To Mauro Dentesano for his skill, dedication and patience.
Our gaze is influenced by our knowledge – by the films we’ve seen, the books we’ve read and the people we’ve met. The comedy is definitely the genre most closely linked to the place where it’s made, and that’s why the rights to remake Perfect Strangers have been sold worldwide: a film is remade by adapting it to local realities, and at Far East Film Festival, we will be seeing the Korean version.
Films from Asia make up only a small minority of the selections of the larger festivals (Cannes and Venice, for example). Does that mean that they make worse films in Asia? Or that they make less of them? Or that there are fewer cinema-goers? No, it simply means that Asian films mirror one of many possible cultures.
This is what Far East Film is for: to try, for 9 days, to see cinema from a different perspective – to try and widen our horizons. To try and make our own experience less dominant.
The FEFF aims to highlight the differences and connections, starting perhaps with an attempt to break down the idea of there being one single Asian cinema. The cultural differences between Korea, China and Japan (without even mentioning all the other countries represented) are much greater than those between the countries of the European continent, and the cinema they produce is equally diverse. Hence, bonds and differences that unite. In this edition we have tried to offer films from various countries which address the same themes (for example old age): seeing them side by side is fascinating, and means discovering diverse (and evident) identities.
You cannot understand a film unless you try to understand the place where it was made. For this reason, the FEFF should be seen as a journey through the Far East, with the assistance of our numerous guests, talks, and the events scattered about the city.
Our mentor Roger Garcia describes a cinephile as someone who travels, explores and discovers. A person willing to “go at a drop of a hat to another country to sniff out a film or a filmmaker.”
Why “go at a drop of a hat” to Udine, then? Why browse through this catalog? Not so as to disdain your own culture, but so as to learn to respect other cultures.