Posted: Wed., Oct. 10, 2007, 11:33am PTPusan
Chuan qiang ren (Taiwan)
By RUSSELL EDWARDS
A Dark Eyes presentation of an Ocean Deep Films production.(International sales: Joint Entertainment Intl., Taipei.) Produced by Yeh Jufeng, Cho Li. Directed, written by Hung Hung.
Tye -Chang Yungcheng
NoNo -Lee Chiaying
Blind Girl -Lu Chiahsin
(Mandarin, French, Japanese dialogue)
Time and space provide no barrier, but there are some things love still can’t overcome in oddball Taiwanese sci-fi romancer “The Wall-Passer.” An occasional collaborator with Edward Yang, scribe-cum-helmer Hung Hung delivers a stylishly mounted low-budgeter whose rich visuals help create a fantasy world beyond pic’s resources. Mixed-up yarn initiates several narrative dead ends, but remains engaging to its conclusion. A must-see for Asian and fantasy fests, pic may garner a small, but loyal cult following on ancillary.
Story hurriedly begins as 17-year-old Tye (Chang Yungcheng) and his parents evacuate their home after an earthquake on planet G40 and move to Reality City. With his insurance salesman dad rarely speaking and his appliance-obsessed mom rarely shutting up, Tye is fanatical about the piano and takes to constantly tapping out rhythms. His constant tinkling on his computer keyboard as if it was a set of 88s leads to an overload on the Internet-dominated, totalitarian state in which he now lives.
While on a school field trip to a nuclear power plant, Tye discovers a radioactive rock whose powers enable the schoolboy to pass through walls.
As the school trip continues on to a nearby museum, Tye also meets alien deaf shopgirl NoNo (Lee Chiaying) who can speak to him thanks to the interpreting bionic earpiece she wears. The pair begin an angsty romance that is truncated by the reappearance of her French-speaking ex-lover.
Overwrought, NoNo disappears. With the aid of his glowing stone, Tye searches around the world for his missing love. While NoNo remains elusive, Tye ends up at the barren region with a young,
leather-clad, Lara Croft-type hottie (Lu Chiahsin) who also happens to be blind. Tye wants to play rescuing hero, but hottie makes revelatory and disconcerting claims that shift the power balance of their relationship.
Intriguing script gets tangled up in its own philosophical contortions, but finale still manages to score a poignant punch. Perfs are solid, and thesps manage to successfully persevere, offering convincing turns through some potentially silly scenarios.
Helming is well-considered and provides a platform for stimulating visuals that make good use of rear projection and other techniques.
Impressive lensing by Jake Pollock is largely dominated by a metallic cool blue/gray tinge, that creates a sophisticated look way beyond pic’s obviously meager budget. All other tech credits are impressive.
More than one option(Person) Edward Yang
(Person) Yang Decheng
Camera (color, B&W, widescreen), Jake Pollock; editor, Chen Powen; music, Liu Chiling; production designer, Tang Weihsuan; sound (Dolby Digital), u Duuchih, Tang Shiangchu. Reviewed at Pusan Intl. Film Festival (Asian Film Market), Oct. 9, 2007. (Also in Tokyo Film Festival.) Running time: 108 MIN.
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