries of trust in their father-son relationship. With each passing day, the bond of love is threatened with Shing’s unrepentant ways.

Directed by Patrick Tam | Starring : Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeung, Kelly Lin, King-to Ng, Valen Hsu | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival

明明 | Ming Ming

Ming Ming

Ming Ming is a 21st Century martial arts princess and lady Robin Hood who steals for love. Her Prince Charming is D, a maverick fighter and irresistible rogue who posted this challenge to his swarms of female admirers – give him 5 million dollars and he’ll run away with his benefactress to Harbin. Ming Ming meets D’s another girlfriend Nana, who is a virtual look-alike of Ming Ming. Meanwhile, disappears from Shanghai without a trace. The only clue he leaves behind is a cryptic phone message.

Directed by Susie Au | Starring : Xun Zhou, Daniel Wu, Tony Yang, Kristy Yang, Bo-yuan Chan | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival

放逐 | Exiled

Exiled

Set in a Macau, China, that resembles more a Mexican town than anything Chinese, this film by the acclaimed director Johnnie To starts as four mysterious outlaws descend on the house of a fellow criminal Wo, who is living a quiet life with his wife and baby. Two of the hoods, Blaze and Fat, have come to kill Wo, on the orders of their Boss, while the other two, Tai and Cat, have come to save him. Both sides know each other well, having grown up together, and soon the group decides to save Wo’s life, and run from the Boss’ hired guns.

Directed by Johnnie To | Starring : Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Francis Ng, Simon Yam, Nick Cheung, Richie Ren | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, La Rochelle Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival

夜宴 | The Banquet

The Banquet

In 907 AD, the Tang Dynasty is in tatters; infighting snarls the imperial family. Crown Prince Wu Luan loves Little Wan, but his father takes her as his Empress. Wu Luan goes into exile, studying dance and music. His uncle murders his father, taking throne and Empress; uncle sends assassins to kill Wu Luan. The Crown Prince eludes death and comes to court. The Emperor arranges for Little Wan’s coronation and dispatches Wu Luan to a distant land; he then calls for a midnight banquet on the 100th day of his rule. Poison, treachery, Wu Luan’s return, and the love of the innocent Qing for Wu Luan set up the final entanglements. No Fortinbras or Horatio lay the dead to rest.

Directed by Xiaogang Feng | Starring : Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, Daniel Wu, Xun Zhou, Xiaoming Huang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival

鬼域 | Re-Cycle

Re-Cycle

The first novel of a young woman writer, Ting-yin, pen-named Chu Xun, has become the bestseller in South East Asia. Her novel is a love story that touches the hearts of all her readers. Her manager, Abby announces her next title in her autograph party. The Recycle, it deals with the supernatural forces. Her readers eagerly await the release of her new book with high expectations of her fictional work to be true to life. The film opens with Ting-yin starting work on the Recycle. After drafting a chapter, she stops. She even deletes the file which contains the draft from her computer. Later, she begins to see weird things. Some of the phenomenon cannot be explained. Ting-yin feels that the supernatural events depicted in her fictional work begin to unfold in the real world! Ting-yin finds it increasingly hard to tell what is real and what is imaginary… But she soon learns that perhaps she should follow the mysterious hints into the other world. Isn’t it exactly the subject matter that she’s working on in the Recycle? By having the experience herself, wouldn’t it be the best way to learn of the inexplicable? One night, Ting-yin decides to follow the hints into the other world, in which she has the experience of real and pure horror!

Directed by Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang | Starring : Angelica Lee, Lawrence Chou, Siu-Ming Lau, Rain Li, Zeng Qi Qi | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival