Fragments of Asia 2017

Fantasia once again presents its showcase of short films from Asia, both animated and live-action. Silly, thrilling or somber, they are all fascinating reflections on aspects of the societies they come from. Nina Sabnani’s WE MAKE IMAGES (India) is an animated interpretation of a creation myth from the Bhil community in Madhya Pradesh, for whom communal painting is equivalent to offering prayer. In Chai Siris’s spooky, abstract documentary 500,000 YEARS (Thailand), a neglected tourist attraction has become a local religious shrine. A roving cinema truck arrives with a sleazy old horror movie. Night is falling. The dead and dying shall live again.

On her way to her first day at a new school in a small rural town, Takada loses her cherished hat – but soon gets something very special in exchange, in Hiroki Yamada’s bucolic, sweet-natured anime miniature MATASABURO OF THE WIND (Japan). Hundreds of random photos found at Chinese flea markets fuse into a single imagined life on fast-forward, in HAND COLORED NO.2 (China), from Fantasia regular Lei Lei.

Kai, an android shoe artisan in the year 4015, begins to feel a dedication to her craft not unlike human obsession, in HIGH HEELS (Japan, International Premiere). An atmospheric sci-fi fairy tale directed by newcomer Lee Inchul, it stars the Oscar-nominated Rinko Kikucho (BABEL, KUMIKO: THE TREASURE HUNTER, PACIFIC RIM). Big-city life in bustling Beijing – the malaise is nonetheless mouth-watering, in Xiong Shuyu’s DAY, THE CHEF (China, North American Premiere). And in Kang Heekyung’s RAINBOW (South Korea, World Premiere), life is sweet on a balmy Pacific island – but there is trouble in paradise for ordinary, awkward Sooni, whose handsome, blue-skinned boyfriend is a superhero.

- Rupert Bottenberg

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