Saturday, March 25, 2006


Shorts at the 24th SFIAAFF

It seems that the short films I have seen are fading away from my memory. So before further ado, here is a recap of those shorts I have not blogged.

Shorts Program: Lost and Bound

  • Public Bath: A cute animation about this little boy going to public bath with his dad. Too bad that they all have to grow older.

  • Sons of Tu: Well-made and very good looking film about a bunch soldiers goofing around to escape the brutality of the war.

  • Sister: An adopted Asian boy got bullied on a school bus but what does that have to do with his sister? There are moments in this short, but the plot needs to go back to the drawing board.

  • Tears in the Rain: It's bizarre, weird, and pointless about conjoined twins undergoing a surgery of separation. Then one is wandering on the streets, and the other is on life support. Yeah right!

  • 5 x 90: The Wake: It's an interesting idea to have five stories told by one frame, and each story is played in a "do-loop." It might worth to explore if any of the story were interesting. But none of them is, and it's repeating five times. Too long.

  • Passage: Delight short in amazing looking black and white, about this little girl finds out that her soon-to-be sister-in-law is not what she would hope to be. Well done.

  • Her Love/Life: Richard (the actor of this short) looks really hot in real life, band he is so energetic and fun to hang out. But the guy he played in this short is totally opposite, which shows his acting skill. But I think the script is a little weak in this short, although I really adore the lighting and cinematography. I don't even remember what the actress looks like, shouldn't it be called "His Love/Life?"

  • Wake: Very deliciously disturbing, like many Korean films. Great film making on manipulating audience's emotion and terrific performance too.

Shorts Program: Punchcards and Preoccupations

  • The Women's Kingdom: A fascinating story about the tradition in Mosuo region in China. I actually saw this short documentary before in Fontline on PBS a while back despite its claim of "World Premiere."

  • Los Coyotes: It's alright, I have seen features with better acting before about a bunch young kids smuggle a young boy to the US from Mexico.

  • What remains Good characters and acting in this short about two brothers with complete different personalities and nothing in common. Blood is always thicker than water.

  • Super Power Blues: A boring short about this girl who has super power, and she saves everybody else so she has no time to be with her boyfriend. And? Why should I care?

  • Seibutsu (Still: Life): I missed most of this short because I was in another screening. No comment.

  • Stationary: Interesting animation about this woman who is obsessed with the use of paperclips as the norm of the report. The animation is pretty good and the character is well written.

  • Uptown/Downtown: A story about this thief in New York subway met a Japanese girl after he stole her wallet and broke her bike. It could have been a better short if the film focused on either the thief's stealing or the romance. It's kinda drifting about what the real story the film is trying to tell.

Shorts Program: Mystery Arcade

  • High Winds: Utterly boring and you don't want to know what it's about, ok, about nothing.

  • Astronaut: A very original and hilarious short that blurs the line between fiction and documentary about three guys who are searching for this same girl Jane. That video game player character is so well-written and brilliantly acted. This is a great entertaining short.

  • My Break Ups Into a Million Pieces: A woman went back to Philippines to be with her family and search for her root, but a little too personal to make the connection with the audience (i.e. me).

  • Missing: A guy realizes what he has been missing only after his girlfriend went missing. Well, if he quits smoking, his girlfriend might have stayed. It's an interesting short with some refreshing ideas, but not quite satisfying.

  • Hiro: A scientist rescued a girl while trying to smuggling a rare insect specie. Nothing is interesting or original about this film.

Shorts Program: 3rd i South Asian Shorts 2006

  • 6 ft. in 7 min. A very funny and entertaining short about this India American boy's new discovery on his 18th birthday. This kind of short is what we need. Extremely well done, in a very short time. (We are not talking about steak.)

  • Viva Liberty!: A cliché political short about terrorist, prison camp, and racial profiling. Very comical and typical Saturday Night Live stuff, which means that it's not funny.

  • Grinding Machine: Beautifully shot in a poor neighborhood in India, a boy's life is totally turned upside down after his mom got a grinding machine at home to make a living. Very well made and acted.

  • In Whose Name?: A personal view of the changing politics in India. Not quite engaging.

  • Time and the Hour Run: I have no idea what the hell this film is trying to say or what's going on in it. Bore me to death.

  • Lucky: An AIDS orphan met an Indian lady living next door, and they began to get to relax their guards against each other after they helped out each other. Not really new idea, but the boy acted well.

Shorts Program in "Grassroots Rising"

  • Dastaar: Defending Sikh Identity: It's a very informative and insightful short documentary looking at the prejudice toward Sikh men who wear dastaar. I used to wonder myself why they have to wear dastaar even in the locker room in my gym. I saw one guy went to the shower with only a dastaar and towel, so I was asking myself, do they ever wash their hair? Now I understand what dastaar means and they only put it on each morning. Oh god, I thought they never take it off. Very interesting short indeed.

  • Whose Children are These?: This short documentary tells a touching story about how the kids deal with their father's deportation due to the new unfair immigration law. Very powerful.

Shorts Program: The Life Quixotic

  • The Light: Boring and pointless about this guy gets a red light if he follows the same routine every morning. Whatever.

  • Blue: A woman returns to her hometown to have a fair with her old flirt, even he has a wife and kid. Not bad even a little slow.

  • Bunny & Clydo: This is an incredibly good looking film (with a budget for over $100,000 compared to other shorts for almost nothing). It blends reality and comic characters together in an action orgy. Pretty cool stuff when you have money to play with.

  • Not A Fucking Blonde: Brilliantly written script to explore a relationship that goes bad, but not bad enough to break up. Very insightful and in-depth characters. The dialogue is precisely crafted. Awesome film.

  • Spy Moms: Corny (in a funny way), entertaining, crowd pleaser about a bunch moms to take action to make sure that the Asian boy will be on the "right" track to have a successful career in the future. Fun short.

  • My Prince, My Angel: It tells a story about a playful romance between a suicide hotline volunteer and her pursuer. It's interesting to see how their relationship develops while we laugh at the most corny pickup lines.

  • Slip of the Tongue: Charming, funny, witty, sharp, and original. It's hard to believe that it only costs $5 to make this energetic short. Good stuff.

Finally, here is the complete list of the films I saw during the The 24th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

Feature length films:

  1. Chinese Restaurants: Latin Passions 4
  2. Grassroots Rising 6
  3. China Blue 7
  4. American Fusion 4
  5. ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story 9
  6. Gaijin 2: Love Me As I Am (Gaijin - Ama-me Como Sou) 7
  7. The Achievers 8
  8. Be with Me 9
  9. Sentenced Home 8
  10. Eve and the Fire Horse 9
  11. Citizen Dog 8
  12. Sobhraj 6
  13. Red Doors 7
  14. Water 7
  15. Café Lumière (珈琲时光) 7
  16. Linda Linda Linda (リンダリンダリンダ) 5
  17. Grain In Ear (芒种) 7
  18. Rules of Dating (연애의 목적) 8
Short films:
  1. Public Bath 6
  2. Sons of Tu 7
  3. Sister 5
  4. Tears in the Rain 3
  5. 5 x 90: The Wake 6
  6. Passage 8
  7. Her Love/Life 7
  8. Wake 9
  9. The Women's Kingdom 8
  10. Los Coyotes 6
  11. What remains 6
  12. Super Power Blues 4
  13. Stationary 7
  14. Uptown/Downtown 6
  15. High Winds 1
  16. Astronaut 9
  17. My Break Ups Into a Million Pieces 4
  18. Missing 6
  19. Hiro 5
  20. 6 ft. in 7 min. 9
  21. Viva Liberty! 6
  22. Grinding Machine 8
  23. In Whose Name? 6
  24. Time and the Hour Run 2
  25. Lucky 6
  26. Dastaar: Defending Sikh Identity 8
  27. Whose Children are These? 8
  28. The Light 3
  29. Blue 5
  30. Bunny & Clydo 7
  31. Not A Fucking Blonde 9
  32. Spy Moms 8
  33. My Prince, My Angel 7
  34. Slip of the Tongue 8
  35. Still 7
  36. Falling Stars 7
  37. A Girl Named Kai 8
  38. Sweater People 6
  39. And I Knew 8
  40. Porcelain 5
  41. Long Distance 6
  42. Balikbayan Confessions 7
  43. Aunty G's 7
  44. Dick Ho: Asian Male Porn Star 1
  45. Void 6
  46. All About Tada 2
  47. Rolling Longaniza 3
  48. Blue Bird of Happiness 4
  49. A Little Bit Different 4
  50. How To Be A Hong Kong Superstar 7
  51. Seibutsu (Still: Life)
  52. Take It Or Leave It? 5
  53. Press or Say '2' 0
  54. The Coldest War - Part I 1

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?