Shanghai International Film Festival|Kaleidoscope of Images: Old Friends Pay Tribute to Akira Kurosawa

    The "Kaleidoscope of Images" unit in the "Multiple Perspectives" section of the Shanghai International Film Festival was first created in 2019. It is a window to showcase the latest masterpieces from all over the world. This unit brings together outstanding films from the past one or two years, forming a dazzling kaleidoscope of world films. It not only allows the audience to understand the overall trend of world films, but also allows them to enjoy the local customs and understand the unique cultures of various places. Today, we will introduce the first batch of film lists of the "Kaleidoscope of Images" unit, which are:

    "Sand Sea", which shows the friendship between a boy and a camel in the vast desert; "Dear Gloria", which won the "Roberto Rossellini Honorary Jury Honor" in Pingyao; "Falling Star", a black physical comedy that inherits the great tradition of pantomime; "Quasi-Autobiography", which is written, directed and performed by the filmmaker and pays tribute to Akira Kurosawa; "The Undertaker", which created a box office miracle in Thailand's history by making a small investment; "Sidoni, Japan", in which Isabelle Huppert "lost in Kyoto"; "Taxis", which solves the mystery of the mysterious taxi driver; "The Leeks vs. Wall Street", in which retail investors band together to fight against capital; "Escape from the Dark", which won the People's Choice Award in the "Venice Day" unit of the Venice Film Festival; "Criminal Metropolis 4", the latest Korean version of Dwayne Johnson's signature series.

    Sea of Sand (Hajjan, 2023, Abu Bakr Shawky)


    Boy and Camel Fabulous Desert Journey

    A.B. Shuki, an emerging Egyptian director whose first feature film "Day of Judgment" was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the Cannes Film Festival, once again focuses on the vast sea of sand in this new film. Matar is the youngest child in a family of camel riders. When his family suddenly encounters a change, he resolutely decides to become a rider. Matar, who is not familiar with camel racing, can only rely on his most trusted camel Hofira. In order to defend the honor of his family and expose the dark conspiracy, this Arab boy will go on a growth adventure with his partner. The film premiered in the "New Discoveries" unit of the Toronto International Film Festival and was selected for many well-known festivals such as the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

    Àma Gloria (2023, Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq)


    Sincere emotions that transcend race and age

    Six-year-old Cleo loves her nanny Gloria too much, but Gloria has to return to her hometown of Cape Verde. So Gloria invites her to her island to spend the last summer with her family. The first feature film "Party Girls" co-directed by the French emerging female director Marie Amasukry and two classmates won the Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and this new film, which is the sole leader, was once again selected for the Cannes Film Critics Week, proving its strong strength. Although the film focuses on French white children and African black nannies, it does not have the stereotyped perspective of developed countries. Those racial, class, social, and political issues are no longer the protagonists, but the most sincere emotions and relationships highlight the purity of its expression. After being screened in Pingyao, it was also well received and won the "Roberto Rossellini Honorary Jury Honor".

    The Falling Star (2023, Dominique Abel/Fiona Gordon)


    A black physical comedy full of whimsy

    © Laurent Thurin-Nal

    Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, a Belgian couple who once studied under French mime master Jacques Lecoux, have always been very unique in the film industry. They are good at exaggerated body performances inherited from the great tradition of mime, and their style is often described as "poetic farce". This film is their latest work, telling the story of a former social activist who participated in a terrorist attack and planned to escape with his wife and friends many years later because of the revenge of the victims. This film injects black film elements into the previous dream comedy colors, with pessimism and nothingness in the joy, showing their increasing maturity in creation.

    Something Like an Autobiography (2023, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki)


    A quasi-autobiography that pays tribute to Akira Kurosawa's autobiography

    Bangladeshi director Mustafa Sarwar Faroozi was shortlisted for the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival Golden Goblet Award main competition unit with his film Ants and Stars. Ten years later, this old friend reunited with Shanghai movie fans with his new film Something Like an Autobiography. In this new film, Faroozi plays himself and plays a celebrity couple with his real-life wife Nusrat Imroth Disha. The film shows the intricate changes in the relationship between director Farhan and actress Didi when they face social pressure to have children. The English title "Something Like an Autobiography" is taken from the English title of the autobiography "Toad's Oil" by Japanese film emperor Akira Kurosawa, adding a layer of filmmaking to the "meta-narrative" structure.

    Undertaker (2023, Thiti Srinual)


    The Thai version of "Departures" created a box office miracle

    Last year, a phenomenal movie appeared in Thailand. With a low cost of only 10 million baht, it earned a box office of over 700 million baht, becoming the second highest-grossing movie in Thailand's history, and also created a box office miracle of winning big with a small investment. This super popular movie that triggered a movie-watching craze in Thailand, and even the Thai Prime Minister personally led a team to support it, is "The Undertaker". Due to the similar theme, this film is hailed as the Thai version of "Departures". It tells the story of a male protagonist who is afraid of ghosts and has to bite the bullet to take over the family business because his father, who works in the funeral industry, is sick, and he starts his internship journey as a funeral director with his friend who wants to reunite with the ghost of his deceased ex-girlfriend. The film is based on the special funeral customs in the Isan region of Thailand. It not only shows the folk culture of Thailand, but also integrates classic Thai horror elements and funny plots, plus the most sincere emotions, which will make you scared, laugh, and cry in the theater.

    Sidonie in Japan (2023, Élise Girard)


    Huppert performs a modern version of "Hiroshima Mon Amour" in the ancient capital

    In Elis Girard's first feature film "Belleville-Tokyo", "Tokyo" is just an imaginary concept, but it brought her together with Japan and created this cross-cultural masterpiece set in the thousand-year-old capital of Kyoto. Starring Isabelle Huppert, the top French actress, the film tells the story of a French female writer who suffers the pain of losing her husband and experiences emotional rebirth in Kyoto, Japan. In addition to the delicate and moving emotional expression, the interesting collision of Eastern and Western cultures is also one of the highlights, which reminds people of the previous "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Lost in Translation". The film was shortlisted for the Venice Film Festival's parallel unit "Venice Day" competition.

    Centaur (2023, Kirill Chemnitz)


    A thriller version of the story of "Taxi Driver"

    The original title of "Centaur" should be translated as "centaur". In various myths and legends, it is both good and evil. In this film, it may refer to the protagonist, the taxi driver Sasha and the car he drives. The story of the film takes place in one night, and most of the plot unfolds in the limited space of the car, making this car a "mechanical horse" traveling through Moscow at night. As for Sasha, who prefers the night, he seems to be a dangerous person with many secrets.

    Dumb Money vs. Wall Street (Dumb Money, 2023, Craig Gillespie)


    Who says retail investors can only be bullied?

    Under the original title "Dumb Money", the film intimately gave its explanation - retail investors are often ridiculed by Wall Street as "dumb money". Retail investors usually mean endless slaughter, but this time, they fought back! This film is adapted from the book "The Anti-Social Network" by the original author of "The Social Network", non-fiction writer Ben Mezrich, focusing on the "GameStop Short Squeeze" that really happened in 2021, telling the story of how retail investors gathered together on the forum to fight against Wall Street and caused hedge funds to suffer huge losses, staging a thrilling and interesting "Retail Investors vs. Wall Street".

    Through the Night (2023, Delphine Girard)


    A call to the police changed the fate of three people

    Delphine Girard, a rising female director who was nominated for an Oscar for her short film Sister, showed her talent in this feature film debut. The film was inspired by real social events and tells the story of a girl who was assaulted. The director focuses on the impact of the incident and guides the audience to immerse themselves in the perspectives and views of the victim, the perpetrator and the police operator, interpreting this judicial case in a more diverse way. The film won the People's Choice Award in the "Venice Day" parallel unit of the 80th Venice Film Festival.

    The Roundup: Punishment (2024, Xu Mingxing)


    "Korean version of Dwayne Johnson" Ma Dong-seok fights two villains

    "Criminal City 4" is the fourth film in the "Criminal City" series produced and acted by Ma Dongxi. It is directed by the action director of the series, Xu Mingxing, and tells the story of detective Ma Xidao once again dealing with a powerful criminal organization and catching them all in one fell swoop. Kim Mu-yeol, who had worked with Ma Dongxi in "The Devil", this time swapped the roles of good and evil with Ma Dongxi to play the villain who was a mercenary and fought a life-and-death duel with Ma Dongxi. Compared with the previous film in the series, the more violent action scenes and more jokes make people feel so happy. This film was selected for the "Special Screening Unit" of the 74th Berlin Film Festival.

    Tickets for this year's film festival will go on sale on the Tao Piaopiao platform at 12 noon on June 7.

    Note: If the film list changes, please refer to the actual schedule.


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