Saturday, May 23, 2009


a.k.a. Chinaman
Henrik Rueben Genz, Denmark, 2005 (8.6*)
This is a small Chinese-Danish film, yet manages to tell quite a poignant tale about loneliness and affection. An everyman-type plumber named Keld, played by Bjarne Henriksen, finds that his wife of 25 years (Charlotte Fich) has decided that their marriage 'is a funeral', and moves out. Keld remains optimistic, hoping its just a separation, and he finds some solace in a daily routine of eating at the neighborhood Chinese grill.

There, he is befriended the gregarious and affable owner, who has a plumbing problem that Keld can fix. He then offers Keld a small sum to wed his sister, the ravishing Vivian Wu, who is visiting from China and will have to return otherwise, where 'single women have it tough'. This is an unpretentious story about friendships in a lonely urban setting, as well as a cross-cultural statement about the universality of human emotion. Those who liked Peter Weir's Green Card and Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor should also enjoy this touching film.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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