Film festival's feast of old, new and cool

Movies from home and abroad will be viewed in varied units, and tributes will be made to the masters, 4K restoration films, documentaries and "Women on Film," a UK special.

At this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, both classic and new films will be screened. Movies from home and abroad will be viewed in varied units, and tributes will be made to the masters, 4K restoration films, the Belt and Road Initiative, documentaries, Hollywood movies and “Women on Film,” a UK special.

In the unit of “Tribute to Masters,” the festival will tip its hat to Spanish surrealism film artist Luis Bunuel (1900-83).

Six works by Bunuel — “Viridiana,” “Diary of Chambermaid,” “Beauty of the Day,” “Tristana,” “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire” — will be shown.

They may not be sufficient to summarize Bunuel's lifelong achievements but they open a path to “daydreams” with the imagination and creation that were more stable in the later stages of his life.

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“Diary of Chambermaid”by Spanish surrealism film artist Luis Bunuel

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“Summer with Monika” by legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman

This year also marks the 100th birth anniversary of legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. As a stop of the Global Exhibitions for Centenary of Ingmar Bergman, a special panorama will take place during the festival.

In the 4K Restoration Film unit, classic movies will be digitally remastered in 4K with a brand-new look. With new technology, colors and contrast from old film footage will be enhanced for a new generation of film enthusiasts.

“Hibiscus Town” (1987) by Chinese director Xie Jin (1923-2008) and “Soul of a Painter” (1993) starring Gong Li and Derek Yee are the two newly restored classics by the Shanghai Film Technology Plant.

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“Hibiscus Town” by Chinese filmmaker Xie Jin

Gong Li plays the lead role in “Soul of a Painter”

A brand-new program of the 21st SIFF, the Belt and Road Film Week will see the signing of a cooperation alliance of participating countries along the Belt and Road initiative, focusing on connectivity and culture exchange. About 30 film screens and post screening talks are scheduled between June 16 and 24.

Tackling a broad swath of life and social issues, dramas, such as the Thai film “Die Tomorrow,” “Craving” from the Netherlands, “Michael Inside” from Ireland, “3/4” from Bulgaria, “Appendix” from Iran, “Kiss Me Not” from Egypt, “One Two Jaga” from Malaysia, “Pity” from Greece and “Hichki” from India, are highly expected. Most of the movies were recently made and have yet to be screened.

Eight movies have made it to the finalists of the Belt and Road Film Week. Co-produced films include “Namme” (Georgia/Lithuania), “The Seen and Unseen” (Indonesia/Netherlands/Australia/Qatar), “Daughter of Mine” (Italy/Germany/Switzerland) and “Arrhythmia” (Russia/Finland/Germany), representing “a surging trend to reach out to a wider audience and bring big bucks to its investors,” according to the organizers.

Meanwhile, a movie poster exhibition billed as “Everlasting Pictures” in celebration of China's 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening-up is underway at the hall of SFC Shanghai Film Art Center through June.

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“Daughter of Mine”

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“Arrhythmia”

Featuring the fine traditions of Chinese poster art, the exhibition chronicles the development of China’s film industry motivated by the reform wave since the 90s of last century. Official posters of SIFF are also displayed for the audience to see how the festival has grown over the past 25 years.

This year’s “Women On Film” will show works by a slew of acclaimed British female directors, including Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Hear” (2017), Andrea Arnold's classical adaptation “Wuthering Heights” (2011) and Sally Potter's “Orlando” (1992), a film loosely based on the novel of Virginia Woolf.

Tapping the spiritual world of ordinary people in their everyday life, documentaries have been gaining popularity among today's festival viewers. "Havana Divas" by Hong Kong filmmaker S. Louisa Wei traces the life of two Cuban ladies, aged over 80, who are performing authentic Cantonese opera on the stage.

And “Faces Places,” by old cinematic veteran Agnes Varda and young artistic photographer JR, sees them journey through rural France, taking photographs of people and explore their views on the world in the way they want.

For more information and details, check www.siff.com.

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