The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society will honour the visionary works of two contrasting mavericks, Japan’s MASUMURA Yasuzo and Poland’s Stanisław LEM, in its November/December edition of the repertory Cine Fan programme.
A renowned sensual provocateur, MASUMURA heralded a new cinematic movement envisioning life's contradiction in post-war Japan. Celebrating his transgressive lunacy and political freedom in the realm of sex and eroticism, Cine Fan's 10-film tribute includes Kisses (1957), the auteur's debut feature, Giants and Toys (1958), and A False Student (1960).
The luscious actress WAKAO Ayako best-personified MASUMURA's recurring themes of sexuality and independence, exquisitely expressing the fiery passion and naked desires of the new Japanese women in a repressive and conformist society – be it the lonely wife in A Wife Confesses (1961), the wicked manipulator in Manji (1964), the rebellious lover in Seisaku’s Wife (1965), or the empathetic nurse in The Red Angel (1966).
Commemorating the birth centenary of LEM, Cine Fan will showcase six features and three short films adapted from novels by the Polish futuristic author/philosopher, including two programmes that the audience can also watch on the CINE FAN ONLINE platform. The highlights are two eponymous sci-fi classics based on LEM's most acclaimed work, Solaris, by Andrei TARKOVSKY in 1972 and Steven SODERBERGH in 2002. His rich collection of stories on futurology and philosophy inspired countless filmmakers who transformed them into cinematic exploration, including Icarus XB 1 (1963), Hospital of the Transfiguration (1979), Pilot Pirx’s Inquest (1979), and The Congress (2013).
LEM’s vision was profound and far-reaching. Among others, George LUCAS conceived a chilling prescience of the future in his directorial debut, THX 1138 (1971). Impressed by Don SIEGEL’s 1956 sci-fi classic, Philip KAUFMAN remade his version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1978, conjuring one of cinema’s most haunting experiences.
The annual Cine Fan Film Course will feature the first part of Kieslowski: The Serendipity of Life. In a series of six lectures focusing on his early feature films, critics and academics will share their insights on how the sombre ironist ruminated over fate, chance and love, from The Scar (1976) to Blind Chance (1987) and A Short Film About Love (1988). Both the LEM retrospective and the KIESLOWSKI film course are sponsored and supported by the Consulate General of Poland in Hong Kong.
Three films under The Taste of Cult and The Cinema Heritage sections focus on erotic possession and containment. William WYLER adapted a creepy, disturbing story with his consummate artistry in The Collector (1965), with which Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar won Best Actor and Best Actress in Cannes. In Blind Beast (1969), MASUMURA transformed an eerily horrific novel into a visually arresting tale of madness and perversion. Robert ALTMAN’s That Cold Day in the Park (1969) is a psychological drama that paints a disturbing portrait of a modern woman.
Two iconic goddesses of the French New Wave are the centre of attraction in the two films under The Golden Age section. Deeply impressing Jean-Luc Godard with her performance in Otto PREMINGER's Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Jean SEBERG is the perfect incarnation of frivolity. While the enthralling Jeanne MOREAU is a consummate embodiment of the free-spirited charm of a French temptress in Joseph LOSEY’s Eva (1962), now restored to the most complete version known to exist.
The entire programme and schedule of Cine Fan’s November/December edition are available at https://cinefan.com.hk. The public can purchase tickets to all in-cinema screenings from URBTIX outlets from 13 October. Those interested in online viewing can book their CINE FAN ONLINE passes (https://cinefan.com.hk) from 17 November.
The above contents are provided by Hong Kong International Film Festival Society