CineVegas – Swinging California & Hard Life in Malaysia

Film, Movies | | June 15, 2007 at 15:18

Films by directors making their debuts with either first or second releases. More info at

"I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone" is set in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and directed by Tsai Ming-Liang. I must give this a mixed review in that the story of a mattress, two men and two women and the noisy, sweaty, gritty backstreets of Kuala Lumpur is intriguing to a point. But it shifts abruptly and uncomfortably at the end of the film from stark realism to misty surrealism. Acting is suberb. As a speedy Westerner you find yourself slowly winding down to the pace of the sultry tropics. Others might find the realism appealing, but personally, I don’t enjoy watching a film that focuses so much on bodily functions. Original version with English subtitles.

"Viva" by Director Anna Biller (who also starred) was set in the swinging 70’s when nudism and free love were synonymous with California. Once you get past the fun part of totally 70’s decor, dress and all the kitsch of the era, the film is just plain silly. Billed as a tribute to vintage sexploitation films, I felt a bit exploited as audience. Cast and Director present for Q&A. American.

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