Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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Dec 01


Thirteen Ghosts was ok, but only because it didn’t take itself seriously.

Xiao Wu is a late night SBS flick (Shaf, I can’t believe I stayed up to watch it…) The film is gritty, some scenes seem to waste time, the production is amateur, the actors are non-professional and the story makes you do a lot of your own legwork to figure out what the director is getting at. Nonetheless, there is a certain charm to non-professionally produced films as the audience is always willing to give much more leeway in judgement. A quirky film to Western eyes, but it does work. The culture of a backwater town in a Northern province of China is quite foreign, but the messages are conveyed successfully. For example, there were certain scenes I wasn’t sure about – whether were intended to be humourous by the director or not, but due to a lack of contextual cues, I could only suspect that they were. This review does a good job of examining the movie.

People complain a lot about SBS movies (which screens predominantly foreign and art flicks) being weird. A lot of the time this is true – the movies are plain weird. All the other times, the films are only weird because they are made by foreigners living in a different culture, having a different perspective on life, familiar with different filming techniques, and ultimately portraying things differently to the way we are used to.