Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spider Lilies (movie review)

This chic flick is also interesting anthropology out of Taiwan, rated NR (for Not Rated), but in Portland terms I'd say PG13, despite the eroticams and suggestive language.

For non-Chinese, this movie helps remove any prejudice about Chinese in the context of Internet chat rooms. Westerners tend to project the nightmare hunt and peck experience it'd be for them, to say anything quickly like LOL, whereas native users just rattle the stuff out, hardly thinking about it. Words like 'silence' and 'sorry' stay in Latin-1 sometimes, a testament to cross-cultural influences.

The studious older girl grew up in Japan, so you'll maybe hear how her accent is different. Jade (with green hair, though we in the audience know that that's fake) is the extrovert, wanting to recapture the innocent love these two experienced as consenting pre-adults, and before the proverbial sushi hit the fan and all hell broke loose. In the confusion, they both wonder if self-indulgence is to blame (especially the introvert), which they try to sort out as the film unwinds.

The males in this film are mostly damaged goods and/or pieces of work. The two "good guys" suffer from speech impediments, whereas the others are just downright mean and/or manipulative. Taiwan is apparently no utopia either.

As young women, both are making their way in the world, working hard, staying strong, and supporting dependents. As consenting adults, less confused, they'll make a great pair, but this film isn't focused on the happy ending.