無聲風鈴 Soundless Wind Chime 3.5 / 5
"In Search of Traces of the Deceased through a
Dreamlike Amalgam of Reality, Memories & Imagination"
Amalgamating reality with memories and imagination, Soundless Wind Chime is a dreamlike journey on which Ricky embarks in search of traces of his lover who has passed away.When our lovers pass away, we tend to search for connections with them in a number of ways. We may call them and wonder if they will answer the call. We may visit their places and hug their belongings. We may believe a wind chime will ring when the souls come back as moths. Despite our awareness of their death, it is difficult for us to “let go” and we unconsciously want to get in touch with them. At the end of the film, the wind chime does not ring, which conveys a message that we have to accept the death of our beloved
people, no matter how much we miss them.
The director’s attempt to blur the boundary between reality, memories and imagination is much appreciated. For example, when an old lady with Alzheimer's disease suddenly and surrealistically sings and dances, it can be Ricky’s imagination or the lady’s memory. When Ricky’s mother who is very sick can sing and walk, one may wonder if it is a sudden spurt of activity prior to collapse (迴光反照) or just her imagination. In Switzerland, does Ricky really meet someone who looks like Pasgel or is it just his imagination that Pasgel is still with him?
Switzerland, Hong Kong and Beijing are beautifully shot and their unique features are successfully highlighted. For instance, the Hong Kong scenes show an old fashioned Hong Kong Style Café (茶餐廳), Tenement House (唐樓) and Hong Kong trams (Ding Ding). Besides, the snowy mountains in Switzerland are breathtaking and the taxis in Beijing are
very different from the ones in Hong Kong. These images will surely linger in your mind when you leave the cinema. What’s more, I agree with the director that the Swiss scenes are more static than the Hong Kong scenes and the Beijing scenes are most realistic. I also agree that the Swiss scenes shot in winter capture the emptiness of the silent landscape, while the Hong Kong scenes shot in summer show the hustle and bustle of city life. This contrast symbolizes that Ricky and Pascal are physically distant. Apart from these, using a hand-held camera fits this dreamlike movie.
The mesmerizing music, spiced with a hypnotizing female voice and some sounds of a wind chime, not only matches the rhythm of this dreamlike story, but also adds melancholy and elegance to this soul-seeking journey. The haunting Chinese song sung by a little girl at the end of the movie also beautifully conveys Ricky’s feelings.
Lu Yulai acts quite naturally, while Bernhard Bulling slightly underacts his dual role as Pascal and Ueli who have very different personalities. The actress who plays an old lady with Alzheimer's disease delivers the most memorable performance and the middle-aged women (師奶) working in the Hong Kong style cafe act very naturally and bring the audience
the most hilarious moment, despite their brief appearances in the film.
Despite the above-mentioned strengths, the movie is not flawless. First, the story interweaving the present with the past, combined with three shooting locations and the director’s attempt to blur the boundary between reality and imagination, seems too much for a novice director to handle, which may lead to difficulty in following the story and understanding
the messages, though I concur with the director that it may be a good idea to present a film about memories in a non-chronological fashion. Second, Ricky’s motive for inviting a pickpocket to live with him is unclear and their relationship worsens too suddenly. Their relationship can be further developed so that more snippets of their love story can be recalled.
On the whole, Soundless Wind Chime, a poetic feast to the eyes and ears, will cast a spell over the audience. As a director’s debut feature, this beautiful movie is definitely worth our support.
色迷．謎 Diary of a Sex Addict 3 / 5
Diary of a Sex Addict is a Spanish drama about a woman's growing awareness of her need for sex, love and recognition. The symbolic implication of green and red apples is interesting and the music matches the rhythm of the story. However, the main character's motive for working as a prostitute should be further developed. First, although she is short of money, she is well educated enough to look for a job. She has a choice! Second, despite her strong desire for sex, she can choose his dream men and have one night stands because
she is beautiful. It is not necessary for her to work as a prostitute. Third, I wonder if a sex addict can refrain from having sex with others even when she is in love with a man who cannot sexually satisfy her. Because of these reasons, her sudden decision to work as a prostitute to satisfy her need for sex is neither necessary nor convincing.
二十四城記 24 City 3 / 5
This movie is a mixture of documentary and drama, talking about the harsh and gloomy lives of the Mainland workers. Most of the stories told are interesting and the images are nice. However, it features not only real people, but also some actors. Some of them overact, especially the girl standing near the window and burst into tears, and some stars are too charismatic to look like an ordinary worker. As a result, this documentary looks less convincing.
小飛B Ricky 3 / 5
Ricky is a story about loss and letting go. I do love the symbolic use of chicken wings, an angel's wings, a wallpaper with clouds, birds' voices, etc. They also imply that the working class people in France want freedom. Moreover, there are some funny moments in the film, but one can feel the depressing sufferings of a working mother without a husband. Besides, the acting and props are also nice. However, when a surreal event somehow suddenly happens in a realistic movie, I cannot be engaged. Why doesn't the mother look for a doctor and why doesn't she look very shocked? Why doesn't she call Ricky's Dad? The story itself is not convincing enough. My favorite Ozon's films are still Under the Sand, Angel, 5X2 and Time to Leave.
哈利波特 - 混血王子的背叛 Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince 3 / 5
The sixth Harry Potter film is a visually stunning and quite entertaining mixture of humor, romance, horror suspense and fantasy. Daniel Radcliffe also possesses a sense of humor. However, the love stories told are like clichéd romantic comedies and they do not help develop the characters. Worse still, they are hardly relevant to the story which should focus on the Half-blood Prince. Although some ideas are funny and help relieve the tension, I prefer the tension further built up in order to prepare for the last two installments. Besides, the ending, i.e. their visit to a cave during the last 30 minutes, comes too
suddenly. On the whole, there are lots of elements in this film and it is generally entertaining, but the story lacks development and focus.
極速緋聞 Speeding Scandal - 3.5 / 5