The first thing I found out this morning is that I need to drink more than 1 & 1/2 litres of water a day while I am going to the festival to keep from getting a sore throat.
I also tried to book some tickets before going to the city, only to find out later that you need to book 8 hours in advance for most sessions (I justed exchanged my passport tickets for ones at the door as they were before 4pm on a weekday.)
I didn't really like the first short before the main feature. It was called Gridlock and was a retelling of an old urban legend about a man ringing up his house and his daughter answering - I hate these kind of stories as people send them around to me by email all the time and I have a low tolerance for that kind of stupidity.
Taking my mind of such things was the excellent You Shoot, I Shoot. I really liked the titles as they matched the unique style of the film and it is rare for a Hong Kong film to have such attention to detail (one of the characters in the film bemoaned the lack of post production in HK films.)
I thought the funniest scenes were the killer cold calling his clients and when they were filming the hits for the clients. Some people might think it is in poor taste to laugh at people running for their lives, but the way it was presented in the film was just so funny you had to laugh.
There were also lots of excellent film references to popular Hong Kong movies throughout the film, which some people wouldn't have got unless they were really into these type of films. Even though it only came out this year, I am sure someone in Hollywood will 'borrow' some of the ideas from it soon (I just hope they get the good ideas from it.)
I also wish I could get some You Shoot, I shoot t-shirts like they had in the film as they looked really good (they had a logo on them which was a stick figure man with his head on the ground after being shot off.)
A first for me at this festival was having to go straight out of this session and line up again for another session at the same venue (I'm sure I will have to do it more than once by the end of the festival), I had just enough time for a quick toilet break and I ended up eating my lunch in the cinema while the short film before the feature ran.
Inside, Outside Mongolia was an interesting short as it presented the story of the Mongolian people but there was no narration and only traditonal music as a backing. This means you had to make your own sense out of the images.
The next session Mothers of Life was engrossing, but it was very grim and depressing. At one stage I was thinking why don't they just give up and go live in the village. They didn't even show the picture where the kitten was looking out of the head hole of the woman's coat, which was the reason I went to see this documentary in the first place.
On a lighter note the Animation Shorts program 1 was excellent with the following highlights: Angry Kid - an audience favourite about kid with shocking red hair who does really distgusting, but hilarious things - they showed several episodes of this series.
Shh was a very political film, but it was nicely done.
Pizza Passionate was a sweet film about unrequited love and table tennis, which was one of the reasons why I wanted to see this program. The Dark was the second reason why I was so interested.
Other excellent shorts in this program included : Off the leash, Home Road Movie and Strange Invaders. With all of them it was the ones with more interesting stories that I liked more than the animation (there were a couple that didn't really seem to fit in the program even though they had good animation.)
Tomorrow sees my first 'Death Schedule' where I plan to see 5 films in an afternoon (three concurrently) and at 3 different venues. I do have a break before the last two so I can go have dinner though. Depending on how I go on the weekend, I may have a break from watching films next week for a couple of days also.