Forget the Eiffel Tower: Johnnie To, Leos Carax and 90 Hong Kong Films Highlight the Paris Cinema Festival
This summer's 10th annual Paris Cinema International Film Festival has just announced its lineup, and it seems that Paris will be treated to, among other things, live appearances by Johnnie To, Leos Carax and Yuen Woo-ping, a huge tribute to Hong-Kong Cinema and a giant Cine-Karaoke event.
The competition for the festival doesn't offer any world premieres of star-driven indies or auteur films (though I should mention that it includes two of the best films I've seen this year, Miguel Gomes' Tabu and Emin Alper's Beyond the Hill), but it's not really that kind of festival. Unlike more industry-oriented events, this is a huge, open-to-the-public, city-wide celebration of cinema, new and old. Last year, for example, I saw a nearly-complete Don Siegel retrospective and an entire week of Japanese Pinku films in packed theaters.
Hong Kong is in the spotlight of this year's festival. Somewhere around 90 films from the island will screen over the course of the event, with programs ranging from rare and unearthed movies to 50's melodrama to the New Wave. There's even a Category III program, highlighting films which have received the rating Hong Kong gives to material deemed unsuitable for people under 18. Best of all, Yuen Woo Ping and Allen Fong will both be in attendance for spotlight programs about their work. Check out the entire list of films here.
The festival will also pay tribute to Leos Carax, Olivier Assayas, Johnnie To and the late Raúl Ruiz with retrospectives, including a four-film To marathon with the director in attendance. Carax and Assayas will also be around, and to sweeten the deal, Carax will preview his wacky new masterpiece Holy Motors. Add to all of that 30 other film premieres, ranging from Cannes selections to newly struck prints of classic films, and you're starting to get an idea.
There's also a cinema-themed ball, cine-karaoke (that means you only sing to songs from movies), a shorts program curated by To and more. The festival takes place from June 29 to July 10, so if you're planning to visit Paris then, go ahead and cancel most of your sight-seeing plans. Full schedule and details available in English and French on Paris Cinema website.