“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”
Six international arthouse films, with English subtitles, will be shown at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) starting this weekend. The event was initiated by Chinese movie director Lou Ye and co-curated by Japanese producer Asai Takshi, a long-term work partner of Lou, and French producer Philippe Bober. The movies were selected by the three curators, and a roundtable discussion among the three will also be held. Several of these films have been nominated for or awarded prizes in international film festivals.
‘The Night’ (Dec. 13, 21)
Directed by Zhou Hao, “The Night” features a story that takes place in an urban alley at night. A male prostitute with a narcissistic personality names himself Tuberose after meeting a female prostitute named Narcissus. They get into a dubious relationship where they toy with the idea of renting their bodies out to each other in a secret place inside a tunnel on a highway. As time passes, Narcissus develops an attachment for Tuberose who appears reserved and aloof, until a mysterious man appears. The night revolves around the three of them and attempts to unravel a mystery.
‘Doll’ (Dec. 18, 20)
Directed by Wong Men-hoi, “Doll” centers on a man who hides a doll under his bed. The doll comes out every night when the man is asleep. The world of doll only changes inside the room.
‘A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence’ (Dec. 19, 23)
Like a modern day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two traveling salespersons peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic journey through human destinies in this Swedish movie directed by Roy Anderson. It is a trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humor and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur, as well as the frailty of humanity.
‘Force Majeure’ (Dec. 14, 24)
Directed by Ruben Ostlund, this Swedish movie centers on a family traveling to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. During lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Reality returns to embarrassed laughter after the anticipated disaster fails to occur, yet the family’s world is shaken to its core with a question mark hanging over Tomas in particular. Tomas and Ebba’s marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.
‘GFP Bunny’ (Dec. 16, 25)
In 2005, Japan was shocked by a teenager’s attempt to poison her mother with thallium. This controversial work of metafiction questions our reality from an incisive and cool perspective. This metafictional “remix” of our world under surveillance is the first film in seven years from director Tsuchiya Yutaka, who has consistently addressed the plight of Japanese society.
‘Iwaki Note: Fukushima Voice’ (Dec. 17, 26)
Directed by 11 Japanese directors, the movie centers on 11 university students who were involved in the Tsukuba University Creative Reconstruction Project in Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture. Driven to share voices from Fukushima with the world, they capture the stories of various people suffering from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Movies: 7 p.m., Dec. 13-26
2:30 p.m., Dec. 20
Venue: OCAT, OCT-LOFT, Enping Road, Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District (南山区华侨城恩平路创意文化园OCT当代艺术中心)
Metro: Luobao Line, Qiaocheng East Station (侨城东站), Exit A