Directed by: Chang Yi-Feng
Written by: Chang Yi-Feng
Length: 25 minutes
NEED A REVIEW?
Click here to get one.
Farewell To The Ark
I'm no stranger to online games and know how easily it is to be sucked into them. Jie (Yu-Chieh Cheng) and Shizuko (Angel Lee) are 2 such people. Using an online game to build their relationship because in reality, it's so much more stressful. In reality Jie is a shy awkward man prone to bullying. His life is that of a recluse, save the online world he inhabits. Shizuko is a dancer. Recording and putting herself online for the world to see. The exact opposite of Jie. It's when she asks him to buy her something that he can't afford, does he decide to make a life changing decision. One that tragically, ends really badly. Farewell To The Ark is that story - and it's a sad heartbreaking tale. I think.
I've seen micro budget titles try and get creative. I've seen titles that start from the end and move to the start. I've seen flashbacks and dream sequences galore. The very term independent means creative. It's up to the creator to define the shape of the story. This didn't make Farewell To The Ark any easier to get. The non linear nature of the title, compounded by text messages and the online world messenger, make things hard to read into. I got the basics, even if only just.
Yu-Chieh Cheng however, plays the part perfectly. I couldn't understand the words but understood the actions and feelings behind them. I understood the motivations. A scene early on involving him jabbing a pen into his arm, beautifully illustrated his character. It also lit up the reality of bullying. Angel Lee also lets her viewers know exactly who she is. I'm guessing it was never her intention to hurt Jie, but she didn't understand the true nature of his real life personality.
All this however, is not the full story. We have scenes with Jie's sister, the band and generally this title is about life. It's just so "creative" in nature, I fear any casual viewer will have trouble keeping up with the story. It does look pretty though. There's some real talent behind the lens and Chang Yi-Feng has a knack for directing his actors. Had his creative instinct not taken over this title, and it was presented in a more traditional way, I think a wider audience would have been able to connect. Beauty is only skin deep. The same is said about production work itself. If a story can't be fully appreciated by it's viewers, it doesn't matter what it looks like.