03 June 2008

SIFF: movie #1

I have a bit of catching up to do on this blog...but until I can organize some pictures from my last mini vacation here's the first installment of my Seattle International Film Festival movie reviews.

My first film was Island Etude, a movie from Taiwan. It's about a young man named Ming who goes on a bike ride around the outside of the island, along coastal roads. The movie follows Ming on his journey, introducing us to all the interesting characters he meets along the way as well as showing us all the strange random sites that pop up on pilgrimages like this: my favorite being four dogs each on their own skateboards. The director, Chen Huai-En, made this movie after meeting a young man very similar to Ming who was riding around the island by himself. Some of the stories and characters in the film are based on stories this real life Ming recounted and some are made up. The most interesting part was that the person playing Ming in the movie isn't a real actor and on top of that he's deaf...which adds a completely different dimension to the movie. I'll admit that the film was a bit long and slow in some parts, but overall it was what it was, a trek, a pilgrimage dealing with physical endurance and being alone with yourself...while having to suddenly deal with the random characters that pop into your world. Plus I now want to visit Taiwan :)

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