Oscar Lau

Oscar Lau

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A Hong Kong cinephile. 

Favorite Films = the last four films I watched with a rating of 4.5-5★

Favorite films

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  • I Was Born, But...

    I Was Born, But...

    ★★★★★

    I was born, but… I was not prepared for the pain of growing up, the agony of disillusionment, the shock when the idolized image of your own authority figure being demolished into pieces. Even in childhood, the complicated interpersonal relationships depends on your social scale or physical appearance, as a child it could be like a game of competition (still bullying is absolutely wrong), in Ozu’s juxtaposition, it’s hierarchy in corporations and society of the adult world. The siblings bond…

  • Maborosi

    Maborosi

    ★★★★½

    The debut full-length feature by Hirokazu Koreeda is a mediating piece of lament and restraining grief, it’s also a gorgeous looking piece of art. By eluding conventional exposition and narrative structure, Maborosi (the original title means the ‘illusive/magical light’) is told in an oblique fashion, years elapsed in only a simple cut without addressing the time passed, emotion is expressed inwardly through the use of the medium and long shot and the measured pace. There is a melancholic mood from…

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  • The Discarnates

    The Discarnates

    ★★★★

    Much constrained in terms of Obayashi’s visual flourish, but sill imbued with his idiosyncratic playfulness, sentimentality, and eeriness. The Discarnates is about a man’s reconnection to his tragic past and his deceased love ones, and reconciliation with the immutable fact that the living one has to move on. It’s a supernatural fantasy with an unexpected emotional gut-punch at the penultimate scene, but the last act ruins the preceded cathartic journey for me, it simply goes into a body-horror with a so-so shock value.

    Added to: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Ranked

  • Woman of Tokyo

    Woman of Tokyo

    ★★★

    This time Ozu stepped completely into the dark territory and the result is overtly melodramatic and emotionally manipulative. Despite the ‘empty shots’ of objects are more prominent in Women of Tokyo, particularly during the emotional-stirring ending (the shot of chimney, the kettle) to punctuate the overwhelming sadness, Ozu could handle it in much less vulgar way, instead he let all the drama erupted unrestrictedly. Considering it’s less than an hour film, it’s explicable.

    Added to: Yasujiro Ozu, Ranked

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  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★★

    Added to: Sight and Sound Greatest Films
    Added to: My 250 Favorite Films of All Time

    The Rearward View of Life

    Near the end of the film Yi Yi, there is a funeral, the little boy Yang-Yang (Jonathan Chang) reads out the letter he wrote for his deceased grandma (Ruyun Tang), saying he would like to be a person of showing stuff others don't see, and now when he sees his baby cousin, he would feel old too. Every time when…

  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★½

    Added to “2018, Ranked” & “Palme d’Or Winners, Ranked
    Added to: Hirokazu Koreeda, Ranked

    A summation of Koreeda’s works. Abandoned children in Nobody Knows (2004); slice of family life in Still Walking (2008) and Our Little Sister (2015); parenthood without blood ties in Like Father, Like Son (2013); the dissolution of traditional family relationship, from society detachment in Distance (2001) to failure of fatherhood in After the Storm (2016); and the crime of the marginalized people in The Third Murder (2017),…