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Regional Focus

Singapore'Growing up in the world's most oppressive nanny state can be bad for your mental health, and 15 tells it like it is. 26-year-old Royston Tan's social satire has given local censors their biggest ever headache by focusing on Singapore's 'problem' boys: the ones from broken homes, the ones ... Read more
20: 30: 40 Hong Kong/ChinaSex and the City Taipei-style. Nominated for the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, this irresistible film from Sylvia Chang is a fun and entertaining romantic comedy following the lives of three women looking for love.20-year-old Xiao-jie has left her family ... Read more
The mesmerising 3-Iron, which won him the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival, again proves Kim Ki-duk deserves his reputation as one of the world's leading outsider filmmakers. Exemplifying Kim's rare ability to combine elegance, poetry and raw power in his filmmaking, 3-Iron - like ... Read more
A meditation on absence and longing, 4:30 is about a moment - and a young boy's attempt to cling to it, escaping his drab reality. Told entirely from the perspective of the boy, it concerns his relationship with a listless 30-something year-old tenant who is nursing a broken heart. Seemingly ... Read more
After losing her job due to downsizing, Tum despairs until a noodle carton chock full of cash is wrongly delivered to her door (a simple but superb visual gag explained in the title). When a pair of goons come calling, a scuffle ensues and Tum inadvertently kills them both! A bizarre chain of ... Read more
Aside from screenings at prestigious international Film Festivals from London and Hong Kong to New York and Toronto, A One and a Two has picked up a slew of awards including Best Director at Cannes 2000 - and has been hailed internationally as one of director Edward Yang's masterpieces. The film is ... Read more
Five-year-old Yuka disappears without a trace from a resort cottage in idyllic Hokkaido. Her mother, Kasumi, is distraught and won't let go of the idea that her daughter is somewhere, alive. For five years she returns to Hokkaido, hoping to find a clue. Her quest is shadowed by a detective, Utsumi ... Read more
Tokyo, Taipei and Shanghai. Three of Asia's hottest young directors make three films about love. Japanese director Ten Shimoyama, Taiwan's Yee Chih-yen (Blue Gate Crossing, MIFF 03) and China's Zhang Yibai explore the tenuous, sweet, fragile and sometimes bitter nature of young love in the ... Read more
"Shunji Iwai achieved international recognition with Love Letter (1995) and April Story (MIFF 1999), and with this quietly devastating, often hauntingly beautiful portrait of troubled youth, he has now proved himself one of Japan's leading talents and boldest voices. Visually, Iwai's film (which ... Read more
Asakusa Kid is the story of the outrageous, misspent youthful days of internationally renowned Japanese multi-hyphenate (director-star-writer-all-round-media-personality) Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi, whose films, which include Hana-Bi (MIFF 1998) and Kids Return (MIFF 1997), have wowed Festival audiences. Read more
"Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumes in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training. On the day of the audition, she's the last person they see ... Read more
An accomplished debut feature from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. this twisted social comedy works as a dry and amusing human-interest cackle. An indolent university lecturer, scheming to bribe his way into a professorship, is driven to distraction by a yapping dog somewhere in his apartment ... Read more
Battle Royale II: Requiem (Batoru Rowaiaru II: Chinkonka) Japan'Battle Royale II is bigger, bolder and bloodier than the original.'Midnight EyeThree years after he survived the bloody mayhem in the first Battle Royale 'game', Nanahara, together with fellow escapee, Nakagawa, leads a terrorist unit ... Read more
“Present-day Singapore is scoped in its shimmering modernity with a Metropolis-like squint, and (cinematographer) Tan's subdued colorizations further clue us to the darkness as well as the less obvious hues of love.” - Hollywood Reporter ... A tapestry of stories woven around themes of love ... Read more
Ken (Daniel Wu) has been romancing teacher Chan Wai-Ching (Gillian Chung), until he unceremoniously ditches her for karaoke waitress Shirley (Tao Hung). Chan goes knocking on Shirley's door when she finds that the rapscallion Ken has posted naked images of her on the Internet, leading to her losing ... Read more
"Okatsu is a widow raising five children - adults but still mama-dependent - in mid-eighteenth century Edo, Japan. Her frugality attracts unflattering comment even amid national tough times (the region is in famine) What Okatsu tells no one is that she saves so that a friend can start his own ... Read more
Choi Dong-hoon's directorial debut, The Big Swindle, proves that South Korea's golden age of filmmaking is set to continue for a while yet. Carrying on the recent tradition of films that deliver on every front, it's a heist film par excellence: suspenseful, slick and, as a bonus, extremely funny. A ... Read more
An ultralight aircraft glides and swoops over Taipei, breathtaking from the sky, in the opening of Huang Min-Chen's follow-up to the terrific Too Young. Once more the director made off with top honours at the Taipei Film Festival in 2000, again deserving accomplishment for his second extraordinary ... Read more
“Even by Korean standards of movie brutality, A Bittersweet Life raises the bar to a new level… will have genre fans nailed to their seats” - Variety ... A tour de force of noir-ish style, A Bittersweet Life sees MIFF stalwart Kim Jee-woon hitting the screen with guns blazing ... Read more
Song and Tang are coal miners, working under torturous and unsafe conditions. When Tang's brother, Chaolu, arrives for a visit, they convince him to join them in the mine. Deep underground, they kill Chaolu, and manage to cause the mine to collapse just before escaping unharmed. Feigning outrage ... Read more
A languid and sensual meditation on love, Blissfully Yours is a sumptuous new offering from Thailand. ... Min is an illegal Burmese immigrant, living in Thailand and in desperate need of a forged ID. His Thai girlfriend, Roong, has enlisted the help of Om, an older woman, and her husband, to ... Read more
Blood and Bones centres on Kim Sun-pei, a Korean migrant attempting to build a fortune in Japan. Contrary to his hopes, the Japan he encounters is a brutal world of discrimination and hard labour. Responding with all the violence, selfishness and severity imaginable, he becomes hated and abandoned ... Read more
“Solito's directorial debut as a dramatic filmmaker seems itself like a flower amid the grit of most contemporary cinema.” - Sundance Film Festival ... The purity of first love is pitted against poverty and corruption in Auraeus Solito's unexpectedly moving look at life in the slums of Manila ... Read more
Blue Gate Crossing is a lyrical and tender ode to the difficult, and often precarious phase of moving from adolescence to adulthood. ... Flighty Yuezhan has a typical schoolgirl crush on the handsome Zhang, a member of the swimming team, secretly taking photos of him and collecting objects he ... Read more
Blue Spring is about high school anarchy, hairstyles and rock'n'roll. In a school where the students set the rules while teachers are dangled from windows, students play a deadly game of chicken to decide who is boss. When hip Kujo, idolised by childhood friend Aoki, wins the game, he at first ... Read more
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