LFF: Beautiful 2012 (Mei Hao 2012)
This superb package of shorts by leading East Asian directors (commissioned by the Hong Kong Film Festival) offers four kinds of pleasure. There’s a sophisticated sketch of the space between emotional imposture and sincerity in Kim Tae-yong’s episode, about a closeted young man who hires a girl to play his fiancée for the benefit of his dying father. Tsai Ming-liang’s masterly episode has no words except the lyrics to one of Sam Hui’s loveliest songs; a mysterious barefoot man (a monk?) moves through the day and night of Hong Kong at a haunted pace of his own. Gu Changwei’s calculatedly offhand episode centres on a candid family conversation about pregnancies, wanted and unwanted. And Ann Hui zeroes in with empathy on a middle-aged office worker who has finally decided to act on his conviction that he’s actually a woman – to the dismay of his wife.
Dir. Kim Tae-yong, Tsai Ming-liang, Ann Hui, Gu Changwei, Hong Kong 2012, 90min.
Cast: Gong Hyo-jin, Lee Kang-Sheng, Yan Lianke.
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