Tsai Ming-liang returns with this latest entry in his Walker series, in which his monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
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The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »
A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a ... See full summary »
When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his ... See full summary »
HK Neo Reviews: [36HKIFF] Beautiful 2012 美好2012 (2012) HK/China/Taiwan/Korea
This is really a big mixed bag of short flicks hales from 4 major Asia film market regions. In saying that it is a mixed bag is not an understatement, as each individual short films varies from being great (My Way Ann Hui's segment) to almost unbearably un-watchable The Walker segment. The Walker segment is unashamedly poor and most likely the longest 20 minutes I have to endure in any kind of movie. In fact the 20 minutes seems more like a hour as the monk walks at a snail pace around the bustling city of Hong Kong. Some may call it artistic, I call it the biggest load of pretentious bullshit. It is really that bad. The other two fairs better, but ultimately not memorable enough to be remembered. The exception to the rule is once again Ann Hui, who made use of everyone of those 20 minutes and all credit to Francis Ng is tackling a difficult role as a female born with male body. Still, a good 20 minutes does not make the other 60 minutes more bearable and in many ways, Hui's segment can easily be made into a full length feature.
Back to the The Walker, no matter what the good intention is behind the whole juxtaposition of Hong Kong lifestyle and the monk, a film needs to entertain, excite and be enjoyable. The Walker fails big time in all aspect and in essence certainly does not deserve any of the perigee it is getting. In fact, I can go on forever as to how I felt like I wasted 10 hours rather than 20 minutes sitting through the slowest and never- ending segment of the The Walker. Whereas Hui on the other hand, entertains and is not afraid to have some fun in the proceeding. Francis Ng is one heck of a one great actor whose range is unprecedented. He is ably supported by the much missed 90s action heroine Jade Leung who is able to show the emotions of a woman in the face of her husband becoming a transsexual.
All in all, there is doubt that Beautiful 2012 is a mixed bag of good and bad eggs. Unfortunately, by the time the film reaches Hui's segment, the audience attention is already on a downward scale. It is a disappointing effort from the other three major cinematic regions in Asia. Personally, I would much rather have seen a feature length film showing Francis Ng afterlife as a new-being refreshed into Hong Kong society. However, Beautiful 2012 is anything, but beautiful and in fact, The Walker segment is just outright awful. Honestly, wait for the DVD and fast forward to the Korean and Hong Kong segment and pretty much ignore the rest. Hard to recommend, except for Hui and Francis Ng's saga
Neo rates it 5/10 (average rating of the four shorts)
The Walker (0/10) You are more than Beautiful (6/10) Long Tou (5.5/10) My Way (8/10)
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