By Lee Hyo-won
The Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi), a weeklong celebration of digital films, opens Wednesday. Now in its second year, the event features 71 movies from 18 countries, including a competition for up and coming Asian directors, through Tuesday at CGV Apgujeong.
The small yet highly ambitious festival brings a more diversified program focusing on Asia and the future. "24 City" by award-winning cineaste Jia Zhang ke ("Still Life") will open CinDi 2008. This film captures the multifaceted aspect of the urban jungle and is expected to demonstrate the technical and aesthetic potential of the digital medium.
In the competitive section, 15 films by new directors were selected among 92 applicants from 14 Asian countries. While digital film may seem like a "minority" genre, it also reflects a more general film trend ― six of the 15 contestants are from China, an emerging film market.
This year's event includes the latest feature and short-length films from across the globe. A retrospective of digital cinema includes South Korea's early digital endeavor "Flower Island" (2001) by Song Il-gon
and digitally restored films like Kim Ki-young
's "The Housemaid - 1960
" (1960), which was screened this year in Cannes. There are also late night showings of must-see movies like Martin Scorsese's film released this year about the Rolling Stones "Shine a Light", which opened the Berlin Film Festival.
Moviegoers can also see films outside of the theater. Wang Bing of China's 14-hour "Crude Oil" will be screened as part of an installation presented by artist Jeong Hee-woo.
Celebrated filmmakers will give digital lessons throughout the event. Chinese literature professor-turned-director Zhang Lu
will discuss Friday the making of "Chongqing
", a joint South Korea-China production which makes its world premiere. Award-winning director Jia will speak to the audience Saturday about working with high-definition cameras. Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai ("Promised Land"), who visits the festival as a jury member, will also share his insights about cinema.
Organizers of CinDi 2008 have recommended the following mid-length films. Often running for about half an hour, these films possess the briskness of shorts and the narrative development of features.
"My New Picture" (2006) by Bertrand Bonello: The French singer-turned-director brings a work that he calls music rather than a movie, a collage of an actress listening to music.
"Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden" (2007) or "The Women of Fast Food" is a Japanese "livemation" (live action plus computer animation) film by the animator-turned-director Mamoru Oshii.
"It's a Small World (2008)" and "Paris, Texas, Moriguchi: Looking for Yocchan (2007)" by Nobuhiro Yamashita. The first film was inspired by a sci-fi novel set in the future, when people must move to Mars because Earth is no longer habitable. The latter is about three movie fans who seek to unlock the mystery shrouding a highly secretive film project.
"In the Soul Ultimate Nation (2008)" by Ning Hao of China, an ex-con tries to save a young girl's life, but gets no help from police because he is fresh out of prison. Ning is a rising star best known in Korea for directing the Chinese version of the Korean blockbuster "The Host"
For more information about the festival, visit Open the link