Posts Tagged ‘New Uzbek Cinema’

Asia House Film Festival 2015 | 27 – 31 March 2015

The 7th Annual Asia House Film Festival which takes place from 27 March to 31 March 2015 at various venues around London. This year’s theme of NEW GENERATIONS reflects on all that’s new about cinema from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesian, India, Japan and Uzbekistan, with a special focus and retrospective on Mongolia.

The festival includes an selection of features including two European premieres. Opening the festival on Friday 27 March at the Ham Yard Theatre is the European Premiere of Indonesian film IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SUN, which frames the modern metropolis of Jakarta as never seen before. Directed, written and edited by Lucky Kuswandi (Madame X), it is a bittersweet tale of universal appeal, as its nostalgic memories unfold over the course of a single night.

Closing Asia House Film Festival 2015 on Tuesday 31 March at The Horse Hospital is the UK Premiere of YANGON CALLING – PUNK IN MYANMAR, directed by Alexander Dluzak and Carsten Piefke, an award-winning documentary about Myanmar’s underground punk scene filmed secretly in the former military dictatorship using hidden cameras. It provides a rare portrait of the rebels who really do have a cause, introducing us to their personal lives and their hidden world of rehearsal rooms and illicit concerts.

The European premiere of Kulikar Sotho’s THE LAST REEL presents different versions of the truth unearthed from a lost film, buried beneath Cambodia’s killing fields and the London premiere of PASSION FROM MONGOLIA, a poignant portrait of a man’s struggle to bridge two very different ages, is a great introduction to Mongolian cinema which will be showcased at the Cinema Museum on Sunday 19 April.

The festival will also host the UK Premiere of a musical documentary FLASHBACK MEMORIES 3D, that received the Audience Award winner at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival. Directed by Japan’s Tetsuaki Matsue, it focuses on the didgeridoo maestro GOMA, who suffers from an inability to form new memories following a traffic accident at the peak of his career. Also on offer is a cult classic Uzbekistani “Red Western”. MT

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VENUES: Ham Yard Theatre, Rich Mix, The Horse Hospital and the Cinema Museum | 27 – 31 March 2015


Shame (2013) 7th Russian Film Festival 2013

Dir.: Usup Razykow; Cast: Maria Semenova, Elenena Korobynikova, Helga, Filipova, Seseg Hapsasova; Russia 2012; 90 min.

Best known for his 2000 drama Women Kingdom, writer and director Yusup Razykov is a leading light in the New Uzbek Cinema movement.

His latest outing SHAME, opens with the unexplained abduction of a young woman. A symbolic introduction to a very grim film set in the Arctic Circle of Russia, Ekaterina Mavromatis screenplay sensitively depicts this study of ‘waiting women’  inspired by  the case of the submarine “Kursk”, which was lost with all men in 2000. The main protagonists are the soon-to-be widows of the garrison hamlet, who are lied to by the authorities, even though the tragedy is apparent to them. Lena (Maria Semenova), is newly married to an officer of the submarine. Cold and distant, she drinks and has a one-night-stand, whilst the other women mourn; one even kills herself and her two children.

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It slowly emerges that Lena has discovered passionate love letters from her husband to his former girl friend Irina, who is now in an ramshackle psychiatric hospital, after having set fire to a building, not able to take the six monthly darkness any longer. Lena saves her from the horror of this place, and promises her to take her into a clinic in St. Petersburg, her home town. The snowy landscape (more grey than white) and the downtrodden buildings, falling apart before our very eyes, the total lack of amenities and the darkness are the domineering elements of this film, the camera looks for humans, but only shows desolation. One has the feeling, that this place is a war zone and it only seems reasonable, that one woman says “that we need a war, because we do not know how to live without it”. SHAME is ruthless in its negative approach, never resorting to sentimentality. A stark reminder of a not so modern Russia, which is still ruled for and by a small minority, whilst the majority lives in places rotting quietly away. Andre  Simonoviescz

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