Oscar Lau

A Hong Kong cinephile. 

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

Favorite films

  • Boyz n the Hood
  • Exotica
  • An Autumn Afternoon
  • The Fly

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  • Abacus and Sword

    ★★★

  • Sound of Metal

    ★★★★

  • Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron

    ★★★★

  • Body Heat

    ★★★½

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  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    A perfectly apt title for a film that sounds crazy on paper, and crazier on screen. It could easily be a total train wreck, but underneath all the outlandish, goofy, and inventive fantasy, it’s grounded in relatable human connection, namely family. The inter-generational rifts (across three generations) and disenchantment of life from the Chinese-American angle is surprisingly universal, it’s emotionally cathartic when the journey ended. It’s textually and contextually rich in its unorthodox storytelling, challenging the viewers to remember minute…

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Citizen Kane may not be my personal favorite film, but I firmly believe it is one of the greatest films ever made. There’s no preceding film looked, sounded, or was told alike it, and its influence to the future generation of filmmakers is undisputed. The striking depth of field, the formidable low angle and long shot, the meticulous mis-en-scene, the ingenious montage and scene editing, the mosaic storytelling, the enigmatic mystery of Rosebud, the atmospheric score, the overlapping dialogue and the…

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  • Abacus and Sword

    Abacus and Sword

    ★★★

    The film simultaneously embraced the principle of conformity and the necessity of individual thinking, particularly under the tide of change. It is still first and foremost a family drama, trying to please all audience. I would prefer the cynicism in The Family Game in comparison.

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★

    Sound of Metal is like a body horror with the gradual loss of hearing eloquently realized through Riz Ahmed‘s remarkable performance and the Academy-Award winning sound design. The character’s journey is immersive and terrifying at once, and the portrait of the deaf community is nonetheless intriguing. I am still wrestling with how the film presented the character’s dilemma as a dichotomy, you are either deaf and one of us, or resorted to science for the perception of sound (as the film would tell us, it’s different from ‘hearing’) and you are out. Nevertheless, the sound of silence at the end is truly riveting.

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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…

  • Illumination

    Illumination

    ★★★★½

    A mosaic portrait of the young intellectual Franciszek (Stanislaw Latallo) spanning across his years of studying Physics in college to unexpected marriage and fatherhood, above all it revolves around the protagonist’s existential crisis and anxiety. Shot in a hand-held documentary style and told in a elliptical, obscure narrative, the story is often punctured by inserts of scientific explanation of behavior and phenomenon. The detached and clinical observation is a reflection of the repressive social norm in Poland during the Communist-era,…