Sunday, August 15, 2004

Doesn't seem fair to talk about Jarmusch and not Ho Yuhang's Min which I also watched last week. So let's give it a go. Before that, here's a synopsis:
Min (2003) by Ho Yuhang
Running time: 78 min
Country: Malaysia
Language: Malay with English subtitles

Min (2003)This film is about a young teacher named Yasmin ("Min"), a young Chinese girl, adopted by a Malay family, who goes to look after her biological mother.

Min, a 20-year-old Chinese girl, discovers that she was adopted as a little child. Her old school friend is charged with finding out that her biological parents are. Min informs her adoptive parents about her plans and sets out on a long journey for her roots. All she has got is the address of the factory where her mother is employed.

Ho Yuhang's style is reminiscent of Taiwanese directors like Tsai Ming-Liang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. With calculated modesty and nearly perfect visual expression, this Malaysian independent director has made the purest art cinema.

Ho refuses to play up the melodramatic potential of the plot (a Chinese woman adopted by Malay parents goes to look for her natural mother) and gives us a far more significant take on the loneliness of urban life. Music is kept to a minimum. Instead the mundane events of the film, depicted through long takes and long shots, play out against an unceasing soundtrack of harsh, grating urban noise. This incessant din extends into the extended full blackouts that throw audiences from scene to scene. Min is not a comfortable movie.

Wanna watch one of Tsai Ming Liang's films even more.

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