Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 Urban Nomad to return to Ximen

The 2014 Urban Nomad will return to Ximen, holding the festival in the heart of Taipei's film culture at the Lux Cinema on Wuchang St, known to most as simply the "movie street." The festival will be held from May 9 to 18 with a free warm-up event on April 26 or 27.

This will be the first time Urban Nomad holds the entire festival in Ximen and the first time it shows films in the neighborhood known as the home of commercial cinema in Taipei. The last time Urban Nomad was in Ximen was in 2008 and 2009, when it held its opening party at the Paris Night Club, a 1960s-era night club located above the Hoover Cinema (since rebranded as the in89 Cinema). Those parties inspired the first ever "Back to Spin", a lasting series of retro-themed parties popular among Taiwan's rockers. For the last four years, Urban Nomad has held all of its film screenings at the Huashan 1914 Arts District, initially building our own cinema in industrial warehouse spaces and last year moving to the newly SPOT Huashan Cinema, a new addition to the arts district.
James Franco監製的Kink(暫譯:愉瘧性工業)》

In all, this year will feature around two dozen feature films, including international award-winning documentaries and locally produced feature films, a competition for Taiwanese short films, and new competition sections for animation and Taiwanese indie music videos. 

An early list of international films confirmed for this year's festival includes MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS, the tour documentary on the Grammy winning band The National. Pitchfork writes that this is "the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap" and Michael Moore has called it "one of the best documentaries about a band I've ever seen."

OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON, a documentary on LA's indie hip hop scene, has been getting rave reviews since its world premier at SXSW earlier this month, enjoyed sold-out screenings at for its theatrical release in LA and is generating tons of excitement. The film focuses on the life and career of DJ Peanut Butter Wolf and his label, Stones Throw Records. The supporting cast is a who’s who of West coast hip hop, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Mike D, Quest Love, Mad Lib, A-Trak, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Common and many others. This lineup in it self is a testament to Stones Throw and its enduring contributions to an incredible scene.

Other films we can announce at present include the James Franco produced KINK, a documentary on the world's largest producer of BDSM pornography. When you see ropes, leather or a Sybian and wonder "What the hell are they thinking?" this doc will give you an answer.

Two international docs with Taiwan connections will be included. UNHUNG HERO is a comic doc hosted by stand-up comedian Patrick Moote, somewhat in the tradition of Morgan Spurlock. Moote proposed marriage to his girlfriend on the Jumbotron at a Lakers game, but she rejected him because his penis is too small. This film is his quest to investigate the question, "Does size really matter?" His travels take him to Papua New Guinea, Korea, Las Vegas and Snake Alley in Taipei. He also does some penis weight lifting with the local chi gong sect, the 99 Shen Gong.

Our Vinyl Weights A Ton

Mistaken For Strangers
MONK WITH A CAMERA tells the story of the grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. Nicholas Vreeland grew up an international jet-setter and studied under the greatest fashion photographers of his day, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. But at the age of 30, he gave up high society to become a Buddhist monk. He has since become a key figure in popularizing Tibetan Buddhism in the West, editing the writings of Dalai Lama into New York Times best-sellers and becoming the first Western abbot of a Buddhist monastery in 2012. As Taipei is also a hot-spot of Tibetan Buddhism, he visits several times a year and has a sizable local following.

Unhung Hero?

Monk With A Camera