Thursday, September 29, 2005

EFL - Piff!

The time has come once again to revel in the pre-year-2000 romanisation of the name of this city. The Pusan International Film Festival, PIFF, is coming to Busan once again from 6th-14th October. Apparently films have been selling out much faster than usual this year as many detestable souls have been buying up tickets to sell off at inflated prices on auction.com.

On the theme, here are a couple of tried and tested class ideas tenuously related to Asia's best* and biggest film festival (*Time Asia, Nov. 2004):

Brainstorming/writing movie outlines.

1. Pick up a copy of the movie listings for the festival. Select a handful of film titles that could be interpreted in various ways and write these on the board. Some examples from this year are: The Child, Big River, One Summer with You, Reaching Silence, Ghosts, Love is a Crazy Thing, Waiting, Five is Too Many, The Shoe Fairy, Writing on the Earth, The Hero, Holiday.

2. In small groups, students should agree on one of the titles that inspires them. From this, they can brainstorm ideas, choosing one they feel they can adequately flesh out, and create an outline or storyboard.

3. With the rest of the class listening interestedly as the film company execs, each group in turn should make a short presentation (the more dramatically performed, the better) to try sell their idea for big bucks. The film execs can say yay or nay, or give suggestions for further development.

Mix and Match.

Following the same broad plan as above, in pairs or small groups, students should choose a number of elements from each of the categories below (again, mainly from the PIFF screenings guide) and weave them together into a possible film outline or storyboard. Of course, they're free to throw in their own ideas too.

Possible Characters -- an ageing shopkeeper, a man just out of prison, a high-flying professional woman, a small dog, a famous singer, a political activist, a hot-shot reporter, the mummy of an ancient queen of China, a woman in a wheelchair, a transvestite, a stripper, a wise old man, the President, a pair of lovers, a busker, a theif, a monster, a reluctant hero,...

Possible Happenings -- an adopted baby, a fierce war, New Year's Eve, a gunshot in the night, a bombing at a nightclub, a daring robbery, a life-changing journey, a theft, a suspicious phone call, a duel, a boxing/sumo match, a marriage of convenience, explosions, a car chase in [insert city of your choice here], a bank robbery,...

Possible Themes -- love, hope and destiny; loneliness; fear; desire; the chaos of life; displacement and foreignness; freedom; personal and social responsibility; marriage; the importance of community; changes in life; journeys; language barriers; eternal love;...

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