With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, June 04, 2012

ACF 1490: MAGIC AND LOSS

Kiki Sugino (left) and Kim Kkhobi
  Magic and Loss (2010)
Directed by Lim Kah Wai
When: Tuesday, June 5 at 0:00 PM
and Saturday, June 9 at 3:00 PM
Where: Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003
Map here
US Premiere

The 6th Annual Korean American Film Festival New York (KAFFNY) begins tomorrow night at Anthology Film Archives with a double feature. The international premiere of Should've Kissed will take place at 7:00 PM, and there will be a Q&A with director/actor Jinoh Park and actress Marina Michelson.

Malaysian director Kim Kah Wai's Magic and Loss will follow at 9:00 PM. It's a most unusual vacation film. Two young women, played by  Kim Kkhobi from Korean indie juggernaut Breathless and  Korean-Japanese indie actress/producer Kiki Sugino (L'Hospitalite), arrive via ferry at Mui Wo, a resort on the eastern coast of Lantau Island in Hong Kong harbor.

Kiki at the waterfalls

Before they get to the hotel, the desk clerk puts up a sign that indicates the resort is full. But he accepts the coupon each of the young women have for a free, if brief, stay and checks them in. He's the only staff seen in the film. And for the most part, none of the other guests are in evidence either.

When they check out, Kiki tells the clerk that she has lost an heirloom and asks him to call her if it is found, which he agrees to do. In what seems no time at all, the two return and check in again. However, the desk clerk informs them that there is only one room available and that it has only a single large bed. They agree to share it.

Kiki and Kim

They go out for a walk and a meal with the the desk clerk, join some others in a room, and visit a waterfalls where a tragic event had taken place.

The film is mysterious and enigmatic, a puzzle that to me seemed to be missing some pieces. By this I mean that I personally felt it was a bit under-developed; others certainly may feel differently.

In any case, Magic and Loss is a very interesting film that will spark lively post-screening discussion. It's open to a variety of interpretations, the hallmark of a worthwhile film.

Tonight's screening will be preceded by opening remarks by Jo Keita, sound designer/music composer of Magic and Loss. (Keita currently is a student here in New York; he is also Ms. Sugino's younger brother.)

Magic and Loss is co-presented with Japan Society. For information about it and the other films playing at KAFFNY, visit www.kaffny.com.

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