Director John Jiang should be on your filmmalers to watch list. This 20 year old youngman has made a film that is going to make you wonder what sort of wonders we are going to be seeing when someone wisely gives him the money to make a feature film.
Filmed in 4 days with a cast of hundreds, SEALED OFF is the small scale story of two people on a stopped tram during an air raid. It’s the tale of a chance encounter between lost souls.
This film is simply an amazing piece of filmmaking. Yes the fact that the film uses sets that we’ve seen before lends the film a sense of scale, but the street is only a small part of the film. This is a small scale story of two people sitting on a tram and it is told with such perfection I can’t believe that 20 year old has made this film. There is this glorious understanding of space, of editing and camera movements that surpasses the abilities of most seasoned directors. John Jiang doesn’t do anything just to show off but in the service of the story an the emotion it generates. Everything comes together seamlessly in the service of the two central performances and the result is an absolute wow.
The filmmaking of this film rocked my world. I’ve been really watching filmmakers come and go over the last 14 years of doing Unseen Films. I’ve stumbled upon I don’t know how many directors who were doing wondrous things in short films who went on to greater things. After seeing thousands of films over the last almost decade and a half Jiang is the real deal.
See SEALED OFF, not just because it’s a great film, but because John Jiang is going to be a huge director