REVIEW: ‘Tigertail’ is a touching portrayal of the immigrant experience

first_imgAlthough the film is simple in its execution, Yang beautifully contrasts this visual style when the film shifts to the present to convey how separated Pin-Jui is from his family and friends. Everything around him is muted, from the beige walls in his house to the gray polos he wears. The lifelessness around him is a product of how distant he is as a person.  In Yang’s feature film debut, subtlety runs supreme. The quietly devastating flashback sequences and performances make “Tigertail” a touching tribute about the highs and the lows of the immigrant experience. As a child running around lush rice fields in Taiwan, Pin-Jui (Zhi-Hao Yang) is taught by his grandmother that “crying never solves anything.” All it shows is weakness, which isn’t a luxury his family can afford when they’re struggling to survive. Brief as the interaction may be, it establishes who Pin-Jui grows up to be: a detached man who never allows himself to be vulnerable.  (Photo courtesy of Netflix) This scene, as well as many others, showcases Yang’s restraint in making the film, forgoing overdramatized scenes for quiet, simple sequences between characters. Although the decision to move is a painful one to make, for an immigrant like Pin-Jui, it’s a necessary choice that must be made for the chance at a better life. The semi-autobiographical tale of writer-director Alan Yang’s father, “Tigertail” is an intimate, restrained portrayal of the immigrant experience — how one’s decision to leave their native home is often preceded with hope but followed with regret over what was left behind.  Pin-Jui sees the physical strain that the factory job is taking on his mother and ultimately decides to leave Taiwan and move to the United States. The only way he could possibly move, however, is by agreeing to marry his boss’s daughter Zhenzhen (Kunjue Li), leaving his true love behind without any notice.  Though the characters live a life of poverty and work at a factory with poor labor conditions, the film portrays life in Taiwan as vibrant and colorful. Shots overlayed with grain, similar to the 35mm effect, make the recounts of the past feel like a memory, a recollection of a difficult upbringing. Yet, in hindsight, it was a time in his life that produced the most joyful moments. The film cuts back and forth between Pin-Jui’s past and the present where, as a rebellious young man (Hong-Chi Lee) in Taiwan, he dreams of life in the United States. Decades later, as a retiree in New York, Pin-Jui (Tzi Ma) struggles to connect with his daughter Angela (Christine Ko), resulting in the two often sitting in silence. All he wants is to move to the United States, not only to provide for his mother Minghua (Yang Kuei-Mei) but to be with his childhood sweetheart Yuan (Yo-Hsing Fang), the only person who makes him feel less lonely in this world.  Pin-Jui’s departure is not just him leaving his mother or his romantic partner, it’s him leaving Taiwan — the only home he’s ever known. Instead of a cathartic moment where mother and son emotionally embrace, unsure if they’ll ever see one another again, they simply stare at each other and go their separate ways.  The relationship between Pin-Jui and his wife, or the lack thereof, mirrors the relationship he has with his daughter later on in life. Both are hindered by his inability to express emotion. Angela wishes her father would express his care for her, but all he does is stare at her in confusion. Zhenzhen wishes her husband would put as much effort into their marriage as he does into his work. For Pin-Jui and Zhenzhen, the American dream turns out to not be what they expected. Instead, it’s a dirty studio apartment and not knowing anyone except for one another. They only have each other for support, but even then, they don’t truly know each other.  The two don’t have anything in common; nothing connects them as husband and wife. When Pin-Jui buys a piano with the intention of learning together, there’s a fleeting hope that they’ll finally connect in something. The realities of work and paying bills squander their chance at bonding; the piano is symbolically disregarded, piled under a stack of newspapers.  Yang’s understanding of this predicament is only bolstered through the silence that runs through the film, creating instances of tenderness. The more time passes and the more silence fills the room, Yang successfully brings feelings of woe to the cinematic space. Despite this, never does the film stray toward excessive pessimism. There’s a fine balance: The audience witnesses a bittersweet feeling of love and hope that never materializes.  Yang’s loose interpretation of his father’s life and relationships with his wife and daughter neither attempts to praise nor condemn him. “Tigertail” simply depicts a man who’s been taught to block out any emotion he may have, to put his head down and continue to work. Tragically, the result of his resilience is a community of loved ones who hardly know him. last_img read more

Gallery: Operation Hydrate bringing water to dry lands

first_imgLearners from the Houghton Muslim Academy helped Operation Hydrate at a recent water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The initiative collected more than R55-million on the day. (Image: Sandile Khumalo)Operation Hydrate, the NGO that has been donating water in drought stricken areas of South Africa, has distributed more than 6 million litres of water so far. The group aims to collect R95-million worth of water by Nelson Mandela Day this year.Though the initiative only started on 4 January this year, it has already garnered massive support from ordinary people, as well as the likes of Mango Airlines, the national cricket team, and the National Lottery.Contact Yaseen Theba on 082 494 2824 to find out how you can contribute to Operation Hydrate’s water drive. For information about helping or where to drop off water or send donations, visit the Operation Hydrate Facebook page, or follow @HydrateSA on Twitter, #OperationHydrate.Below are some of the highlights from the initiative’s work so far. Pictures are from Operation Hydrate’s Facebook page unless stated otherwise. Operation Hydrate has distributed more than 6 million litres of water in drought stricken areas, to date. Water has been delivered by 41 trucks and tankers to Swartruggens, Senekal, Steynsrus, Qwa Qwa, Zululand, Nongoma, Ulundi, Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, and Aliwal North so far. According to the NGO, some people in the drought stricken areas have resorted to drinking sewage water. Leslie Sedibe, the chief executive of Proudly South African, said: “Just to give somebody a glass of water… could be the greatest testimony you’ll ever give them.” Operation Hydrate aims to collect R95-million worth of water by 18 July this year. Pictured here are learners from Benoni Muslim School who donated water to the cause. Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the National Lottery would donate R50-million to the cause. On hearing this news, Operation Hydrate raised its target from R67-million to R95-million. (Image: Sandile Khumalo) The Proteas, the South African cricket team, donated five to 10 litres of water each. These were handed over in large bottles to Operation Hydrate. Cricket South Africa also called on supporters before the game against England in Centurion to donate bottled water at the stadium, collecting more than 5 000 litres of water.Chairperson of Operation Hydrate Fayaaz Moosa, pictured, said that although there had been some rain in certain parts of the country, the water was not necessarily potable, or of drinking quality. (Images: Sandile Khumalo) The donations were “ubuntu in action”, the initiative’s co-ordinator, Yusuf Abramjee, said at a water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Real people are the ones donating,” he said. “We as civil society will continue to provide this basic human right.” (Image: Sandile Khumalo)last_img read more

Roundup: Back to Basics with Essential Camera Movements

first_imgLooking to master the essentials of filmmaking? Get back to basics with this short overview of key camera movements and their uses.Top image via gnepphoto.Camera movements are a crucial part of any video. They add context, build suspense, and shape stories, all with a few simple motions. From smooth tracking shots and sweeping crane shots to the simpler pan, tilt, and zoom camera movements, any production should use a variety of camera movements combined with static shots. Maybe you’re just starting out in video, or maybe you just want to review the basics. Either way, knowing these fundamentals will give you a strong foundational knowledge to build your craft upon. In this article, we cover the basics of camera movements to sharpen your skills.Crane Shots Crane shots move the camera vertically with the help of a (you guessed it!) crane. Big productions will use big, expensive cranes, but there are jibs available at a manageable size and price to help you achieve the same effect. With the camera on one end and a counterweight on the other, you can get full arc shots that sweep the camera up and down with fluid, easy movements. While the jib moves up and down, the camera always stays level, capturing totally smooth footage. Crane shots are great for establishing sequences, which usually require full shots of a whole setting. They’re also useful for top-down shots when you can’t otherwise get your camera in an aerial position.Tracking ShotsIn a tracking shot, the camera moves alongside the subject or in and out of a scene. It’s a great way to follow the action in the scene with a smooth, continuous shot. These are the bread and butter of Hollywood cinematography. Hollywood achieves these shots with steadicams or glidecams, but you don’t need a big budget to make them happen. Make your own rig with short rails made from PVC pipes and a DIY dolly made from plywood and wheels, or go super basic and use a wheelchair or skateboard. Not all videos need the look of a tracking shot, but when you need it mastering this shot will add production value to your projects.Pan, Tilt, and ZoomThere are three camera principles you absolutely need to know when you’re working with a basic tripod setup: tilt, pan, and zoom. A pan shot moves horizontally from point A to point B, while a tilt shot moves vertically from point A to point B, all this on a swivel. The key to smooth pan and tilt shots is a delicate touch. Try using just one finger to push or pull the handle. A zoom shot moves in from point A to point B and can be a bit trickier to master than the pan and tilt — try marking your focal point with gaffer tape before you shoot. These three movements can enhance a scene, adding interest and letting you cover more in a single shot.These camera movements all offer creative and effective ways to tell your story, but don’t abandon the still shot once you have these down. There’s always room for a simple, static shot in any production.last_img read more

Khan fears for McGregor in Mayweather bout

first_imgSEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Khan’s fears reflect wider misgivings by some in the boxing community who believe Saturday’s money-spinning superfight should never have been sanctioned on safety grounds.The head of the Association of Ringside Physicians, Larry Lovelace, is among those who believe Nevada should not have granted a licence to the fight.“We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on,” Lovelace was quoted as saying by the New York Times.“The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt.”The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which sanctioned the fight, has a financial interest in the fight going ahead, earning a slice of the gross ticket receipts.ADVERTISEMENT Conor McGregor stands on stage during a weigh-in Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing bout Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — British boxer Amir Khan fears Conor McGregor could face serious injury as the Irishman prepares to face Floyd Mayweather here Saturday.Former light-welterweight world champion Khan told the MMA Hour television show Friday he believed mixed martial arts star McGregor could be hurt in what he expects will be a one-sided meeting with Mayweather in Las Vegas.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses McGregor has never fought in a professional boxing contest and is a huge underdog against Mayweather, a 49-0 fighter regarded as one of the best boxers in history.“It’s like a tennis player trying to play badminton,” Khan said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“So he (McGregor) should not show too much too balls in this fight. If he starts getting a beating — step out man,” he added.“He needs to think about himself in this fight, because if he gets seriously injured, he might not ever be the same fighter or he might not even fight again.” Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout PLAY LIST 01:05Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments With the bout expected to bring in more than $60 million at the gate, the commission could earn as much as $1.2 million.But Bob Bennett, the executive director of the commission, hit back at suggestions of a conflict of interest.“As a regulator, I take offense to the fact that we’re approving this fight for fiduciary reasons,” Bennett said. “That’s totally unfair, and it’s simply not true.” SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Read Next LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Phoenix Suns guard Knight to miss season after knee op LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more