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Films Screened In 2003

"Someone gave bad seed director Ringo Lam many Hong Kong dollars to remake Burning of the Red Lotus Temple, an epic about popular character Fong Sai Yuk (see Fong Sai Yuk elsewhere in this section). Instead of Corey Yuen's feelgood romp of the year before, Lam served up this nightmare in which all ... Read more
On June 12, 2000—Brazil's Valentine's Day—Sandro do Nascimento held up a bus in Rio de Janeiro's largest public park in broad daylight, taking the passengers hostage.Television crews arrived on the scene just behind the police, and for the next five hours an incredible drama unfolded ... Read more
In town camps and remote communities of Central Australia, Aboriginal boys and girls begin their apprenticeships early, making bush bikes! ... Read more
An isolated cabin retreat, six cocksure teenagers, a highly-infectious disease, crazed hillbillies—the perfect ingredients for a slasher hybrid marked by its knife-edge wit and knife-wielding characters. Director Eli Roth got his start assisting David Lynch with the set-up of his amazing ... Read more
Cala is a scruffy little dog who means the world to Lao, a blue-collar worker who lives in Beijing with his wife and son. When the pooch is nabbed by the authorities for being out on the streets without a permit, the family has 18 hours to procure enough money to pay the considerable fine ... Read more
Jude and Ron play games, it's harmless, competitive fun, a way of spicing up their relationship, until Gerry Molloy enters their lives. Fact becomes fiction, or is it the other way around? ... Read more
A prisoner of the war between Iran and Iraq has been writing a letter to his son, whom he hasn't seen for 18 years. He is placed on the list of prisoners to be released, but he's still apprehensive. This intricately observed piece takes the form of the prisoner reading a letter to his unknown son. ... Read more
"Capturing The Friedmans ran away with this year's Sundance Grand Jury prize for best documentary and deservedly so. An engrossing, troubling and, in the end, profoundly ambiguous re-examination of a child molestation case that tore one upper-middle class family apart on New York's Long Island ... Read more
Chandni Bar launches scathing attacks on an outmoded caste system, police corruption, vice and the appalling conditions endured by the marginalized in one of the world's most populated but poor cities. ... Fleeing her hometown, left in flames after religious conflict, Mumtaz winds up in Mumbai with ... Read more
A boy goes to extraordinary lengths to shelter his dog from the dangers and violence of the outside world. A short film of remarkable scope and complexity, touching upon universal issues with a particularly Korean sensibility. Grand Prix winner Pusan. ... Read more
Full of fascinating and insightful interviews with some of the Hollywood elite including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr., three of Chaplin's children, actors and collaborators on his films as well as biographers and critics including David Thomson and Andrew Sarris ... Read more
Produced by Wong Kar-wai, cast with several of his favourite actors and spiked with parodies of his films, Jeff Lau's thoroughly entertaining Chinese Odyssey 2002, set in the Ming Dynasty, ruthlessly mocks martial arts cliches. Sneaking out of the Forbidden City to mingle incognito with her ... Read more
December 21st, and eldest son Keri has just turned up unannounced to the modest family home in Whangarei, a Kiwi town going nowhere fast, where he grew up. Sharing in the 'festivities' are the house's inhabitants, a dysfunctional maori/anglo-saxon family— parents, Brian and Loma, teenage ... Read more
"Werner Herzog calls this 'the greatest documentary on filmmaking I have ever seen.' Much stranger than fiction, Close-Up recounts the bizarre case of Hosem Sabzian, a frustrated film buff who pretended to be well-know director Moshen Makhmalbaf. Under the guise of preparing a new project, the ... Read more
A young girl is left at a garage while her mother has her car serviced. Soon it is the girl who is fixing the cars, with the help of her father. ... Read more
"Cheng Pei-Pei is the original swordswoman. Before Michelle Yeoh, before Brigitte Lin, before Maggie Cheung and certainly before Carrie-Ann flippin' Moss, she rode out of the east and into the wuxia history books when director King Hu cast her as Golden Swallow and sent her off to rescue her ... Read more
In this twisted comedy, a man coughs when he hears certain words (family, birthday, formica). Another man decides to cure him. He sets up a series of bizarre scenarios to achieve his goal, no matter what. ... Read more
Eddie spends her pocket money obsessively hoarding fireworks and carefully planning for cracker night. When it finally arrives, Eddie and her family head to the local football oval. In the frosty air, Eddie lights the fuse of her first cracker and experiences a pivotal moment, one of the seemingly ... Read more
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Award at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi's (The Circle, MIFF 2001) new film is a intimate and absorbing drama. Based on true events, told to Panahi by Abbas Kiarostami (who will be presenting selection of his own work at MIFF this year), Crimson Gold is the ... Read more
Sedma, Jasmina, Senada: three young village women. During the war in Bosnia in the mid-90s, their world fell apart. Their husbands disappeared, along with dozens of men from their families. Their houses, land, villages and country were all swept away. ... In August 1998, they moved into a halfway ... Read more
Cahiers du Cinema critic turned director Oliver Assayas (Irma Vep, MIFF 1997) takes us on another wild ride with this erotic cyber-thriller complete with a killer soundtrack by Sonic Youth and an eclectic cast that includes Connie Nielsen (One Hour Photo, MIFF 2002), Gina Gershon (Bound), Chloe ... Read more
Obsessive record collector Joe Bussard parties like it's 1929! A cultural scavenger, musician and broadcaster, he was a pioneer in the preservation of 78rpm records and the roots music produced in pure and undiluted form in the 20s and 30s. Bussard has rescued priceless shellac artefacts from ... Read more
At long last, Destino, the legendary collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney, shelved since 1946, has been completed. And it's coming to MIFF! The surrealist short, mysteriously abandoned before it reached completion, was considered a lost cause—the Loch Ness monster film never to ... Read more
The winner of the FIPRESCI prize at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Distant Lights is a tender humanist portrart of a group of people finding their way in a world of moral ambiguity. ... The German-Polish border is marked by the Oder river and divides two very different towns— the ... Read more
A prison movie like no other, this amiable biographical film is a sheer delight. Cult manga author Hanawa Kazuichi spend three years in jail, for possession of replica guns he used in simulated battles, and upon release created a popular account of 'doing time'. This is not a Midnight Express-type ... Read more
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