Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Blue Gate Crossing

“Blue Gate Crossing” is a film as placid as a billowing cloud; you see it, and it leaves just as soon as it comes. Lighthearted, yet effective, writer-director Yee Chih-Yen (this is his sophomore film); ensures that the film’s strength lies in its simplicity. The setup is standard; boy meets girl, boy’s raging hormones make girl irresistible–in spite of her repeated rebukes. However, the depth comes from an interesting reversal of expectations; what might this reversal be? The aforementioned girl has her hearts set on someone else–another girl. Continue reading Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Blue Gate Crossing

Review: The Very Last Day

When talking about “The Very Last Day”, first-time writer-director Cédric Jouarie has been vocal about having had to live with a harrowing experience which was inflicted on him when he was a teenager. His film has presented an opportunity to explore his trauma, and perhaps even offer Jouarie some catharsis for what has happened. The end result is captivating if a somewhat messy mix of high melodrama and revenge thriller.

The film introduces novelist Raymond Ho (Lawrence Ong) accompanied by his wife Viola (Heng-Yin Chou) on the eve of the successful release of his latest novel: a story of a romance which culminates in a sexual assault. It’s not a success enjoyed by all: Viola can only look on whilst addressed as “Mrs Raymond Ho”, her own credibility as a writer belittled both by fans of her husband’s work, and by Raymond himself – it’s revealed that he’s been lifting from her stories of childhood abuse and hardship to use them as plot points for his books. Continue reading Review: The Very Last Day