Resfest’s quirkiness hits the screen

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Resfest’s quirkiness hits the screen

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Resolution, as a concept, is not something one ordinarily thinks of as festive.
Unless it’s Resfest.
The international visual arts festival, which kicked off yesterday in Seoul and ends Nov. 19 in the Namsan Drama Center and the Seoul Anicinema, features 455 short and long visual art works from nearly 30 countries. The show will also have midnight screenings tonight, tomorrow and next Saturday night. (Tickets for midnight screenings sell out quickly, so act fast.)
Resfest began in a small basement apartment in San Francisco in the mid-90’s, but it continued to grow, incorporating talented visual artists, some of whom went on to find fame as directors, such as Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham.
The festival not only runs visual arts in theatres, but also holds various events including exhibitions, parties and a talk show.
One talk show, titled “What’s Your Big Idea?” boasts a table of rising stars in the field of visual arts, including Francois Vogel, the artist behind the famous square frames of Hewlett-Packard commercials; representatives from Japan’s Teevee Graphics, a favorite of past Resfests, and Heinz Hermanns, one of the producers of “Interfilm,” a German international short film festival.
Among the visual art works are short pieces that combine film, animation and computer graphics, in a category called “Global Shorts.” The works use cutting-edge technology and innovative images to tell quirky stories. In one short film, “What Goes Up Must Come Down,” London taxi drivers rap in the city’s peculiar hip-hop style. The film “Winner Takes Steve,” takes a look into the competitive mindset of the American middle class.
Some works deal with heavier themes. “Fallen Art” shows the tragic nature of dictatorships, and “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?” asks the puzzling question to the viewers.
Resfest is particularly appealing to fans of techno music and electronica; it includes music videos by artists such as the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Towa Tei, Jonas Odell, Jamiroquai and Fatboy Slim.
Documentaries on sports and short films on trends and cultural issues are another mainstay of the event: two examples are “Ginga,” a 60-minute documentary on soccer in Brazil and “Avenue Amy” a rotoscoped animation version of the sitcom, “Sex and the City.”
Other sections include “Artists’ Retrospective,” “Korea Screenings” and “Special Screenings.”
Ticket prices vary from 7,000 won ($7) to 35,000 won. For more information, visit www.resfest.co.kr or call (02) 798-7759.


by Choi Sun-young
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