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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

entry arrow3:16 AM | Words Don't Come Easy

Swedish filmmaker HÃ¥kon Liu's short film Lucky Blue [2007] is lovely to look at. (Take a look, for example, at its palette of muted pastels, or the shimmering effect of the mass of incandescent bulbs in the highlight of its production design...) If only that were the only criteria to enjoying cinema. As it is, this film -- about an introverted boy in a camping site who struggles with newfound strange feelings for the new boy, who seems content with merely playing around with him -- would have been a joy to behold. But it is bogged down with a fairly unengaging narrative we have already seen numerous times before. Or perhaps it is the utterly distracting awkwardness of its flimsy supporting cast? Or perhaps it is the utter lack of chemistry between its two leads which does not lend this film its appropriate gravity? This despite director Liu's clear intentions to render something as simple a story as two boys falling in love. And this despite the clarity that Tobias Bengtsson brings to his character Olle -- something that becomes almost painful to bear when he sings F.R. David's "Words" in a karaoke scene. Short films are a genre of filmmaking that, for the sheer limits of length, demands in the level of craft a specific kind of poetry suited for cinema -- because it simply cannot be a feature-length film, and do what feature films do: take its time to tell a story. The problem with Lucky Blue is that it tries to be the latter and forgets its poetic requirements entirely. Thus it comes off stilted and hollow, in spite of itself.

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