An intense Saturday at Five Flavours: Animation night, competition films, and bold genre cinema
The Five Flavours Saturday begins with a morning screening of "Ten Years: Thailand": a novella film comprised of four visions of the near future created by leading Thai filmmakers. Coming up at the same time is a family show "A Japanese Tale," created by Scena Elffów.
The show inspired by a folk tale "Tatsu Taro, the Son of a Dragon" combines the elements of Japanese doll theater bunraku, kamishibai illustrations, and the shadow theater. Coming right after is a chance to explore the Taiwanese folklore in a classic animation "Grandma and Her Ghosts."
Today is a chance to see five competition titles. In the afternoon, Isao Yukisada's "River's Edge" - a story of a difficult coming-of-age in Japan of the 1990s. Then the audiences travel to the modern Singapore and immerse themselves a virtual universe of a neo-noir film "A Land Imagined" by Yeo Siew Hua, the winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Festival. In Kinoteka, a series of three competition screenings begins at 3 PM with "Suburban Birds" - an exploration of adolescence and the dissolution of friendship by a young Chinese filmmaker, Qui Sheng. Next, "Nervous Translation" from the Philippines, in which the director, Shireen Seno, shows the story of complex family relations from the point of view of a clever 8-year-old girl. Coming next is another competition title, "Girls Always Happy" by Yang Mingming, a tale of a suffocating relationship between a mother and a daughter living together in a hutong – an old, cramped building in the center if Beijing. Yang Mingming is the guest of this year's festival and will meet with the audiences after the screening to elaborate on the production process and the auteur, independent Chinese cinema.
At 4 PM in the Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Academy lecture on Chinese animations by Olga Bobrowska sheds light on contemporary film industry in China and its complex relationship with the government.
On Saturday the auteur cinema takes over the Kinoteka cinema. At 1 PM in his "14 Apples," Midi Z explores the community of Buddhist monks and the operations of religious institutions in Burma. Then the audiences are immersed in a wholly different narration style – in his "Hotel by the River," Hong Sang-soo continues his auteur style, telling the story of a poet who can feel the approaching death. At 6 PM the audiences have a unique chance to see the winner of the 2018 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. "Funan" by Denis Do is a moving story of a family experiencing the life in the Red Khmer regime work camps.
The highlight of Saturday program is Animation Night: Silent Nightmares, held at 8:30 PM in Muranów cinema. A triple screening with three bloody, rebellious animations – "Dahufa" by Busifan, "Violence Voyager" by Ujicha, and "Have a Nice Day" by Liu Jian will make even the experienced audiences of gore and paranoid thrillers tremble. Between the screenings the viewers will enjoy snacks prepared by Pani Onigiri.
The evening screenings in Kinoteka are a chance to encounter two different faces of genre cinema – auteur and avant-garde on the one side, and high-budget and ideological on the other. At 8 PM the audiences travel in time and space to the 19th century Japan with Shinya Tsukamoto's "Killing," a samurai film in which the director dwells on his favorite subject – the protagonist's internal crisis. Screened at 10 PM is "Operation: Red Sea" by Dante Lam, a story about Chinese navy' special mission in Africa. It provides two hours of fast-paced action, explosions, and impressive special effects.