ABERDEEN And THE MIDNIGHT AFTER To Open 38th Hong Kong Int'l Film Festival

James Marsh, Asian Editor
The lineup has been announced, and two films we be officially opening this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival, which runs from 24th March to 7th April. The World Premiere of Pang Ho Cheung's Aberdeen, starring Miriam Yeung, Gigi Leung, Eric Tsang and Louis Koo (who is also this year's festival ambassador) will screen at the HK Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, while the Asian Premiere of Fruit Chan's The Midnight After (which debuted in Berlin) will play concurrently at the HK Convention & Exhibiton Centre in Wan Chai.

It has already been announced that Dante Lam's latest explosive action thriller, That Demon Within, which pits Nick Cheung against Daniel Wu, will close the festival, but in between is a mammoth line-up of prestige titles from around the globe, including numerous World, International and Asian premieres. Other notable Chinese language titles including the Asian Premiere of Golden Bear winner Black Coal, Thin Ice from Diao Yinan, Lou Ye's Blind Massage (Asian Premiere), Adam Wong's Better Tomorrow (World Premiere), Tsai Ming-Liang's Journey To The West (Asian Premiere), Leste Chen's The Great Hypnotist (World Premiere), as well as the world premiere of two new anthologies: Beautiful 2014, directed by Zhang Yuan, Kang Je-kyu, Christopher Doyle and Shu Kei, and Three Charmed Lives, helmed by top Asian performers Chang Chen, Jung Woo-sung and Francis Ng.

Noteworthy international titles include Lars Von Trier's controversial Nymphomanic I & II, Ralph Fiennes' The Invisible Woman, Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Dance Of Reality, Frank Pavich's Jodorowsky's Dune, Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley, The Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, Errol Morris' The Unknown Known, Alex Von Warmerdam's Borgman, Richie Mehta's Siddarth, Matsumoto Hitoshi's R100, Eric Matti's On The Job, Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin and so many more besides. 

There will be competition programmes for Short Film, Documentary and Young Cinema, retrospectives on the work of Isabelle Huppert, Jiang Wen and Asghar Farhadi, as well as special programmes focusing on Latin American Cinema, Filipino Cinema and Czech Cinema. The HKIFF is also collaborating with the ICAC (Hong Kong's Anti-Corruption Bureau) by screening a series of specially selected films and TV drama series that feature the bureau, to to mark its 40th anniversary. The programme includes work from Dante Lam, Herman Yau, Ann Hui and David Lam among others.

This year the HKIFF again presents a strong selection of remastered and restored classics given the big screen treatment, and this year's selection includes Terrence Malick's Badlands, Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without A Cause, Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder 3D and four films from Ozu Yasujiro, including Equinox Flower and Good Morning.

As always, Twitch will be there in force to cover as much of the festival as is humanly possible during its 15-day run (2 days shorter than previous years, perhaps due to Easter weekend falling too late to be included), and will be sure to share our favourites and disappointments, as well as all the action from Filmart, which rouns from 24-27 March. Tickets go on sale to the general public from 1 March.
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