Film Review: Xinyiwood

Xinyiwood | Shih-Chieh Lin | 25’ | Taiwan, USA | 2015

Xinyiwood | Shih-Chieh Lin | 25’ | Taiwan, USA | 2015

Xinyiwood is a representation of Chinese poet’s poetry, Wang Wei, that is presented in the different way and setting. By using the setting of an empty movie theatre that once was glorious in the past — played a series of memory that created in the poetry. A footage of a woman who is preparing the theatre to be ready  to attended by the people inside the film is also completing the first segment.

This film is abstract enough to be called as a pantomime, where is only contained a bit of narration with unpredictable plot. That is depicted on the first sequence where there was an old man as an owner of CD rental place who was dissolving into the screen, with a small smile on his face enough to melt the atmosphere between the audiences. He then busy finding a memory in each sheet of the photos that he brought yet can’t find it there. In the other segment, when that old man was watching a show from a CD in the pile he was carrying, he then watching a show that explains about how a King of China chooses a lion as his symbol of strength, and explanation about the meaning of lioness statue and male lion statue.

Another verse from Wang Wei’s poetry is narrating about an old man that visited his old bar, that now is owned by other person in Chinatown, Los Angeles. The old man is replaying the glory age of his bar on 90s when almost all corners of the bar had been changed into American bar with no oriental ornaments left except for some things. That segment is presented by a short dialogue between the old bar owner and the new bar owner, accompanied by a touch of bar song and some photo footage of the current situation of the bar. A short chat that quiet intimate, bringing the audience to feel the atmosphere of the bar, with the detail of bar facilities that depicted by photo footage and the information that had been told by the new bar owner to the old bar owner.

The last segment that is presented by Shih-Chieh Lin in the film is showing the old bar owner slowly walking to an unrevealed direction and then returning to the empty theatre which is displaying the disappearance of the old bar owner from the audience sight. The film then closed by the same segment of the opening segment, the situation where the theatre has not opened yet.

Xinyiwood is not a documentary which the plot and the story are predictable. Pictures from some segments  are a process of reappearance of Wang Tei’s poetry, had been inviting us to dissolve into his story without having to think to far about the ending of the story. [Justicia Handykaputri / Ellyta Rahmayandi]

Shih-Chieh Lin | 25’ | Taiwan, Amerika Serikat | 2015

9 Desember 2016 | IFI-LIP Yogyakarta | 16:00 WIB

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