Saturday, August 9, 2008

A few reviews...

Of course I'm just gonna list the positive ones. :P

First off, there's a TODAY article about the Swordfish, then the Concubine (reproduced on the right-hand side).

And this is what the Flying Inkpot said about Tree/House:

spell#7 and Ho Tzu Nyen
Kenneth Kwok

Showing the same tender loving care one would while shaping a prized bonsai, spell#7's contribution to this double-bill was carefully and affectionately manicured to near-perfection. Tree Duet's circuitous loops, pregnant pauses and precise choreography never felt contrived, only purposeful; every movement comes together (what is the opposite of unraveling?) slowly but surely to result in magical moments of poignancy and transcendence once all the pieces are in place. Tree Duet is a stunningly beautiful work of visual poetry that teaches you to look at the world through patient eyes: just as trees need time to grow, so do works of art - but patience will be rewarded in that act of something real, meaningful and magical being created before you.

At the core of Tree Duet is a meditative journey narrated by a wistful Paul Rae about the simple pleasures of living - remembering, contemplating, even something as basic as drinking - and what we stand to lose if we don't stop ourselves from being caught up in consumerism and convenience and don't take the time to just breathe and reflect on our time in the world once in a while. The second half of the double-bill, Ho Tzu Nyen's House of Memory, however, takes a more academic approach to this theme of remembering and forgetting and is essentially a lecture on the craft of memorization. What fascinates is how the text narrated live by the visual artist and film-maker is accompanied by an hour-long film which stitches together scenes from various old movies. Sometimes the images selected are literal, other times they are metaphorical but they are always well-chosen to accompany the different beats of the text, save in the last five minutes when, I felt, the artist was much too heavy-handed.

****1/2 (out of 5 stars)

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