Wednesday, May 31, 2006

a love story not worth pursuing

no i'm not talking about my own life ;) but a movie i watched yesterday. it was a case of fronting up at the cinema, and trying to pick out something to see. of the few options which were deemed watchable, 'love story' was the shortest wait by a few hours. i had figured that it's been some time since i watched a chinese movie, and since i'm in a country where access to such films in the cinema is more readily available, why not take advantage of the opportunity? even when i was informed that it is a local production (which i did not initially realise), i was still hopeful for something passable in the form of a mildly entertaining or touching romantic drama.

how wrong i was.

from the opening sequence to the closing credits, i was lost. and frustrated. so much so that i could not be bothered trying to figure out what was going on in the screen in front me, and at one stage i almost fell asleep -- a rarity in my cinematic outings, overnight movie marathons not withstanding. i really can't even be bothered trying to explain why this movie sucked so much, other than to say "arty farty" (which is so not me), and to quote from the review linked above:
Unfortunately, Tong [director]’s own lofty ambitions in his script, punches a large dent in this curious and often erratic film. His insistence and overuse of highly derivative, metaphysical and experimental story-telling techniques leave much to be accomplished. The plot meanders too much midway and it starts to become a chore just to keep up with the writer’s own extremities in dealing with the abstract boundaries of fact and fiction. It becomes arrogant in its self-consciousness and is devoid of a personality.
yeah. don't bother man. the closing statement speaks thus: A brave and exciting new direction for local cinema, but becomes too much of an effort even for the most willing. i really don't know whether i would use words like brave and exciting if this is the direction in which local cinema here is headed... but i can certainly attest to the "too much of an effort" for this rather unwilling viewer.

- - - - -

speaking of unwilling viewing and falling asleep, i caught 'perhaps love' on the flight over here. well, caught some of it at least. i had heard about this movie when it was showing on the screens at a local eatery back home. this place (coffee square) is a place i tend to avoid, because it feels too honkie for this non-chinese speaking chinese person. i almost feel some sort of reverse discrimination whenever i'm there. the place does not have an english-friendly feel (possibly different if you are/look non-chinese), and i only went this time to follow the crowd, which included two honkies :p

they stuffed up my order (my theory being that the waiter's english wasn't up to scratch and thought i meant "portugese" when i actually said "mexican"), which meant i had to wait extra long for my food. anyways js gave a brief synopsis of the movie as we waited, and so i saw a few scenes and had enough familiarity to be able to recognise it when i saw it in the inflight movies lineup.

another arty offering with bigger budget and more famous actors. didn't have as much trouble following the plot (which was still somewhat confusing), though it certainly didn't help that the small screen meant rather hard to read subtitles. i tried with this one... but tiredness got the better of me and i gave up halfway in, opting to try for some sleep instead.

didn't manage much success with that either, and i'm slowly trying to catch up this week. oh it's nice to be able to sleep in!

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