Thursday, May 24, 2007


I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (Tsai Ming Liang, 2007)

I missed his retrospective in Central Market some time ago. *sigh* Exams be damned!

The first Tsai Ming Liang film that was filmed back in his home-country. An examination of 'loneliness'(a recurring theme in his films) amidst the bustling, claustrophobic Kuala Lumpur. As to be expected; minimal dialogues, 'meditative' pacing and perfectly framed, long, static shots are inevitable in a Tsai Ming Liang film.

Tsai perfectly captures the sense of 'seclusion' of his protagonists. That is, their need for 'soulful' connection, far surpasses the need for verbal communications.

It's amazing, really, the level of detail that has been put in each scene, each frame. There is so much too look at, to marvel at, in the intricate details embedded in every long, static shots. It's almost like every movement was choreographed, but at the same time, feels naturalistic. It is filled so much with visual beauty, that my mouth was left gaped in awe most of the time. Indeed, under Tsai's unique flair, KL have never looked this beautiful. Even in those damp alleyways, squatterhouses and abandoned constructions. The last shot, in particular, is simply breathtaking.

Although after the first half the film kind of meanders on a bit and the novelty of the 'new locale'(Kuala Lumpur) starts to succumb to wear, the film's finale is more than enough to reward your patience. The film is truly a sumptuous cinematic experience, and must be fully appreciated on the big screen.

Verdict: 4/5

28 WEEKS LATER (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)

The sequel to Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. Although I still prefer the orignal, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo still managed to brew a worthy enough successor to one of the best horror films ever. Frenetically fast paced, with hardly any pauses for a breather, this is as gripping, and thrilling as you can get from any movie this summer (I'm doubtful of Pirates 3 and Transformers to reach this height in terms of entertainment value. But we'll see.).

Although it falters in terms of 'humanistic' elements that was prevalent in the original, 28 Weeks Later redeems itself with pure adrenaline rush. Frequent jolts, buckets of blood and gore, and inventive action set pieces elevate to a very commendable horror/action flick. It even managed to slip in a critical commentary on the US-army interference (More like a slap in the face for the American 'military power').

The movie left me exhausted. In a good way.

Verdict: 3.5/5


TheBigKahuna said...

i loved 28 days later, but i haven't seen the sequel to know if it's any good. maybe i'll isohunt it later today.

about that tsai ming liang film, is the picture like, Filem Negara-ish type or Hollywood indie-ish type?

maberik said...

tsai ming liang is an international filmmaker. so it's technically NOT a Malaysian film (although thematically i think it captured the 'Malaysian' vibe more so than our own local films). it's just a film that is coincidentally set in Kuala Lumpur. so obviously the 'picture' meets the quality standard.

28 days later is a classic. 28 weeks later is more 'brainless', but it's still enjoyable enough.

fadz said...

kahuna, u will hATE tsai ming liang as i know u tak tahan filem2 static shots. maberik, aku bengang, fasal aku dah beli tiket tu kat popular tapi aku takde sape nak teman nak tgk dan cineleisure is just too far for me to go and layan...haikh, susah tul..

28 weeks later best lah..scene helikopter tu penghormatan pada Dawn of Dead, filem zombi kedua Romero (and of coz, the idea of commercialism, and the failure of the military to control the situation)