Monday, March 05, 2007

Notes on some films

4:30 (Royston Tan, Singapore, 2005)
After 15, 4:30 deals also with youth in contemporary Singapore, but focuses on the relationships between a boy, Xiao Wu and a depressed Korean man who occupy the same appartment even though they never utter a word at each other. The film depicts their loneliness, their incapacity of communicate, it's mainly taken from the boy's point of view and I must admit that some scenes reminded me of Eric Khoo's films, particularly the scene when the son is at school class which is shot in the same manner than in Tan's segment Talk to Her and the general tone, the pacing, the minimalist composition, the loneliness of the characters, isolation and absence remind of Tsai Ming-liang's style.
official website
His next film is a musical feature film, 881 see more news here

Mee Pok Man
(Eric Khoo, Singapore, 1995)
Mee Pok Man is named after a cheap fish noodle dish, Mee Pok, that he sells at a local stall where prostitutes, pimps regularly come. He's a silent, recluse man. His love to a prostitute, Bunny, whose only wish is to get out of this situation in any ways, becomes more and more of an obsession. The depiction the daily life of those characters in a modern urban environment is quite raw, bleak without any artifice and a bit morbid towards the end. Even though the characters are rather pathetic, it still works.
official site

My Mother is a Belly Dancer (Lee Kung-Lok, HK, 2006)
For some reasons I was expected something more original, however the film makes a change with its social content from the usual HK production. A group of wives, "see lai", (in other words, "sloppy housewives suffering from loss of youthfulness, beauty, and passion" see Focus Films website) living in a council estate decides to learn how to dance oriental belly dancing which causes or bring up some social family tensions.
Each character is well-played, and the film seems quite fresh but it still lacks of something to make it more innovative and deeper.

After this Our Exile (Patrick Tam, HK , 2006)
Another Focus Films, the film makes the return of the new-wave HK director, Patrick Tam and deals with family matter in a social context, and moreover with father and son relationship.
The film stars Aaron Kwok (better in any other roles he did, but still..), Charlie Young (no much presence here). Great cinematography by Mark Lee Ping-Ban (HHH's cinematographer).

Eternal Summer (Leste Chen, Taiwan, 2006)
I was so disappointed by it, perhaps this film is good for a very young adolescent audience in search for naive romance, and the omnipresence of piano or violin is too overdone.



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