Tips

Pete Wu's IFFR tips

What are festival insiders, tastemakers and creatives most looking forward to at this edition of IFFR? We asked journalist, author and programme-maker Pete Wu, whose non-fiction book De bananengeneratie (The Banana Generation) was recently published. 

Paradise Drifters by Mees Peijnenburg
Raw road movie about three teens who only have each other. Heart-rending, intense acting from the young cast.

Why?
“This raw, fearless debut from super-talent Mees Peijnenburg – who also directed my very first commercial – has all my favourite elements, including young people trying to get away from something, be it life or themselves. Paradise Drifters takes Dutch film to the next level.”

Ema by Pablo Larraín
Dance and drama combine seamlessly in this audiovisual spectacle in which a foster mother tries to get her adopted child back.

Why?
“The kinetic new film by Chilean director Pablo Larraín, who I remember from the surprising No (his smouldering Pinochet film) and the disappointing Jackie (his Hollywood adventure). Gael García Bernal and Mariana Di Girolamo literally dance through the scenes and past all the drama as a choreographer and dancer whose adopted child is taken from them – she in any event is not about to accept this. The soundtrack is by Chilean electronic artist Nicolas Jaar (son of IFFR 2019 jury member Alfredo Jaar!).”

El cazador
15-year old homosexual Ezéquiel’s sexual awakening rapidly lands him in a moral dilemma. Compact, conspicuously subdued drama by Argentinian director Marco Berger, who won the Berlin festival's Teddy Award for Ausente in 2011.

Why?
“The latest film from Marco Berger – sensually filmed as always, during a hot Argentine summer. But this one is different from the maker’s other works. Whereas his gay classics Taekwondo and The Blonde One show almost nothing other than the beautiful, smouldering glances of the stunning lead actors – brimming with desire for one another – here, Berger tackles a much more highly charged topic: sexual extortion.”

Talk: Asian Stereotyping in Western Media
Pete Wu, author of De bananengeneratie (The Banana Generation), discusses stereotyping of East Asian film characters, illustrated by film clips.

Why?
“My own talk at IFFR 2020 on themes from my recently published book De bananengeneratie. From Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Charlie Chan through Ik hou van Holland to vriendl00s and The Farewell: in this talk, I will discuss how the Western media (particularly films, television programmes and social media) influence our view of East Asian men and women, especially in the Netherlands – and how this is going to improve.”

Photo in header: Pete Wu