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FESTIVALS Netherlands

...Cloud hovers over Rotterdam

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- David Verbeek’s Taiwan-set How to Describe a Cloud premieres in Rotterdam

...Cloud hovers over Rotterdam

Dutch director David Verbeek is back in Rotterdam with his latest project, the low-budget drama How to Describe a Cloud [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. His Shanghai Trance was part of the Tiger Awards competition in 2008 and his Club Zeus [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Verbeek
film profile
]
 had its world premiere at the festival in 2011, after Verbeek detoured to the Un Certain Regard section in 2010 for his R U There [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Verbeek, director of …
film profile
]
, which was also set in Taiwan.

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How to Describe a Cloud was made for miniscule budget while Verbeek was waiting for the funding of his upcoming Chinese vampire feature Dead & Beautiful to come together.

Cloud tells the story of Liling (Lu Huang), a young woman who’s a DJ in Taipei, who has to face the blindness of her aging mother, who lives in a tiny fishing village. Her mother suggests she’s developing a sixth sense to replace the loss of her vision, something her city-girl daughter finds hard to believe.

The fact she only drops in occasionally on her mother causes friction with her brother, who looks after her in her absence. At the same time, the professionally successful daughter takes up a friendship with a retired biologist who’s supplementing his pension by making science-fiction drawings that seem somehow connected to everything else that is happening — perhaps through a sixth sense?

With camerawork that follows the characters closely, Verbeek here allows the humanity and psychology of the characters to emerge from the many scenes of domestic and apparently everyday situations, which are, however, revealed to be something altogether more spiritual and beautiful in an otherworldly sense.

The film was produced by Wout Conijn for Conijn Films and is one of the ten films that’s part of the festival’s new Big Screen Award competition for films without a Dutch distributor. The winner will receive a guaranteed theatrical release in the Netherlands.

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