James Mudge at the 10th China Independent Film Festival

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Fig (2013) Movie Image

Fig

“Fig” is the latest offering from Hong Kong indie film maker Vincent Chui, and stands out somewhat from the rest of the CIFF program in that it’s arguably less of an independent production as such, having obviously enjoyed a fairly healthy budget, and boasting a script by Liu Siu Wah, who won the Hong Kong Film Festival Screenplay Award in 2009 for her work on Ann Hui’s “The Way We Are”. The story revolves around a Hong Kong housewife called Ka, who leaves her stable though unhappy marriage after tragedy strikes her family, packing her suitcase and heading for Macau, where she takes a job working in a small laundrette. There, she strikes up a friendship with the younger Man, who is going through a crisis in her own life, falling out with her father for his moving on with his younger lover after the death of her mother. The two form an instant bond, which gradually develops into something more, with repercussions for both them and their families.

Though not terribly ambitious, and having a fairly familiar feel, “Fig” is nevertheless entertaining and thoughtful, Vincent Chui and Liu Siu Wah successfully portraying the complexities of modern relationships, families and connections. While some of its symbolism, including laundry as a way of washing away the past and flower pot changing as means of growth, is a little obvious, the film does have a few things to say, which it does in an amiable fashion. It’s a warm and humanistic work, and the viewer gets pulled into the story and the characters’ lives without too much fuss or manipulation as it builds towards an emotionally rewarding conclusion. Strong performances from the two female leads give the material a boost, and some beautiful visuals also help to distract from the film’s shortcomings.

《无花果》

《无花果》是香港独立导演崔允信的新作,和CIFF在南京放映的其它影片相比,是显得不那么独立的一个制作。影片明显有较为充裕的制作预算,编剧为曾凭许鞍华《天水围的日与夜》一片获得2009年香港电影节最佳编剧奖的吕筱华。影片围绕着一位香港家庭主妇,家,展开。在家庭悲剧后,家收拾行李离开了她稳定却不幸福的婚姻。她只身回到澳门,并开始在一间小洗衣房上班。在这里,她邂逅了一位年轻女子敏。敏也正经历着一场家庭危机,她无法面对母亲死后父亲年轻的情人搬进家中,而与父亲决裂。两人很快相交,并逐渐发展出更深的感情,令两人的家庭都被波及。

虽然不是特别有野心,而且感觉过于熟悉,《无花果》仍然是一部兼具娱乐性和思考性的影片。崔允信和吕筱华成功的描画了现代感情、家庭和人际关系的复杂。虽然有些象征有些太浅白,例如洗衣房代表着洗刷过去,换花盆意味着成长,影片确实表达了不少想法,而且表达方式易为人接受。这是一部温情而具人文关怀的影片,观众们在并不刻意的叙事中很快被两位主人公的故事吸引,直到最后达到一个温馨的结局。两位女主角出色的表演为影片增色不少,一些漂亮的画面也遮盖了影片的不足。

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