Thursday, January 6, 2011

Soundless Wind Chime (無聲風鈴) Directed by Kit Hung (洪榮傑)

This film had the same atmosphere as Lanyu (藍宇) and Miss Kicki (霓虹心), although it was slightly lighter and more self indulgent than the former and not as driven and funny as the latter. The film was low on dialogue and the plot was confusing, the denouement, as with a ton of recent indie films, lacked any sense of clarity. What the director seems to drive towards is an ambiance rather than telling a story, which takes away from the enjoyment of the film, as the typical indie desire to challenge the audience to come up with their own interpretation of the plot can often lead the audience to respond with indifference rather than curiosity. The film felt as if the director had thought up some good ideas for screen shots, and vague ideas of the relationship that was featured in the film, but these ideas were fractured and never really developed on from this point, so that the characters appear two dimensional to some extent. I appreciated the aesthetic and the music in the film, but it could have done with a clearer direction editing wise, and less indulgent crying shots.

By the end of the film I was confused as to which bits were real and which bits were fantasy or flashbacks, especially the Pascal/Ueli plot line which just ended without any hint of resolution. There were two possibilities I guess, the first that Pascal had died, and Ricky had traveled to Switzerland to grieve for him, then projected his memories of Pascal onto a Swiss guy. The other possibility was that Pascal lost his memory and returned to Switzerland. The former fits in more clearly with Ueli coming for his mother (taking her to her death). Neither is obvious, however, and by the time one reached this point in the film it is quite hard to care because there has already been too much jumping around in the film's narration.

The cross-cultural gay relationship was done slightly better in Miss Kicki, a film I enjoyed a lot more. I did think there was a good depiction of cross cultural relationships, and the inevitable problems that they run into.

It's not a film that is particularly worth watching, but it's not unpleasant to watch either, nice music, some nice shots of Hong Kong and China.


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