Rock’s Report From The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Tsui Hark’s “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Hill of Freedom”

The Taking of Tiger Mountain

The_Taking_of_Tiger_Mountain_02Nope, nope, nope. Can’t do it. I was so looking forward to seeing this film, like pumped up, but alas I’ve been deflated. You guys know that I salute any filmmaker for getting the chance to craft one of the greatest art forms ever made/discovered. I especially like love the cinema made outside of America because it gives and allows us to see stories outside of the great American pantheon. They often show us new ways to tell a story etc. Now imagine my disappointment with this film. I will not say that I am a huge Hong Kong cinema fan (one of these days I will leave the cinematic streets of Paris), but I want to be, and I’ve seen great Chinese cinema, for ex., A Touch of Zen via Shaw Brothers Studio, but this film was a huge let down.

Riddled with bullets and slow motion with Douglas Sirk like melodrama The Taking of Tiger Mountain is a wartime drama about the PLA and how they took a mountain from Lord Hawk, a villainous man who is crossed with… you know what, I don’t know what this is. I do know it’s not cinema. It’s overblown TV which a lot of big budget action movies are becoming now, which is either a sham or shame.

two-stars1

Remaining showtimes for The Taking of Tiger Mountain:
Thursday, April 30th, 2:00pm (Kabuki Theatre)

Hill of Freedom

Hill_of_Freedom_03Now to add to this double whammy of a review I just watched Hill of Freedom, a nice quaint film about looking for loss and love, done with enough character and humanness to make you root for it. The story goes, a young Japanese man comes to find the love of his life in a village where he used to work and live. Since art imitates life, he can’t seem to get what he wants when he wants it, so he happens upon an adventure with small town life. Its execution is genius and is more than enough to hold one’s attention for 66 minutes. This film allowed me to see what it is like to view another culture, not see another culture do america.

four-stars4

Remaining showtimes for Hill of Freedom:
Wednesday, April 29th, 1:30pm (Kabuki)
Thursday, April 30th, 6:45pm (Kabuki)

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Categories: Reviews, San Francisco International Film Festival

One Comment on “Rock’s Report From The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Tsui Hark’s “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Hill of Freedom””

  1. April 27, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    yo. waited with you line outside the theater. couldn’t agree with you more. i actually fell asleep a few times, as i couldn’t muster the energy to care.

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