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Films In 2004

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
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For 40 years the cantankerous Esfandiar has prepared corpses for the journey to their final resting places. He works with a dignified widow named Delbar, who washes the bodies of deceased women, and a flighty lad, who incinerates the clothes of the dead. While Esfandiar's mean-spiritedness works ... Read more
Tim Burstall Remembered Pioneering filmmaker Tim Burstall, who passed away recently at age 76, was justifiably credited with revitalising the Australian film industry in the 70s. With films such as Stork (1971) and Alvin Purple (1973), Burstall ushered in an era of bold and commercially successful ... Read more
Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary (Im Toten Winkel: Hitlers Sekretärin)Austria'I have finally let go of my story. Now I feel the world is letting go of me.'Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretaryAfter keeping silent for over half a century, 81-year-old Traudl Junge finally tells her remarkable story of ... 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
The Blood Brothers (Ci Ma) Hong Kong 'a tragic, romantic, blood-soaked martial arts tale of revenge that explores one of the most sensational scandals in Chinese history and marked the ascension of its director and actors to superstar status. Epic martial arts films do not get any better than this ... Read more
Bombon - El Perro is a story about fate and friendship, and a magnificent white Argentinean mastiff named Bombon. The amiable Juan Villegas has lost his job at a remote Patagonian service station. At his age, finding a new job seems unlikely and odd jobs aren't going to sustain him for long. When ... Read more
Born Into Brothels USABritish photographer Zana Briski ventured into Calcutta's red-light district on assignment and wound up working there for two years, appalled by the plight of the children of sex workers. The kids seemed trapped by their circumstances and destined to 'join the line', the ... Read more
The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan UK/Afghanistan 'Compelling' Watching it is a reminder that you don't necessarily need massive budgets to be a distinctive voice. But you do need mavericks who are brave.' -The Guardian The Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001 caused an ... Read more
Brain Monkey Shorts Japan MIFF pulls together a programme of cutting-edge live action and animation shorts'a selection that could truly only come out of Japan. Films include:The Fuccons: Special Edition (7mins)A special Festival selection from the fantastically warped series of tales about the ... Read more
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Breaking News (Dai Sigin) Hong KongThe latest hard-boiled crime drama from acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To (P.T.U., MIFF 2003) wowed audiences in its Official Selection slot at Cannes this year.'When the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five robbers is broadcast on TV, the ... Read more
A Bride of the Seventh Heaven (Jumalan Morsian) FinlandIn the vast, frozen expanses of the Jamal Peninsula in Russia's far north, the astonishing story of a woman's marriage to a god is recounted. Shrouded in the smoke of a tiny fire, scant protection against an impending blizzard, an aged woman ... Read more
Bright Future (Akauri Mirai) JapanMamoru (Asano Tadanobu) is a 27-year-old factory worker, whose sole purpose in life is to mutate his hauntingly luminous yet poisonous jellyfish into a freshwater creature. His intense antisocial behaviour is echoed by his co-worker, and sole friend, Yuji. They ... Read more
Bright Leaves USA'Idiosyncratic, funny and genuine, Bright Leaves is a little gem.' -screen International Ross McElwee is best known for his 1986 documentary, Sherman's March, which inaugurated its own genre by combining autobiography, ruminations on social issues and reflections on filmmaking ... Read more
In her powerfully immediate [Brothers], Suzanne Bier - director of the acclaimed Dogma film [Open Hearts] (MIFF 02) - has fashioned a taut psychological drama of a splintering family. ... Michael and Jannik are brothers who couldn't be less alike. Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) - always his father's ... Read more
The striking debut feature of Minh Nguyen-vo, which won him the Youth Jury and Leopard awards at Lorcano last year, marks him as a filmmaker to look out for. ... Set in Indochina in 1940, his [Buffalo Boy] is the coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Kim, who lives with his elderly parents in a ... Read more
Bukowski: Born Into This USA'Here's a movie that requires you to tie one on after, if not during the screening. Bukowski: Born Into This presents just about everything you want to know about the legendary author and I don't think I saw a finer film at Sundance this year. I have a new respect for ... Read more
In [Cafe Lumiere] Hou Hsiao-hsien has fashioned a superb homage to Japan's master filmmaker Ozu Yasujiro, incorporating some reverent references to his 1953 [Tokyo Story]. ... [Cafe Lumiere] is a delicately paced film that focuses on Yoko, a young Japanese journalist researching the life of an ... Read more
Kazuaki Kiriya is known in Japan for his music videos and fashion photography. His debut feature is the stylistically eclectic [Casshern], an apocalyptic sci-fi war flick inspired by a 1970s' anime TV series. This retro-futuristic film is arguably something of an allegory of WWII, and perhaps a ... Read more
[Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat], which premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival, is an examination into one of Canada's most notorious, abhorrent animal cruelty cases. This challenging film examines the art world precedents for the extreme action, and interrogates legal, police and ... Read more
The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi) JapanThe latest film from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is The Cat Returns, an enchanting fantasy adventure tale following the fortunes of Haru, a young girl who is drawn into the secret world of cats.Walking home from school with her closest friend ... Read more
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