Saturday, 14 November 2009

Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival: Friday Night Special

The Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival(RA) had strong showings Friday night with it's short film programme SENSE OF WONDERS, which features some of Canada's best Asian Canadian shorts, including a twisted historical musical piece from powerhouses, Richard Fung, John Greyson, and called REX VS. SINGH.

Istvan Kantor is not exactly a name you automatically think of with a festival like Reel Asian, but his short film, WHITE BOY FROM THE EAST is an auto-biographical treatise on his theory that Hungarians had Asian roots. And speaking of roots, RA's Centrepiece Presentation RED HEROINE was a one-night only opportunity to see this rare Chinese Kung Fu film. The 1929 silent film is the only surviving episode in a thirteen part series. Devil Music Ensemble provided live music to boost the original folk music score.

WHEN THE FULL MOON RISES made it's Canadian premiere on Friday. The Malaysian film is a smorgasbord of genres, starting out with noir and, as programmer Todd Brown says, adding "everything including the kitchen sink". And he is so right. This film defies explanation but has made me curious enough to see if I can hunt down more of this style of film at one of Toronto's better video stores. I love weird.

Photos courtesy of RA

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