[BIFFF 2022 : Jour 6] A very pleasant Asian afternoon: naval battles and Toone vs The Knights of the Zodiac

Hansan, rising dragon, a classicism of good quality

Huge success in South Korea with more than 5 million admissions a month after its release, Hansan, rising dragon is the second installment in director Kim Han-min’s trilogy, devoted to the battles of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, which began in 2014 with the film The Admiral: Roaring Currentswhich BIFFF enthusiasts were able to discover during the 2015 edition.

Led by Park Hae-il, whose talent we still recently admired in the film Decision to leavedirector prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and Byeon Yo-han, known in particular for his role in Mister sunshinethe film makes us relive the famous battle that took place in the waters bordering the island of Hansan between Admiral Yi Sun-sin and the Japanese fleet.

A3,A4,A5, cruiser sunk

The historical film is a particularly popular genre in South Korea to such an extent that this genre is still divided into different sub-categories: we thus find works where characters in costume and zombies rub shoulders as in the excellent K-drama Kingdomromantic comedies or films relating to a very particular event or period. Hansan, rising dragon is in this last category and should therefore appeal to lovers of military strategy, to those who wish to know more about this pivotal period of the dynasty. Joseon or to all lovers of naval battles.

If the film is extremely classic in its structure, we nevertheless follow with interest the course of the story, helped in this by an effective staging of the fight scenes, as well as a successful alternation between moments of introspection and epic scenes. . Of course, the film is also there to show the military genius of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and the heroism of the soldiers defending their land, which leads to scenes of great bravery, but the whole is relatively balanced, interested in both Korean and Japanese points of view. A film that we can therefore only advise you if you are a fan of the genre.


Demigod, the legend begins, when Toone meets the Knights of the Zodiac

After delighting the BIFFF audience a few years ago with the screening of the film The Arti, the adventure beginsTaiwanese director Chris Huang Wen Chang returns with Demigod, the legend begins which should appeal to all lovers of Budaixi, these puppet shows from China and Taiwan and whose tradition dates back to the 17th century.

At the risk of his life, Su Hua-Jen, adept in martial arts, climbed one of the five sacred mountains of Wu Lin. At the top, two monstrous beings are in full confrontation, and the arrival of Su changes the game. Unbeknownst to him, the man has just triggered a series of events with monumental consequences. Back in town, a request from the lord of Globe Castle reaches him. Alas, terrible things are brewing in the shadows, and Su will soon be caught in a crisis that will shake the Earth and Heavens to their foundations.

Because when it comes to shows, the director knows how to impress us… stylized martial arts or saber fights that have nothing to envy to productions with real actors, pyrotechnic effects, heroes whose destiny is intimately linked to that of the entire planet, fantastic creatures and magical powers, everything is there. And if we can smile in front of the solemnity of certain dialogues, we can only be amazed in front of the sum of emotions transmitted only by manipulating the limbs and the body of these puppetss with particularly marked and expressive features.

Demigod, the legend begins seduced us with its particular aesthetic, its schoolboy mood and above all the virtuosity of its puppeteers. While some – including Netflix with the disastrous adaptation of animated series into films with flesh and blood actors – strive to tell us mythological stories with great special effects, the cinema of Chris Huang Wen Chang shows us that with a lot of talent and patience, great things can be achieved with puppets.

[BIFFF 2022 : Jour 6] A very pleasant Asian afternoon: naval battles and Toone vs The Knights of the Zodiac