A Complicated Origami: The Concept of Family in Modern Asian Cinema February 23-26 2020, Thessaloniki Cinematheque, Stavros Tornes screening room

Thessaloniki Cinematheque invites you to discover the exciting world of modern Asian cinema this week, through the tribute “A complicated origami: The concept of family in modern Asian cinema”, which will take place Sunday 23 to Wednesday 26 February 2020, at the favorite cinefil location, Stavros Tornes screening room (Warehouse 1, Thessaloniki Port).

The tribute includes four movies that revolve around the concept of family, with three of them being presented in Greece for the first time.

Norwegian Wood (2010) by Ahn Hung Tranh (Greek Premiere, Sunday 23/2 at 21:00)

The film could be described as abstract to the point of ambiguity, the same does not apply to the visual, where Mark Lee presents another excellent work, creating a dramatically beautiful setting where the lives of the protagonists unfold. From the Tokyo of the 60s with the student movements (and a subtle but very derogatory comment), to the bucolic beauty of Kyoto and the tragic symbolism of the sea, all of Lee's frames are perfectly constructed; a true visual extravaganza. Furthermore, Greenwood's music fits every scene played perfectly, adding to the atmosphere Tran wanted to present while the sound factor is completed in the best fashion by “”, which is heard twice, concluding the film in the best way.

Tokyo Sonata (2008) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Greek Premiere, Monday 24/2 at 21:00)

Using utter realism, Kurosawa presents the hardships a family faces in the middle of the financial crisis, similar to the same bitter truth Sam Mendes showed in “American Beauty”. However, the consequences, equally on a practical and a psychological level, are even worse for the Japanese male population in particularly, who actually define themselves through their work and their financial capacity. Ryuhei, a genuine “respresentative” of patriarchy, losing the role of the leader-provider after his firing, finds himself completely lost and without any kind of purpose, essentialy trying to hold onto any kind of authority he has left upon his family by reacting negatively in every change in their lives they try to make.

House of Hummingbird (2018) by Kim Bo-ra (Tuesday 25/2 at 21:00)

 “House of Hummingbird” belongs to the happy family of films like “The World of Us”, “Han Gong-ju”, “A Girl at My Door”. It's a subtle observation of a teenage girl in Korea in the typical detached “slice-of-life” manner but it's also a portrait of the multifaceted environment and the social circumstances that have impacted and marginalised the girl and her family. Layered and rich of humanity, the characters of “House of Hummingbird” are far from black and white and the reasons behind their actions are complex and nuanced.

Move the Grave (2019) by Jeung Seung-o (Greek Premiere, Wednesday 26/2 at 21:00)

The movie reflects bitterly on traditional family ties and is an interesting commentary to changes in gender roles in modern Korean society. It marks forming the new system of values and inevitable conflict between the old ways and the modern practice. As the director explained himself in a short interview: “We have been growing since we were born, listening to and learning the roles of man and woman who have long lived in the patriarchal system. But now that patriarchy is almost over, I think we should dissolve the existing family structure and think about the new alternative family form. I wanted to ask the question of how to live in this transition period”.

The festival will be co-curated by Panos Kotzathanasis

For additional info, check the following link

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

Panagiotis (Panos) Kotzathanasis is a film critic and reviewer, specialized in Asian Cinema. He is the owner and administrator of Asian Movie Pulse, one of the biggest portals dealing with Asian cinema. He is a frequent writer in Hancinema, Taste of Cinema, and his texts can be found in a number of other publications including SIRP in Estonia, in Slovakia, Asian Dialogue in the UK, Cinefil in Japan and Filmbuff in India.

Since 2019, he cooperates with Thessaloniki Cinematheque in Greece, curating various tributes to Asian cinema. He has participated, with video recordings and text, on a number of Asian movie releases, for Spectrum, Dekanalog and Error 4444. He has taken part as an expert on the Erasmus+ program, “Asian Cinema Education”, on the Asian Cinema Education International Journalism and Film Criticism Course.

Apart from a member of FIPRESCI and the Greek Cinema Critics Association, he is also a member of NETPAC, the Hellenic Film Academy and the Online Film Critics Association.

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