Tuesday, March 22, 2011

HKIFF 2011: Uncle Boonmee wins Best Film at AFA, Quattro reviewed

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cannes Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives added an Asian Film Award to its accolades, winning Best Film at the fifth edition of the AFAs on Monday night in Hong Kong.

Uncle Boonmee was nominated for just Best Film and it was the only Thai film nominated.

Apichatpong was present at the ceremony with the film's editor, Lee Chatametikool.

Other AFA winners included best director and screenplay for South Korea's Lee Chang-dong for Poetry. The Chinese blockbuster Aftershock also won two awards, best actress for Xu Fan and best visual effects. Best actor went to Ha Jung-woo for South Korea's The Yellow Sea.

The AFAs are part of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which got under way on Sunday night with two opening films, Don't Go Breaking My Heart, a romance against the backdrop of the Asian financial crisis by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai, and Quattro Hong Kong 2, a pan-Asian anthology of Hong Kong-set shorts by Apichatpong, Brillante Mendoza, Ho Yu-hang and Stanley Kwan.

There's already a couple of reviews of Quattro Hong Kong 2, which includes Apichatpong's segment, M Hotel.

Here's Mark Adams in Screen Daily:

Cannes winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film M Hotel is – unsurprisingly – a more mannered and artistic piece as he films two men in a newly built hotel called the M Hotel as they photograph each other and gaze out of the window, all set against a muffled soundtrack recorded in the park next to the hotel.

And Lee Hyo-won in the Korea Times:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul brings a highly experimental work, M Hotel. In a way, nothing much happens — two young men goof around with a camera in a room with window that looks down at a plaza. Yet the Thai cineaste who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year creates some of the most intensive sound designs that keep viewers on the edge of their seats, as muffled noises suggest there are terrifying criminal activities in the making.

The HKIFF, running until April 5, also has Sivaroj Kongsakul's Eternity (Tee Rak), the prize-winner from the recent Deauville fest, and Aditya Assarat's Hi-So.

And Sivaroj, Phuttipong Aroongpheng and Nithiwat Tharatorn have projects in the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum. HAF wraps up tomorrow.

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