Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Magic and Loss (2010) KAFFNY 2012

Co-presented at KAFFNY with the Japan Society this is a strange film that is either going to enthrall you or make you crazy.

The basic plot has a Korean woman and a Japanese woman going to an island off the coast of Hong Kong. They are traveling separately but both arrive at the resort together. The sign at the desk says that the place is full, however the clerk finds rooms for each of them. Actually despite the sign the place seems to be empty, except for the pair. They then wander the island and bond...

After that I'm not too sure. Not a great deal happens and when it does I don't know if it's entirely clear what it is. I don't say that to infer that the film is bad, only that the film is cryptic in the extreme. I got to the end and found I was searching the web for clues as to what I just saw.

I should also point out that the film kind of slows down a bit too much in the middle. The film is very much trying to create a mood and set up what it's getting at, but it makes for a bit too much repetition. In reading on the film I realize why this is the case, basically the film was largely improvised. While this allows for some good things it also results in a film that seems to be, in retrospect, more a first draft rather than a finished piece.

As I said at the top you'll either love this or hate it. I like. It's the sort of puzzle box that has me guessing. While it's certainly not a great film, I do think it's a good one, though very minor one. Definitely worth a look for those feeling in an undemanding cryptic mood.

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