The Fifth Pan-Asia Film Festival: Asian Extremes and Interiors


Opening tonight with Yang Ya-che’s romanto-political saga of Taiwanese turmoil and troilism *Gf*Bf, this year’s Pan-Asia Film Festival is, as always, an eclectic feast of films from the Far, South and Middle Easts designed to expand our concept of Asian cinema.

As I argue in this piece for Sight & Sound, titles like Midi Z.’s Poor Folk, Nahid Ghobadi & Bijan Zamanpira’s 111 Girls, Craig Freimond’s Material, Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Irv Drasnin, Lucy Ostrander & Don Sellers’ documentary The Revolutionary all push at national boundaries in their focus upon globalised Asian identity in extremis.

Conversely, as I suggest in this article for Little White Lies, genre titles (like Shimizu Takashi’s Tormented 3D, Kitano Takeshi’s Outrage Beyond, Yeun Sang-ho’s The King of Pigs and Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Headshot) that might seem to typify the content of Metro Tartan’s erstwhile ‘Asia extreme’ label in fact look reflectively – and reflexively – inwards.

So, for an upside-down, inside-out perspective on Eastern cinema that is guaranteed to flip your perception and alter your orientation, pay a visit to the fifth Pan-Asia Film Festival – and for the latest festival news, follow @PanAsiaFilmFest.