3 April 2024 (Hong Kong) – To sustain the 48th Hong Kong International Film Festival’s momentum, Cine Fan will launch an exciting programme in its upcoming May/June/July edition, showcasing the deadpan comedy of Aki Kaurismäki and exploring psychedelic cinema.

The 14-film Kaurismäki retrospective, titled The Other Side of Comedy – The Films of Aki Kaurismäki, is a collaboration between Cine Fan and Broadway Cinematheque.  It aims to celebrate the unique visual style and dark humour of the Finnish master filmmaker, combining elements of neorealism and fairy tales and shedding light on the struggles of the working class.  Despite their poker faces, these characters harbour existential frustrations and desires, ultimately finding glimpses of hope.

The selection takes the audience on a cinematic journey through Kaurismäki’s career, starting from his solemn debut Crime and Punishment, the comically absurd Calamari Union, to style-defining works such as Shadows in Paradise and I Hired a Contract KillerThe Loser Trilogy, consisting of Drifting Clouds, the Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner The Man Without a Past, and Lights in the Dusk, along with his two films on the refugee crisis, Le Havre and The Other Side of Hope, are also must-see films.

In contrast to Kaurismäki’s deadpan comedic style, the Psychedelia – Cinema as a Fever Dream programme features ten films that create altered states of reality and hallucinogenic experiences beyond the influence of psychedelic drugs.  The journey begins with Dennis Hopper’s 1969 counterculture classic Easy Rider, which captured the socio-political climate of its time.  Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s Performance explores identity flips and free love through rock star Mick Jagger, while Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange delves into mind manipulation.  Other films in this programme include Wojciech Jerzy Has’ surrealist masterpiece The Hourglass Sanatorium, Ken Russell’s outrageous rock opera Tommy, and Gaspar Noé’s transcendental epic Enter the Void.  These films offer twisted colours, technical wizardry, and mind-bending storytelling across various genres and cinematic styles.

The Qatsi Trilogy by Godfrey Reggio also explores the altered states of consciousness.  Consisting of Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, and Naqoyqatsi: Life as War, these films provide immersive sensory experiences that reflect on the impact of human civilization accompanied by Philip Glass’ captivating scores.

Additionally, the Back to the Screen and The Golden Age sections complement the theme of altered consciousness by featuring four frenetic and awe-inspiring films: Gus Van Sant’s counterculture classic Drugstore Cowboy, Terry Gilliam’s visual extravaganza Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, John Frankenheimer’s paranoid psychological thriller Seconds, and John Boorman’s hallucinogenic neo-noir Point Blank.  Shirley Clarke’s ground-breaking debut, The Connection, which fearlessly confronts the harsh reality of drug addiction, completes the line-up.

For the complete programme and schedule of Cine Fan’s May/June/July edition, please visit the official website at https://cinefan.com.hk.  Tickets for all screenings will be available at URBTIX outlets starting from 5 April.