Re-cycle (Gwai wik) (2006) • Thailand • Pang Bros.

One of the reasons the Pang Brothers' films are so engaging is they have an excellent grasp of sound design and good taste in music. Both this film and Diary (an Oxide solo effort) reach operatic proportions at times. They are not content to hire up a few jingles and play them over and over throughout the film in some sort of branding effort. Each scene has its own soundtrack. Oftentimes the soundtrack seems to lead the scene. I hesitate to call it music video-like because that smacks of demotion, but it is like a music video in the sense that the music is as important as the video.

Re-cycle reminded me of Terry Gilliam's work, but it's not as desolate or oppressive. It's a beautiful film made edgy by the Pang Brothers tendency to genre hop, mixing in horror and melodrama. I think most would agree the Pangs are quite skilled and creative in the visual department but seem to lack a command of the story telling part. I say, so what. I'm happy to be fully engaged while the film is playing, with my only after thoughts fond memories of the ride. I don't always need a deep philosophical discussion of what a film is trying to say.

There may be better ruminations on the basic idea of this film, and it's a good one--exploring a place where all that's forgotten or abandoned congregates--(Spider Forest comes to mind), but few will be as engaging as this multimedia masterpiece. I had no idea this film was going to take off into fantasy land and stay there for the duration of the film. It came as quite the surprise, and kept surprising me.

I loved Angelica Lee's man-shoes, and ... is there anything more adorable on this planet than an eight year old Chinese girl? Big round of applause for Yaqi Zeng!


No comments:

Post a Comment