Friday, July 8, 2011

Amphetamine (2010)



Scud is back – deal with it. Hong Kong's most unique self-financed auteur returns to his pet themes of life, death, love, sexuality and nudity with Amphetamine, an improvement on his earlier works in that it doesn't jam its self-awareness down your throat 24-7. Not that Scud has gotten rid of that particular obsession. At one point in Amphetamine, ripped swimming instructor Kafka (Byron Pang) visits an art gallery with gay finance worker Daniel (Thomas Price), where the two take in a photo exhibition highlighting stills from Permanent Residence. They even talk about the film briefly, though thankfully neither of them says something like, "That movie was great, I loved it!" Scud, your restraint here is appreciated.
It you've seen any Scud movies, you should know that there's some massive sadness coming down the pipeline - so Kafka succeeding at salvation is pretty much a dead deal from minute one. Scud's movies have never been mega-happy affairs, so expecting some kind of storybook ending from Amphetamine would not be right. This is a movie about damaged people living in a damaged world, and how they can heal and help one another – for a while anyway.

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