Friday, March 21, 2008
HKIFF: Days 3 and 4
On the third night of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, I checked out the independent comedy-drama Sex Is No Laughing Matter, with it boy Kenichi Matsuyama starring as a college student who falls in love with an older woman. Not too much to say, though I can say it's the only screening so far where the audience did not applaud at the end of the film. However, the audience still reacted fairly well to it, especially to Yu Aoi's performance as a girl who expresses her frustrations in the cutest ways possible. However, it's the detached visual style of director Nami Iguchi will make this a film that won't travel far beyond film festivals.
By the way, anyone expecting any explicit content will be disappointed: It's definitely very tame in showing the sex.
On the other hand, the deadpan comedy Fine, Totally Fine should have little trouble reaching a wider audience that's looking for laughs more than attractive stars. In Japan, this is more well-known as comedian Yoshiyoshi Arakawa's first starring role, but for the audiences, it'll just be known as the funniest Japanese comedy so far in 2008. This is one where I would recommend everyone to not watch any trailers for. Just go in and prepared to be surprised.
After 4 movies, this is how I would rank my experience at the festival so far:
1) I Just Didn't Do It - 9.0/10, or A-
2) Fine, Totally Fine - 8.5/10, or B+
3) God Man Dog - 8/10, or B
4) Sex is No Laughing Matter - 7.5/10, or B-
Tomorrow: Wrestling With a Memory (Gachi Boy) and Glasses.