Home About Titles News Reviews Press Shop Contact



  • Review of Red Dragonflies by Brian Hu

    “Nostalgia” may technically be accurate, but it doesn’t quite get to the complexity of Red Dragonflies’ poetic charge. Similarly, though cases can be made for each, “flashback,” “dream,” and “memory” don’t quite describe the images we see and the sounds we hear. No, we’re in the hands of a director for whom existing narrative language and art-film conventions are incapable of evoking the sentiments of loneliness in that brief moment when a view of a world is slipping away. In Red Dragonflies, an artist is briefly back in her homeland of Singapore after living abroad in New York. In tandem is a narrative of three high school kids delving deep into a jungle. There is a suggestion of a flashback structure, but past and present aren’t rendered in the usual visual cues of nostalgia or remembrance. Rather, past and present are the same shallow-focus dreamworld, where the sounds of the world –- a shopping mall drone, an air-con rumble, the echoing chirps of birds –- sear vividly into focus (thanks to a near-complete lack of background music). It’s as if the present isn’t the natural consequence of the past; rather, the two are chasing each other, running in parallel, haunting each other as memory, hope, loss, and conjecture. Only a few home video shots evoke the “past tense” in any obvious way, and these shots, in faded colors and with shaky camera, seem of another world altogether, shocking us further into reflection about how we are able to take stock of our past lives and present dreams. Red Dragon captures that marvelous fog of nostalgia, yes, but is also of reflection about ourselves in every tense. – Brian Hu




    , |

    Join the Discussion:

    Comments (0)