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Sydney Film Festival Day 2

by Michael Collins

After the opening night film of Ten Canoes, the Sydney Film Festival was off to a shaky start.

I was all set for the sell out session of Favela Rising. This inspiring story should have been an early highlight of the festival. Unfortunately the print – in fact not an actual film print – wasn’t up to the challenge. As was hinted with problems with the preceding short film, The Price of Innocence, there was some sort of fault with the print meaning that it was unplayable.

The crowd's reaction again showed the incredible rudeness of some festival goers. Boos and hisses were sprayed by the insensitive and uncouth of the audience.

So it was off to Fearless.

This screening played without a hitch - Although it was a little late thanks to the problems of Favela Rising.

It was a treat of film. It was glossy and great looking without the cinematography overwhelming everything else. The fight scenes are thrilling with just a hint of gravity defying antics.

Starring Jet Li, the films tells the story of martial arts legend Huo Yuan Jia. Inspired by his father he becomes a local wushu champion. His arrogance gets him into trouble though, and it takes a rural sojourn to set him straight.

There was a lot going on in this film. I was reading into it themes about China’s relationship to the west and Japan. The film portrays a relationship with the west as being bittersweet and the relationship with Japan being respectful while recognizing differences.

Tomorrow, is a big day for me with five films. An early start at 10am with The Archive Project plus a couple of films that are sure to be festival highlights: Solo and Kidulthood.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1854
originally posted: 06/10/06 23:35:04
last updated: 06/13/06 11:26:09
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