REEL ASIAN Rating: NNNN
The gem among Toronto's fall festivals returns with a glittering mix of the local and the far-flung. Greg Pak's Robot Stories kicks it off Wednesday night (November 26, 7 pm, Bloor), filtering themes of Asian-American dislocation through some smart Twilight Zone scenarios.
The festival continues through next weekend, with a focus on Indonesia and a SARS-relief collection of shorts by some of Hong Kong's biggest filmmakers (Sunday, November 30, 7 pm, Royal). Titled 1:99 - after the anti-SARS bleach-to-water solution - the program includes one-minute films by Tsui Hark, Fruit Chan, Mabel Cheung and Peter Chan, who will attend.
Reel Asian also packs in a homegrown program featuring new work by Ho Tam, Hohyun Joung and others (Thursday, November 27, 7 pm, Innis College) and a screening of Inner Senses, the final film from actor Leslie Cheung, who committed suicide in April (Friday, November 28, 9 pm).
Best discovery - Curtis Choy's Dupont Guy: The Schiz Of Grant Avenue (Sunday, November 30, 3 pm, NFB Mediatheque). It uses freewheeling street footage and spoken word to stake out a strong Yellow Power position. Made in 1976 and still righteous. (November 26-30, various venues)