will’s review published on Letterboxd:
has the greatest opening to any film i've seen. overwhelms you the first time, with the ambiance of the moment as the track slowly fades in; the downwards motion of the camera aligning with hers. the film cuts sequences in response to the narration, like fleeting thoughts prompting memories, and here we see one memory; alone at night on a walkway. being away from hao-hao means he'd come find her, and that lingering thought recontextualizes this motion as something lost; a sense of freedom made intangible. i feel the texture though. in the camera's sway i see her own body bouncing, her hair swinging. she looks back, wondering if anyone is following. a taxi drives by, but there are no other bodies to be seen. i can feel the cool, night air. i can feel the warm smoke filling up my own lungs. and most importantly, i can see her feeling it too, in a moment when she looks back, and begins to smile. she waves her arms up in the air, feeling the motion of things herself. the freedom of the moment.
a synthesis of image and audio that understands how easily they can drown each other out, here in the form of pure sensory overload. this is a quality of all directors i admire the most: how each aspect of the film interrogates itself and each other aspect, the audio and image recognized as distinct, not foundationally in unison. the sound design reflecting the visual storytelling, in a constant state of interpretation from the non-linear editing, guided with no authority. the narration, extradiegetic, a voice from somewhere else, contextualizing, but never commandeering.