Festival news

Asian VR – a surprising face of new technologies at 14th Five Flavours

27 October 2020

Just a few years ago, virtual reality films were perceived as gadgets, interesting novelties for gamers and tech enthusiasts. Today we already know that VR is an extremely creative tool, allowing artists to develop new concepts of storytelling, which engage and entertain the audiences, but also providing a space for deep reflection and unique emotional sensations. VR experiences have made their way into the biggest film festivals and the most important modern art institutes.

The VR experiences can be watched on regular computer, tablet and smartphone screens. To enjoy them more fully, we recommend simple smartphone goggles which will be available at the festival online shop.

Asia is the center of new technologies – also in the film industry. This is the home of some of the biggest companies developing and promoting VR technologies, opening the medium not only to the commercial filmmakers, but also to renown cinematic auteurs, visual artists, and ambitious creators operating in-between different fields.

The past few years brought about an eruption of forms and narrative strategies. The goal of the VR section is to show even a small piece of this vast, diverse universe. It includes experiences made in the convention of video games, filled with pop-culture references, but also very ambitious, demanding para-documentary forms allowing the audiences to experience the characters’ lives in a very immersive way, different from other narratives. The animation, horror film, and noir crime story presented in the section show how classic genres are transferred to the new medium, making a brilliantly creative use of its possibilities.

The section is curated by Stanisław Liguziński – film critic, festival selectioner, video essayist, PhD candidate at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts at Jagiellonian University, graduate of Master of Film at Nederlandse Filmacademie, as well as film studies and comparative studies of civilizations at the Jagiellonian University. As a researcher, he focuses on audiovisual forms of thinking, videographic film studies, and video essays.

How to watch?

You don’t need any special equipment to delve into the VR world at home! The experiences presented in the Asian VR section are made in the 360-degree technology and can be watched on a computer screen, changing the perspective using the arrows on the screen. Or, better yet, on a tablet or a smartphone which you can turn in every direction to explore the new reality and follow the story with your body. The full spectrum of experiences can be achieved with the help of simple VR goggles in which you put a smartphone with the film playing. The goggles will be available on the Festival website from November 6.

The VR experiences can be opened and watched using an internet browser, on the festival's VOD platform.

All the VR experiences and other online Festival films will be available to pass holders. Single access tickets will be on sale on the Festival website from November 29, 4 p.m.

Note: The VR section is presented with English subtitles only.

Asian VR section partner: NOIZZ.

 

Bloodless

dir. Gina Kim, South Korea, 12’

This moving, fact-based experience awarded at Venice IFF raises the topic of sex workers in American military bases in South Korea in the 1950s. Photographing the empty streets of a city arranged in Korea for the benefit of a foreign gaze, we follow the reconstruction of the last minutes of the life of a woman killed by an American soldier in the Dongducheon Camptown in 1992.

 

Black Bag

dir. Qing Shao, China, 12'

An animated film noir, reminiscent of movies by Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. The plot is centered around the eponymous bag – Hitchcock’s classic McGuffin, a mysterious object whose sole presence stimulates the protagonists’ passions and pushes the action forward. How far will the bodyguard, Mr. S., go to get his hand on the precious cargo?

 

The Tag Along VR

dir. Cheng Pu-yuan, Taiwan, 8’

Tag Along is a series of horror films scaring Taiwanese audiences since 2015. The central character of the cycle is a moshenzi – a demon born in urban legends, looking like a little girl in a red dress. The VR version of the series confronts the moshenzi with a newlywed couple in a deserted suburban villa. Thanks to the creative design of the space and making active use of the whole 360-degree surroundings of the viewer, Tag Along is one of the best horror experiences in virtual reality.

 

Geimu

dir. Dorian Goto Stone, Japan, 23’

Rooted in the aesthetics of video games and historical fantasy beloved in Japan, the experience is the story of the avid gamer Emi, who draws her friend Hiroshi into a dangerous game, hacking the console and the VR set to physically experience the consequences of their actions in the virtual world. It really is quite an adrenaline rush – especially if you enter the world in which everyone is armed with samurai swords...

 

Rain Fruits

dir. Youngyoon Song, Sngmoo Lee, Sergio Bromberg, Hyejin Jeon, Jinhyung Kim, Hwaeun Kim, South Korea, 14'

A creational documentary based on the personal diaries of Thura, an immigrant engineer from Mjanma, searching for a job fit for his qualifications in Korea.  As an alienated observer,  Thura describes the dark reality ruled by capital and xenophobia.  Recorded volumetrically, in full 3D, “Rain Fruits” jump between absolute realism and an oneiric fantasy.

 

Replacements

Penggantian, dir. Jonathan Hagard, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, 12’

Drawn in delicate lines, this animated experience is based on the director’s personal memories and years of studying urban, environmental and cultural changes in modern Jakarta. In just 13 short minutes, standing in the middle of the street, we learn how the past four decades changed the city’s architecture, soundscape, and the lives of particular families.


SIM: The Blind

dir. Cooper Sanghyun Yoo, South Korea, 6'

Pansori is the traditional Korean genre of music stories, sometimes referred to as Korean opera, performed by a singer accompanied by a drummer. In the oneiric, shamanistic experience “Sim: The Blind” we follow the life of Sim Hakgyu – a blind master of swords who roams through a post-apocalyptic world contaminated with blinding dust using his sensitive hearing to get a sense of direction.


Your Spiritual Temple Sucks

dir. John Hsu, Taiwan, 10’

This provocative and slightly grotesque experience by a Taiwanese director is a project born out of the love for comedy, pop culture and the aesthetics of 8-Bit video games. Drowning in financial problems and a marital crisis, Mr. Chang seeks help in the internal emigration to his own spiritual temple. Under the watchful eye of the God of Thunders, who looks just like a fattened Pikachu, the man tries to bring some order into his life.

Asian VR – a surprising face of new technologies at 14th Five Flavours

Just a few years ago, virtual reality films were perceived as gadgets, interesting novelties for gamers and tech enthusiasts. Today we already know that VR is an extremely creative tool, allowing artists to develop new concepts of storytelling, which engage and entertain the audiences, but also providing a space for deep reflection and unique emotional sensations. VR experiences have made their way into the biggest film festivals and the most important modern art institutes.

[The VR experiences can be watched on regular computer, tablet and smartphone screens. To enjoy them more fully, we recommend simple smartphone goggles which will be available at the festival online shop.]

Asia is the center of new technologies – also in the film industry. This is the home of some of the biggest companies developing and promoting VR technologies, opening the medium not only to the commercial filmmakers, but also to renown cinematic auteurs, visual artists, and ambitious creators operating in-between different fields.

The past few years brought about an eruption of forms and narrative strategies. The goal of the VR section is to show even a small piece of this vast, diverse universe. It includes experiences made in the convention of video games, filled with pop-culture references, but also very ambitious, demanding para-documentary forms allowing the audiences to experience the characters’ lives in a very immersive way, different from other narratives. The animation, horror film, and noir crime story presented in the section show how classic genres are transferred to the new medium, making a brilliantly creative use of its possibilities.

You don’t need any special equipment to delve into the VR world at home! The experiences presented in the Asian VR section are made in the 360-degree technology and can be watched on a computer screen, changing the perspective using the arrows on the screen. Or, better yet, on a tablet or a smartphone which you can turn in every direction to explore the new reality and follow the story with your body. The full spectrum of experiences can be achieved with the help of simple VR goggles in which you put a smartphone with the film playing. The goggles will be available on the Festival website from November 6.

Note: The VR section is presented with English subtitles only.

 

Bloodless

dir. Gina Kim, South Korea, 12’

This moving, fact-based experience awarded at Venice IFF raises the topic of sex workers in American military bases in South Korea in the 1950s. Photographing the empty streets of a city arranged in Korea for the benefit of a foreign gaze, we follow the reconstruction of the last minutes of the life of a woman killed by an American soldier in the Dongducheon Camptown in 1992.

 

Black Bag

dir. Qing Shao, China, 12'

An animated film noir, reminiscent of movies by Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. The plot is centered around the eponymous bag – Hitchcock’s classic McGuffin, a mysterious object whose sole presence stimulates the protagonists’ passions and pushes the action forward. How far will the bodyguard, Mr. S., go to get his hand on the precious cargo?

 

The Tag Along VR

dir. Cheng Pu-yuan, Taiwan, 8’

Tag Along is a series of horror films scaring Taiwanese audiences since 2015. The central character of the cycle is a moshenzi – a demon born in urban legends, looking like a little girl in a red dress. The VR version of the series confronts the moshenzi with a newlywed couple in a deserted suburban villa. Thanks to the creative design of the space and making active use of the whole 360-degree surroundings of the viewer, Tag Along is one of the best horror experiences in virtual reality.

 

Geimu

dir. Dorian Goto Stone, Japan, 23’

Rooted in the aesthetics of video games and historical fantasy beloved in Japan, the experience is the story of the avid gamer Emi, who draws her friend Hiroshi into a dangerous game, hacking the console and the VR set to physically experience the consequences of their actions in the virtual world. It really is quite an adrenaline rush – especially if you enter the world in which everyone is armed with samurai swords...

 

Rain Fruits

dir. Youngyoon Song, Sngmoo Lee, Sergio Bromberg, Hyejin Jeon, Jinhyung Kim, Hwaeun Kim, South Korea, 14'

A creational documentary based on the personal diaries of Thura, an immigrant engineer from Mjanma, searching for a job fit for his qualifications in Korea.  As an alienated observer,  Thura describes the dark reality ruled by capital and xenophobia.  Recorded volumetrically, in full 3D, “Rain Fruits” jump between absolute realism and an oneiric fantasy.

 

Replacements

Penggantian, dir. Jonathan Hagard, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, 12’

Drawn in delicate lines, this animated experience is based on the director’s personal memories and years of studying urban, environmental and cultural changes in modern Jakarta. In just 13 short minutes, standing in the middle of the street, we learn how the past four decades changed the city’s architecture, soundscape, and the lives of particular families.


SIM: The Blind

dir. Cooper Sanghyun Yoo, South Korea, 6'

Pansori is the traditional Korean genre of music stories, sometimes referred to as Korean opera, performed by a singer accompanied by a drummer. In the oneiric, shamanistic experience “Sim: The Blind” we follow the life of Sim Hakgyu – a blind master of swords who roams through a post-apocalyptic world contaminated with blinding dust using his sensitive hearing to get a sense of direction.


Your Spiritual Temple Sucks

dir. John Hsu, Taiwan, 10’

This provocative and slightly grotesque experience by a Taiwanese director is a project born out of the love for comedy, pop culture and the aesthetics of 8-Bit video games. Drowning in financial problems and a marital crisis, Mr. Chang seeks help in the internal emigration to his own spiritual temple. Under the watchful eye of the God of Thunders, who looks just like a fattened Pikachu, the man tries to bring some order into his life.

 

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