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Bangkok Wraps 2.0

by gabe
August 1, 2007 5:29 AM
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The Festival--The Films

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Three Days to Forever (2006, Indonesia)

A tedious road movie by Indonesian director Riri Riza (Eliana, Eliana) about two twenty-something cousins who must drive cross country to a family wedding. Brooding NIcholas Sutura, with movie star good looks is the aimless slacker, while his cousin Amber sows her wild oats carrying on an affair with a rockstar, contemplates committing to university abroad. On the road, Nicholas and Amber spark up at every opportunity--making detours to visit friends, eat, smoke more dope and sleep over at a boarding house. There's lots of reflection about their pampered lives. She is a spolied brat. He is a sheltered mama's boy--and maybe a virgin. With the exception of a dangerous flirtation between the two--would sleeping with your hot first cousin count as incest?--the film is unstructured, episodic and meandering. Riza mistakenly equates smoking pot on the open road with liberation. In the same way that listening to stoned people ruminate about things phiosophical is a total bore, the aplty titled the Days to Forever cloaks its lack of in a big cload of bong smoke, hoping no one bothers to notice. The film which aspires to raise all sorts of questions about Gen Y angst fails to ask the bigger existential question: "Why should we give a shit?"

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amour-LEGENDE (2006, Taiwan)
Imagine if you will, Lost HIghway intercut with a less coherent cut of Inland Empire crossed with Polanski's Frantic and with a dash of Buñuel's That Obscure Object of Desire (which played BKK07) thrown in. The plot of amour-LEGENDE , such as it is, begins in a desert somewhere in South America with Oshima waking up next to May, his girlfriend. Or is she Coco? Claiming to have no memory of how she got there, Coco leads Oshima on a search to find her doppelganger May, whom they believe may have gone ahead to Snow Mountain without them. The mobious strip of a film takes us back to Taiwan where we learn that May and Oshima had been carrying on an illicit affair, and gotten caught by their respective spouses. The journey to Snow Mountain was proposed as a romantic get-away. The symbolic beginning of a new life together. On the way to Snow Mountain, we meet many characters, including a King and Queen, whose bunker beneath the sand resembles a 15th Century Castle. Writen and directed with a through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole conflation of logic by Wu Mi-Sen, amour-LEGENDE sacrifices intimacy, story and character developemnt at the alter of aloof, inpenatrable style. What might have been a nice little gem of a picture, leaves the viewer exasperated instead.

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