Posted by: kfugrip | March 3, 2007

Popping my Hou Hsiao-Hsien cherry

Millennium Mambo, by Hou Hsiao-Hsien is the first film by the filmmaker that I’ve seen. I gave it 3 stars on netflix. The film had many things going for it. Beautiful camera work, beautiful actress, intimate performances, all added to the package.

My criticism has more to do with the structure. There were segments with voice-over, which indicated a transition, I got that, but the voice-over would narrate something that we would see in a later scene. Also, the film jumps in time but there was some confusion as to when things were happening. I do have a sense of how it worked but this film is so emotional and non-rational that I found it distracting to wonder what the sequence of events was. Also this was more of a mood piece and a character study, which is why I didn’t rate it higher. I feel that if one is going to have a story of this kind that it should depict a more intense or emotional story. The scale should be bigger, perhaps.

The best thing about the film was the performances, in particular Qi Shu in the lead roll of Vicky. I think that there is something about foreign films that lets me see the performances better. I don’t get distracted by words as much. It’s all about behavior when the film is in another language.

I look forward to geeing more of the director’s work.



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