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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ci Qing (Spider Lilies)

This is the very first Taiwanese movie to win a Teddy award, which did at the 2007 Berlinale. Tells the story of how events that happened in your past can become part of your present and prevent people from being what they truly want to be. But mainly, is about guilt and superstition. If you truly believe that “things” can represent a turning point in your life and from then on you use them to rule your life, then you are superstitious.

Zero Chou, praised in Taiwan for winning the best Taiwanese Film of the year in 2004 with her feature debut Splendid Float, directs this melodrama. Here she continues to use the visual cues and drama of her debut film, which I personally find way too pretentious. Some critics compare her work to Pedro Almodovar, mainly because of her use of melodrama… but to me there is no comparison at all. Her work looses credibility with the use of too many metaphors and visual effects, she should have told her story as a down-to-earth melodrama and perhaps the end product would have been different and better. Besides her screenplay is weak and lost too much time doing so many things –like the Internet cop and rogue Adong subplots- that her main characters are not well developed.

Still because the movie touches a lesbian relationship theme, which to me is not the main theme, the movie had the fifth highest box office takings in Tapei when was released…but then also the two main characters are played by “stars” in those parts of the world, as stars real-life famous singer Rainie Yang that plays Xiao Lu (the web cam girl) and stunning Isabella Leong that plays Takeko (the tattooist).

Well, it is only Chou’s second movie and probably she will do better in the future. Maybe if she wants to do melodramas then should develop her characters more or if she wants to do art house movies then should not waste time with the melodrama.

By the way, the literal translation of Ci Qing is Tattoo... No, I did not enjoy this movie.

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