Atomic Heart (Ali Ahmadzadeh) [Iran] 93 mins – Decked out in dyed hair and rhapsodizing on life in their twenties, a pair of partiers cruise the Tehran streets and along the way encounter a chic old friend and a charmer with a devilish side. Without a doubt the most surreal new Iranian film is also the coolest.
- Tuesday, November 10 @ 8:55 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
Being Good (Mipo O) [Japan] 121 mins – A teacher has about had it with his rowdy students. A mother realizes she hasn’t a clue how to discipline her young daughter. Director Mipo O captures the anxiousness of childcare with paralyzing effect, but also a realist’s take on adults’ desires – even inclinations – for doing the right thing.
- Tuesday, November 10 @ 5:20 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
- Wednesday, November 11 @ 8:00 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi) [Japan] 317 mins – The precious balance holding together four best friends is tested when one announces that she will be divorcing her husband. With a grandeur and detail afforded by its running time, HAPPY HOUR explores that balance through a feat of fortitude and the poise of simply “being there” between friends.
- Tuesday, November 10 @ 1:00 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
- Wednesday, November 11 @ 1:00 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
The Kids (Wei-Shan Yu) [Taiwan] 90 mins – Bao-Li and Jia-Jia meet in middle school and become forever connected in this remarkable debut by Sunny Yu, who structures her document of youth as a mystery with overlapping revelations. As money problems, the pressure of family, and the seduction of redemption mount, so does the film’s willful sympathy.
- Saturday, November 7 @ 3:05 pm – UCSD Calit2 Atkinson Hall Auditorium
The Master (Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit) [Thailand] 80 mins – Thai filmmakers and critics reminisce on the neatly-kept corner stall of a bustling market, where in the 1990s, a shadowy entrepreneur sold lovingly-smuggled works of world cinema on VHS, and inadvertently transformed the face of Thai cinema forever.
- Sunday, November 8 @ 6:40 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
- Thursday, November 12 @ 4:00 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
Snakeskin (Daniel Hui) [Portugal, Singapore] 105 mins – In 2066, the remaining member of a cult looks back on its history when he discovers film footage of its pre-founding in 2014. Altogether strange and death-defying, this is an alternative history of Singapore told from the future, showing racial and cultural fault lines manifesting as a nation’s ghosts-in-the-making.
- Thursday, November 12 @ 8:45 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
Snow Paths (Kim Hee-jung) [South Korea] 100 mins – An alcoholic checks into a forest convent for rehabilitation, but has an icy relationship with the nuns – that is, until he meets one with an other-worldly obligation to him. Their connection is just one of many enigmas in a film blurring religious and secular, burning passion and the cold of winter.
- Friday, November 6 @ 8:35 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley
Swap (Remton Zuasola) [Philippines] 96 mins – Staged in a magnificent single take while zipping in time and shifting breathlessly across locations, SWAP follows a young couple as they confront the unimaginable: the kidnapping of their son. The film’s theatrics foreground a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse, while the ghosts of social upheaval loom behind the curtains.
- Monday, November 9 @ 6:20 pm – UltraStar Mission Valley