Tsai Ming-liang’s first feature in four years is a masterpiece: a blackly funny and unexpectedly warm comic tale of a father—Tsai’s usual brilliant actor Lee Kang-sheng—and two children adrift amongst the urban decay of Taipei. Part Buster Keaton, part rigorous art film, always enthralling.
A son is possessed; gory murders accumulate; a father (veteran star Jimmy Wang Yu) is chillingly loyal; cops are confounded. Frequent VIFF director Chung Mong-hong (Parking, The Fourth Portrait) brings new elements—horror and some lusciously photographed blood—to his refined dramatic sensibility: creepy and thought-provoking. Winner, Best Narrative Film, Best Actor, Taipei 2013.
Chang Tso-chi’s luminous Taiwanese coming-of-age story describes young Bao’s summertime trip to his grandfather’s rural home. What starts as gentle elegy, all sun-dappled scenes of play and discovery, gradually darkens as Bao confronts maturity and its tough truths. A gem of soft-spoken cinema.
A woman stands up to the man who caused her daughter’s death. Pimpaka Towira directs.
Visra Vichit Vadakan’s debut is a sisterly, fictionalized portrait of Sa Sittijun, who sells her body in a karaoke lounge in Bangkok and has trouble with a "serious" boyfriend. Sensitive and intimate.
Laos, Thailand, Australia
A ten-year-old pariah desperately strives to earn redemption and reverse his family’s fortunes by constructing a prize-winning rocket. Making exemplary use of his Laos setting, Kim Mordaunt crafts "a lush and bruising coming-of-age story…"—Screen. Winner, Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor, Tribeca 2013; Audience Award, Sydney 2013.
France, Turkey, Germany
Araf means purgatory and that’s where the longings of the spirit and body will take young Zehra. With stunningly directed scenes using seductive music and striking winter vistas, Yeşim Ustaoğlu’s potently soulful drama "creates resonant images that blend countryside, village and landscape into rich visual emotions…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Best Film, Abu Dhabi 2012.