Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ma Kuang Pei "The Soliloquist" (2008)

The Soliloquist touchingly illustrates what I have been neglecting in China and, indeed, Taiwan. The movie dwells on the desperate emptiness of a young man following the break-up of a relationship. With all the delicacy of a Chinese watercolour the director, Ma Kuang Pei, traces the stages in the process as the protagonist moves home, but discovers the room to be wet and musty, the furniture old and heavy, memories too hard to bear. He receives a letter addressed to Michael, followed by further packages and letters for the same person. Reading them forces him into an assessment of who exactly this person is and in so doing, he rediscovers (or maybe reassigns) himself. Viewing the short with my class and one other member of staff I was in a minority of one in deciphering the ending, the final words and visual clues seeming to jar. The choice of images together with the sheer listlessness of their drifting in and out of shot is genuinely innovative and in keeping with the subject matter. There are so many imaginatively composed scenes, continuity being especially effective: the man saws a heart in two, pink blood trickles down to a book on which is drawn a set of keys onto which he leaps, extending a cartoon arm to open a door to trigger a draft on the next page and a black cloud of depression. The Soliloquist is an artistic, mature movie about self-deception and coping with loneliness. Born in 1981, Ma Kuang Pei graduated from Tainan National University of the Arts.

1 comment:

marco said...

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