Shanghai 2013

  • Brandon Wee


SHANGHAI 2013 Shanghai is playing an interesting hand early into its tenure as China’s most established festival, shaped by the Chinese film industry’s dynamic growth and the Beijing International Film Festival’s upstart claim for national preeminence. It could play its ace in promoting Mainland Chinese films, yet Shanghai hasn’t exploited this potential. This leaves Asian programming as its next best card, but Asian films at its 16th edition (15–23 June 2013) lacked range and vigour, especially in its fevered Japanese and Thai line-ups. Retrospectives felt more visible this year: apart from ones dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock, Ozu Yasujiro, Oliver Stone and Tang Xiaodan, Shanghai paid a nine-film tribute to the late singer-actor Leslie Cheung on his tenth anniversary. But organizers denied the same courtesy to Anita Mui, an equally talented hyphenate who also died in 2003, and whose amity and working rapport with Cheung certainly justified a shared tribute....