Saturday, July 14, 2007

PiFan - Day 3

So we are well into this year's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, and so far things seem to be working fairly smoothly. I have had no problems getting tickets and experienced no lineups... although that might be because I got my tickets early at the CGV theater. I am told Boksagol had more lines.

So far I have mostly hung out with the usual crowd -- Mario from Fantasporo, Derek from Variety, PiFan organizer Thomas, Johannes Schonherr and his Teutonic hordes. Good times.

Opening night was okay. The opening ceremonies were the shortest I can recall at PiFan, at barely 30 minutes long. Very much appreciated, especially after the 100-minute government suck-up at last year's opening. Best part at this year's opening (besides getting to say "hi" to Kang Soo-yeon and Ahn Sung-ki) was this odd Korean trio, three girls playing on traditional instruments. But they did not play traditional music, they played SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW and ONE MILLION ROSES (the famous Russian song that is popular in Korea and Japan). No idea why they chose those songs.

Opening party afterward at Tiger World, as a couple of commenters pointed out earlier, was pretty dubious. But opening parties always are. Later, at the "2-cha", was much better... just sitting outside, drinking beer and eating decent food. Very civilized. Hopefully there will be more of that tonight.

As for movies... Being a recovering geek, I felt compelled to check out the GETTER ROBO movie (better known as STAR AVENGERS to North American types). Basically it was three episodes from the 1998 TV revival. And it was pretty bad. Animated in the style of the original series, but with the story deeply warped and changed. It looked like the animator took STAR AVENGERS and added liberal amounts of PRINCESS MONONOKE and tentacle porn (although not so much as to make the series interesting).

Then I checked out a couple of documentaries by Yves Montmayeur, one about Christopher Doyle and one about Korean directors. It was okay, but nothing revelatory. After the films, there was a chat with Montmayeur, Park Chan-wook, Ryoo Seung-hwan, and Min Kyu-dong... Aside from a couple of amusing, self-depreciating jokes by Park, again there was not much to talk about. It was not a bad event at all, but it did not exactly advance our understanding of the Asian movie scene.

Would like to say more, but I am off to a press conference now. Some fun films this evening, and hopefully some beer, too.

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