The New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival
This has turned into a yearly tradition for me. I wrote about what my friend and I saw last year, so this is the third year I’ve gone to see some movies for this festival.
Due to some unseen circumstances, my friend was unable to come this year with me, after we had bought tickets already. So I went on my own, which felt kind of weird. Cause here I am, a grown 28-year-old, seeing kids movies, while the other adults around me had kids with them. Oh well. A kid at heart counts right?
Instead of spreading out the movies over the course of several weekends, this year, I did three in one day, to make it easier. So I went the first weekend, and saw two movies, and one segment called “Short Films One.” In between I read, and went shopping since the theater I was at was near Union Square.
OK, so the movies. The first one I saw was Dreams of Jinsha, which disappointed me terribly. Based off the description, it sounded like something I would really like, but instead the movie was trying hard to be something like Princess Mononoke and failing miserably, and some of the plot points were not explained. It didn’t help that the subtitles were in white and this was a very bright movie. The trailer below gives you an idea of how the movie looked:
Xiao Long is a modern day middle-school student, who, after being transported 3,000 years back in time to the ancient kingdom of Jinsha, discovers his true destiny. Jinsha is a beautiful and magical place but plagued by a mysterious evil energy which its inhabitants fear they can’t hold off, much less defeat. After the school boy witnesses the beginnings of the destruction by the forces of darkness on this ancient land, he is overcome with sadness and pledges to help. Upon discovering a special connection with nature, Xiao Long gains the trust of the beautiful young Princess Hau’er and her loyal subjects and together they fight the wicked forces surrounding them to restore peace across the kingdom. Along the way, Xiao Long reforms himself into a courageous boy who forgoes his self-centered behavior to coexist harmoniously with others.
After that was a quick lunch break and some reading of Wither for me, and then I went to see Short Films One, which is essentially short films for kids. And some of them have won awards. Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing played in Short Films Two, which I didn’t see. One of the shorts was quite long, about 40 minutes, from the Netherlands, and it was quite charming about a girl realizing that she doesn’t need a “normal” family to have a family at all, when she has her tattoo-artists uncle for family already. Below are two of the shorts that I saw, and the first one (from Turkey) has me obsessed with the song Don’t Go by Yazoo, an 80s band (it’s the second song in the video):
There are some things that you can not see even with your eyes wide open. Often, these are a cat’s best friends.
A short film about man’s misunderstanding and mixed relationship with mother nature:
After that and some clothes shopping, and finding a bargain for a huge cookbook for Josh at Shakespeare & Co, I went to see A Cat in Paris, and it was done by the same people who did Raining Cats and Frogs, which I had seen last year and thought was funny. The trailer below is in French, as it is a French movie, but here’s the summary anyway. When I saw it, it was dubbed and it was done very well I think. I have to say, it’s quite interesting seeing animated movies from other countries, since I am so used to Disney here. A Cat in Paris was a success for me!
Dino is a cat that leads a double life. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a police officer. By night, he works with Nico, a burglar with a big heart. Zoe has plunged herself into silence following her father’s murder at the hands of gangster Costa. One day, Dino the cat brings Zoe a very valuable bracelet. Lucas, Jeanne’s second-in-command, notices this bracelet is part of a jewelery collection that has been stolen. One night, Zoe decides to follow Dino. On the way, she overhears some gangsters and discovers that her nanny is part of the gangsters’ team.
So even though this wasn’t book-related, I just wanted to share the fun. You can actually see all the festival’s offerings here, in case anyone is interested to see what sort of international films are shown at this festival. This is the festival where I saw The Secret of Kells last year, and I have rewatched that movie multiple times since. Such a treat!