Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »
The impact of the decline of heavy industry on workers and their families in the Tiexi district of Shenyang, China, at the turn of the 21st century, documented unflinchingly by a fly-on-the-wall camera.
After the Portuguese government demolishes his slum and relocates him to a housing project on the outskirts of Lisbon, 75-year-old Cape Verde immigrant Ventura wanders between his new and ... See full summary »
The hype surrounding Apichatpong seems to me unwarranted. I am reminded of Roger Ebert's comments on Abbas Kiarostami and being utterly unconvinced of the value of his films.
First, there is no story. As soon as a story might be emerging, "Joe" (as he likes to be called these days) moves to something utterly unrelated. He has said that he conceives of nature as an opportunity for the characters to do some self-reflection. This sounds good, but there are no characters to speak of, and except for Orn, no acting whatsoever. No information is given about what they might be reflecting about, and story elements are allowed to vanish (like the distant gunshot).
The slowness itself didn't bother me, but the much-heralded Apichatpong can learn something from Tony Bui, whose first feature film "Three Seasons" is FAR better at the languid development than this. Or look at any of Ousman Sembene's films for the skillful use of dreadfully unskillful non-actors. There is just no excuse, in my mind, for such a self-important and ultimately inept use of non-actors.
User federovsky's comments are to me particularly perceptive. I give it 3; at least he is giving this some thought.
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