Carina Lau

bends 04

Bends, the feature debut from writer-director Flora Lau, isn’t a film that, with its potent framework of famial dissaray, should struggle to engage on an emotional level. Yet this slight, deliberate tale of strained families keeps the audience at a distance, making it a curiously uninvolving sit that rarely engages on even the most basic level. A story revolving around two families which become ever more intertwined, the first half of this equation is Anna Li (Carina Lau), a housewife who has married into money, and when her businessman husband is away, she kills time by lunching around Hong Kong with her friends. Driving her from place to place is Fai (Chen Kun), a lower-class sort living across the border in Shenzhen, and almost simultaneously the pair’s troubles seem to coincide; Anna’s husband suddenly disppears without a trace, while the urgency for Fai to get his pregnant wife into a Hong Kong hospital — while avoiding their violation of the one-child policy — reaches its fever pitch as her gestation progresses.


Let The Bullets Fly

The fun of Let The Bullets Fly comes directly out of the verbal and situational jump rope that everyone involved commits to. It’s formed with Shakespearean-style characters who both seem larger than life and able to lie. After taking down a horse-drawn train coach, the infamous bandit Pocky Zhang (played coolly by writer/director Wen Jiang) finds out that he’s killed the Governor-to-be of a sleepy little hamlet called Goose Town and decides, what the hell, he’ll ride into town claiming to be the man he’s killed. Fortunately, a toady named Tang (Xiaogang Feng) and the poor dead man’s unaffected widow (Carina Lau) want to tag along to avoid being murdered on the side of the road. When they ride into town, they’ll face off against the man who controls the city with a wealthy fist. Master Huang (played with pure genius by Chow Yun-Fat) gives them the proverbial finger by sending his hat to personally greet them, and the escalating game of egos gets started at a gallop.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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