Ying Liang Capsule Reviews

Ying Liang Capsule Reviews

Good Cats (2008) — October 8, 2008

Ultra-low budget Chinese film (video) about a chauffeur for a petty gangster/real-estate developer. His boss’s deal with a local village is going badly, his mentor is really depressed due to debt, his wife hates him for not being more successful, and their apartment appears to be trying to kill him. If that wasn’t enough, every 20 minutes or so, a Chinese metal band walks out of the scenery and sings/growls bizarre lyrics somewhat related to the story, Greek chorus-style. Filmed in the single long motionless take style of "Asian Minimalism", but with a quite interesting use of depth. Not as ornate as Hou’s compositions, but still pretty cool.

A Family Tour (2018) — October 1, 2018

A few years ago I was chatting with another dad at a playground, an acquaintance whose kids attended the same preschool as ours. He’s a doctor I think, or something like that, and works in California, commuting back and forth three or four days at a time. He asked how things were, and as usual I complained more or less seriously about how exhausting my kids were. It’s how most of the stay-at-home parents I know talk about their kids: with an eye roll and a deep sigh. I asked him how he was doing with his kids, and very solemnly he said that every minute with them was precious, something to treasure, that he was nothing but thankful. I didn’t know what to do in response, so just kind of nodded my head and wandered away as soon as I could. His heartfelt sentiment may be true, but it’s kind of a bummer and a real conversation stopper.

Anyway, that’s what I thought about when watching this movie.