In its 2nd year there has been a slight downsizing of IndBear in terms of line-up, but there are some good quality films in its concise schedule. Individual films are generally only shown once or twice over the course of the events seventeen days with screenings from Thursday to Sunday so it’s advisable to book tickets in advance. The festival will be held in two cinemas in Hong Kong’s
One of the opening films, Invasion of the Alien Bikini took the Grand Prize at the 2011 Yubari Fantastic International Film Festival and is a is a gloriously wild, low-budget blend of comedy, sci-fi, body horror, and martial arts action. Produced on a budget of a mere $4500 by one of the stalwarts of Korean independent cinema Indiestory this kind of film is exactly what IndBear is all about.
Opening boldly with the Beethoven's 9th symphony, with more than a little nod to Kubrick, the film doesn't let up for the rest of its 75 minute running time. Oh Yung Doo's sci-fi extravaganza centres on the nerdy Young-gun, who prefers the moniker City Protector. He wanders the streets searching for damsels in distress. When he saves the sexy Monica, played by the excellent and alluring Eun Jung-Ha, she insists on taking him back to his apartment to express her gratitude. However, Young-gun has taken a vow of celibacy. Monica won't take no for an answer though and our hero must resist her increasingly tempting seductions.
Of course, Monica isn't all she seems and needs Young-gun to impregnate her to give birth to hordes of aliens and take over the earth. Throw in a father-son back story for our protagonist, random groups of high-kicking henchmen, and lots of sexual torture, and really what more do you need from a film? It might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea but it won plaudits galore at Yubari, and was the first time a foreign film-maker has ever received the Grand Prize there. Director Oh Yung-doo is definitely one to look out for in the future. It’s only being show once on June 10th so make sure you get your tickets early.
There are a couple of other interesting Korean films that feature in the schedule. Set in Busan She Came From, by Kim Sung-Ho, is the story of a director In-soo re-writing a film, a man losing his sight who is searching for his daughter, and the daughter Hye-ryun who is escaping everything on the back of a motorbike. Their paths weave together and eventually In-soo’s re- write begins to mirror actual events, exposing the boundaries between fiction and reality. In addition there is the challenging Father is a Dog that continues to explore the themes director Lee Sang-woo developed in his previous works Mother is a Whore and All About Father. The film examines the claustrophobic hell of a dysfunctional family as three brothers suffer under the heavy hand of their abusive father.
Japanese cinema has two representatives at IndBear. The return of the fascinating Imaizumi Koichi, who used to be an actor in Japanese pink movies (a type of romantic, soft-core pornography with high production values), allows festival-goers another chance to catch his film that was screened last year The Family Complete. It’s about a peculiar family living in a traditional Japanese house, suffering from a strange new virus. Featured in the Up in the Air section of the line-up, it looks like it might be an interesting companion piece to Father is a Dog.
Additionally, the international premiere of Tentsuki is one to look out for. About life in the bizarre town of
IndBear also has a varied intake of European films on show. German star Daniel Bruhl’s new movie My Words, My Lies, My Love is about failing writer David Kern who stumbles across a transcript of a masterpiece in a second hand store. In a bid to impress the object of his affection, literati Maria, he decides to present it as his own work. Things begin spiraling out of control, and before he knows it he’s on daytime TV chat shows, and signing copies of his book. Swedish film Sebbe that won best debut in
Alongside My Words, My Lies, My Love and She Came From there are another couple of worthy entries in the Lost and Found section of the festival. Obselidia, the first feature from director Diane Bell, tells the story of loner George, a man making an encyclopedia of obsolete things. He interviews subjects for his work using a VHS recorder and a typewriter. While constructing his opus, he meets the silent film projectionist Sophie. The two wind up taking a road trip to the desert to interview an apocalypse prophesizing climate scientist. It might be a bit quirky, but any film that manages to use
The festival closes with a documentary on the life and death of one of the icons of the
There is lots to check out at this years festival, and IndBear is fast establishing itself as a solid fixture on the
Ticket prices are $55-$60 for adults and concessions go for $45-$50 and can be purchased at the box-office of either cinema, online at www.mclcinema.com, or over the phone 25-727-202