The line-up of New From Auteur and GALA section
New presentation of renowned directors
Every year, the latest movies created by the world’s greatest movie masters have their premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival. The New From Auteur section is one that introduces the latest masterpieces of the global movie elites to satisfy the audience’s eyes for the first time. Altogether 5 movies were selected into this section this year, namely, “Mindanao”, the latest work of Philippines’ national big gun Brillante Mendoza, that blends animation and live actions; “Family Romance, LLC.”, German director Werner Herzog work concentrating on customizable experience; “Labyrinth of Cinema”, splendid posthumous work of late Japanese master Nobuhiko Obayashi; “Dancing Mary”, new work of Sabu, member of the judge panel of Golden Goblet Prize of the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival, as well as “I Never Shot Anyone”, a nostalgic comedy by the world-famous Japanese director Junji Sakamoto.
The “GALA” section, as its name suggests, is a premiere meeting where the major stakeholders are present. Although a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible due to the Covid19 pandemic this year, excellent films will never be absent. A total of 3 movies have been selected for the “GALA” section this year, namely: “The Bay of Silence”, jointly presented by “Bond girl” Olga Kurylenko and “Dracula” Claes Bang; “Moi’s Cookbook”, by the legendary Japanese filmmaker Haruki Kadokawa and “Episode of the Princess”, the second episode of the super popular Japanese drama “The Confidence Man JP”.
The following is a detailed introduction of these wonderful films. First of all, the five films in the “New Works by Renowned Directors” section:
Highlights: animated and real characters encounter in super time and space
This is the latest masterpiece of Brillante Mendoza, Philippine’s national film master. The film tells the story of how a family of three are deeply affected by the civil war and their destiny. While criticizing the society, the film demonstrates the precious value of peace. Through cross-editing of three relationships in different time and space, 3D graffiti and real-person performances are surprisingly blended, presenting local legends of brothers defeating a dragon, the hard contemporary lives of a mother and her daughter, and the dilemma of a soldier on the battlefield, thus engaging the history with the present in a dialogue. The film has won many awards, such as the best film and best director prizes at the Metro Manila Film Festival.
Family Romance, LLC.
Highlights: bizarre “customization”
An employee of Family Romance LLC. brings customers customized real life experiences that allow them to play roles of their preference. He then starts to ponder on what reality really is. This film is the latest work by the German film master Werner Herzog. With an extremely low cost, the documentary photographic methodology and normal performance are integrated, blurring the border between documentary and dramas. The use of a large number of close-up shots of the characters fully presents all the details to the audience, allowing them with an immersive experience where they can think about events from the same perspectives of the characters.
Labyrinth of Cinema
Highlights: The posthumous of the brilliant movie master Nobuhiko Obayashi
Japanese movie master Nobuhiko Obayashi, who passed away in April this year and was known as the “magician of images”, had actually been diagnosed with late stage cancer as early as three years ago. However, with tenacious perseverance, he managed to extend his life for another three years and left the world with this immortal work. The film is staged in a pending bankrupt theater where three youngsters travelled into the screen of film in an all-night documentary show. They then became a part of various films and historical events. Resembling the real-person version of “Millennium Actress”, this film brought together Takako Tokiwa, Inagaki Goro, Tadanobu Asano, and other renowned actors and actresses. The audience are moved into tears by the director's brilliant and nearly paranoid artistic expressions.
Highlights: EXILE NAOTO’s first starring
The demolishing project of a dilapidated old dancing hall is constantly disrupted by the “Dancing Mary”, a ghost. In order to solve the horrible issue, Kenji, a civil servant and YUKIKO, a psychic high schoolgirl accepted ghost Mary's request to find her ex-boyfriend Johnny, thus starting an adventure across the sea, the time and the space... Sabu, the judge of the Golden Goblet Prize of the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival and Japanese comedy genius, brought his imagination to the fullest by creating a love fantasy that combines elements of hippies, horror and humor, etc. Starred by NAOTO, a member of Japan’s “Migrant Workers” group of EXILE, the film amazes its audience with attractive actors and actresses with excellent acting skills. It won a special award at the time-honored Portuguese Fantasy Film Festival.
I Never Shot Anyone
Highlights: countless superb all-star casts
Shin Ichikawa, dressed as a tough guy over seventy years old, is a terrible and obsolete novelist. However, his description of crimes is extremely realistic and vivid. Rumors even say that he is a murderer himself. However, the truth can shock people’s jaws off to the floor, and he even got into a disaster that almost killed him. “The Face” directed by the famous Japanese director Junji Sakamoto was rated as the best film of the 2000s by a film journal, and “The Projects” won the Golden Goblet Prize for best actress in 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival. Junji Sakamoto deals with comedy themed films like a breeze. The film is starred by a team of three generations of actors and actresses including Renji Ishibashi, Ittoku Kishibe, Kaori Momoi, Tsumabuki Satoshi and Tasuku Emoto, who entertain the audience with exquisite performances in this very nostalgic comedy.
The following are the three films in the “Premiere Ceremony” section:
The Bay of Silence
Highlights: sweet love for only a couple of days, and then…
Based on the British novelist Lisa San Aubin Derain’s novel with the same name, the film tells the story of a husband who found his beloved wife and child missing before he immediately started his desperate search for them. This is the latest work of Dutch director Paula van der Oest, who was shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film Award with his work “Zus & zo”. It took two years to produce the film on-site in Italy and the UK. The film starts with a romance, and quickly switches to its suspenseful and thrilling theme over a concise narrative. Strong contrast is formed by the black & white hue of the plots in memories and colorful ones in reality, causing emergence of mysteries that have been concealed for years. The sexy Ukrainian actress “Bond girl” Olga Kurylenko and the Danish “Dracula” Claes Bang act a couple in love yet each with secrets unrevealed to each other.
Highlights: The last work of the legendary Haruki Kadokawa
The legendary Haruki Kadokawa, who introduced idols such as Hiroko Yakushimaru and Tomoyo Harada, and supervised the production of the hit classics such as “The Inugamis”, “Sailor Suit and Machine Gun”, presents this film as the last work in his career. This film is adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name with a cumulative sales of over 4 million copies. It tells the story of Mio, whose parents died in floods, and who was separated from her childhood friend Noe. Mio then studied culinary skills in Osaka and gradually became famous, and met Noe again due to their fate associated with gourmet interests. In the film, the new-generation actress Honoka Matsumoto stars Mio, celebrities such as Yosuke Kubozuka, Ken’ichi Matsuyama, and Takashi Sorimachi form a powerful team to costar. The film is scheduled to be released in Japan in October this year. However, the audience of the Shanghai International Film Festival will have the privilege to enjoy it first.
The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess
Highlights: Here comes the threesome scammers again!
“The Confidence Man JP” is a super popular original drama created by the ace scriptwriter Ryota Kosawa (“LEGAL HIGH”), which tells the story of how super intelligent fraud master Tatsuko (acted by Masami Nagasawa), cowardly Boku (acted by Higashide Masahiro) and Richard (acted by Kohinata Fumiyo), an experienced veteran fraud, collaborate in scamming. This film is the second theatrical episode, and the script is still written by Ryota Kosawa himself. However, the stage of this episode is changed to Langkawi Island in Malaysia. This time, the team of 3 frauds will attempt a thrilling scamming game where they will steal a 10-trillion-yen inheritance left by a trillionaire. In addition to the three leading roles, there is also a super powerful lineup with costars such as Yuuko Takeuchi and Eguchi Yosuke.
Welcome to follow us for a film list of all the exciting stuns of the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival, 2020.
Note: Films on the list may be subject to changes. The actual arrangement of the film presentation shall prevail.