Saturday, June 23, 2012

10 + 10 (2011) NYAFF 2012

10 +10=20 short films concerning the history and being of Taiwan and one hell of a good film over all.

Actually consider this my early choice for the festival's film you never heard of but should. This film is one of the quiet highlights of the New York Asian Film Festival.

This collection of shorts is the sort of thing that most people are going to pass over because its a collection of shorts. What a major mistake that is. This collection of shorts has some of the more memorable films of the year.

The collection has comedies, dramas, political films, dramas, musicals, war films and true life stories. Each film runs about five minutes and with very few exceptions the only flaw most of them have is that they end too quickly (making some strange as a result). All some how relate to some aspect of Taiwan, a historical event, the crime rate, how people interact...

One of the most amazing things about the film is that while the films are all separate and unique somewhere toward`the end you suddenly realize that the films are tying together in a form. I was in the final two films when I sudden realized that I had suddenly seen a portrait of a country and it's people. I found that I was being moved on a larger level and that the final film's look at how some gold filtered through a family was deeply affecting me. It's a cinematic cousin to Gunter Grass's novel My Century which told the story of the 20th century in short unconnected pieces, one for each year.

Truth be told films like this rarely work as a whole. Almost always some films are great and some suck. That's not the case here. Here all of the films are, for the most part good. All of the films are little works of visual art.

As I said above some of the films have problems ending. Some of them end in ways that I didn't get or didn't mean anything to me (a few seemed to refer to a history I didn't know). While that may have disappointed me for a moment, the result was simply to make a great film good.

I'm torn about talking about each film. The films are so short that I don't want to wreck them. On the other hand I do want you to see this film so I will say a few words about a couple.

The Ritual has one of most favorite images (look who's wearing 3D glasses) from any film this year.

The Debut is a documentary about the premiere of Seediq Bale which is also playing at the NYAFF

Hippocampus Salon is a great little film that makes you go WHOA.

Dusk of the Gods and Orphans are moving social films

Unwritten Rules is a funny film about making a movie

My reaction to Reverberation was "Oh F^%k". It really rattled me.

That's only a third of the films, and the rest are worth it as well.

You really should see this film. Seriously this is the sort of great unseen treasure that the NYAFF is legendary for bringing you. Its a film you probably never heard of before this, and if you go see it I'm damn sure you'll be talking about it for ages afterward.

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