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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex and at times confusing film of a love affair
This is a film about disguised lives. Ricky (Wong Kar Wai) at one time says in a phone call home from Hong Kong that he is teaching someone how to trade, implying that he is supposed to have a job on the stock exchange or similar; actually he is a delivery boy for a fast food Chinese restaurant. Pascal, a shaven headed westerner (Bernhard Bulling), is the assistant of...
Published on 27 May 2011 by Dan Filson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seeking resonance
Pascal, Swiss, in his late-20s, is homeless and broke in Hong Kong. He makes cash by street entertaining and pick-pocketing. Ricky, a slightly younger Hong Kong native, recognises Pascal as someone who once picked his pocket. Drawn to Pascal's pained desperation, he tries to help him. The intimacy between the two gradually grows and they seem happy - yet there remains a...
Published on 5 Sept. 2010 by Son of Nietzsche


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex and at times confusing film of a love affair, 27 May 2011
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is a film about disguised lives. Ricky (Wong Kar Wai) at one time says in a phone call home from Hong Kong that he is teaching someone how to trade, implying that he is supposed to have a job on the stock exchange or similar; actually he is a delivery boy for a fast food Chinese restaurant. Pascal, a shaven headed westerner (Bernhard Bulling), is the assistant of another westerner, a juggler whose role is to distract the public whilst Pascal picks pockets. Ricky is one such victim but his chase after Pascal is frustrated by a ticket collector. Pascal's relationship with his partner is that of underling in an abusive relationship, out of which he walks after submitting to one violent rape too many.

So there is the scenario of two lives coming into contact. It is preceded by the seminal image of the film, Pascal lying on the ground face-up staring upwards. Is he day-dreaming, and why is there what looks like milk seeping from under him?

Ricky distraught is given fresh funds (and guidance on replacing his stolen ID pass) by his surly landlady, a hooker operating from the room below Ricky's. Ricky comes across a weeping Pascal and comforts him with a sandwich; as you do. Before long they have started an affair, living together in Ricky's cramped digs. Ricky irons Pascal's shirts; it is unclear what Psacal really offers in return.

So the story progresses. Intercut with the Hong Kong scenes are others clearly set in Europe. Such is the bewildering nature of the film, it is at first hard to tell if these are flash-forwards or flash-backs. And who is Ueli, the handsome German who so resembles Pascal (not least as they are both played by the same actor, I found out)? And why is his sister so angry with him and everything?

The tale does have a narrative flow though the director makes life hard for the viewer. Some reviews have suggested he doesn't quite pull it off. If you focus hard - this is not a film to watch when tipsy or tired, and the subtitles are in smaller print than I would prefer - you do get the threads sorted out, and it all comes coherent at the end.

I give it 5 stars as it makes the viewer think and is full of good observation. One device the director uses is to use long takes in Europe and shorter takes in Hong Kong, thus stressing the contrast between the calmness of Switzerland and the frenetic pace of Hong Kong. There is one beautiful sequences where an elderly woman, apparently disabled with Alzheimer's or similar, reincarnated into her much younger self (as in a photo on her wall) sings a song with a sneeze refrain and the word Gezundheit! The director's subtlety is that we can only hazard whether this is a recollection in her mind or an imagination by Ricky on seeing her photo.

The director fully uses his 100 minutes running time. In the Director's and Bulling's insightful commentary we get good value.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seeking resonance, 8 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Pascal, Swiss, in his late-20s, is homeless and broke in Hong Kong. He makes cash by street-entertaining and pick-pocketing. Ricky, a slightly younger Hong Kong native, recognises Pascal as someone who once picked his pocket. Drawn to Pascal's pained desperation, he tries to help him. The intimacy between the two gradually grows and they seem happy - yet there remains a side to the enigmatic Pascal that is somehow closed to Ricky.

The scenes of the development of their relationship that constitute this film are interspersed with 'flash-forwards', of Ricky alone, in Switzerland, searching for Pascal. The viewer is aware from the start that some event will arise to tear apart their connectedness - but what, and will they reconvene?

SOUNDLESS WINDCHIME (Mandarin/Cantonese/English, with English subtitles) is concerned with emotional intensities that are pre-verbal; limitations on what the characters can say, and what can be expressed. Consequently, the film intentionally eschews dialogue and narrative structure in the attempt to tap into swarms of affect that transcend analysis. Boundaries between characters become blurred, the question 'why?' is rendered redundant, and time loses linearity. The viewer should not expect any clarifying denouement, and should certainly anticipate being left with far more questions than answers...

Undoubtedly the lead cast give strong performances - particularly Pascal (Bernhard Bulling) - and the dreamy cinematography is quite stunning in places. Nevertheless, this is an ambitious project - is it successful? This reviewer found the Pascal-Ricky combination too weak to meet the challenge; but, ultimately, the film's achievement in spot-lighting affective intensity (by backgrounding narrative) will inevitably vary greatly from viewer to viewer.

If you're looking for an entertaining or classically-romantic story, it is advised to skip SOUNDLESS WINDCHIME; but if you're curious for something different, then this unusual film just might reach you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seeking resonance, 5 Sept. 2010
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Pascal, Swiss, in his late-20s, is homeless and broke in Hong Kong. He makes cash by street entertaining and pick-pocketing. Ricky, a slightly younger Hong Kong native, recognises Pascal as someone who once picked his pocket. Drawn to Pascal's pained desperation, he tries to help him. The intimacy between the two gradually grows and they seem happy - yet there remains a side to Pascal that is closed to Ricky.

The scenes of the development of their relationship that constitute this film are interspersed with 'flash-forwards', of Ricky alone, in Switzerland, searching for Pascal. The viewer is aware from the start that some event will arise to tear apart their connectedness - but what, and will they reconvene?

SOUNDLESS WIND CHIME (Mandarin/Cantonese/English, with English subtitles) is concerned with emotional intensities that are pre-verbal; limitations on what the characters can say, and what can be expressed. Consequently, the film intentionally eschews dialogue or narrative structure in the attempt to tap into swarms of affect that transcend analysis. Boundaries between characters become blurred, the question 'why?' is rendered redundant, and time loses any linearity. The viewer should not expect any clarifying denouement, and should certainly anticipate being left with far more questions than answers.

Undoubtedly the lead cast give strong performances - particularly Pascal (Bernhard Bulling) - and the dreamy cinematography is quite stunning in places. Nevertheless, this is an ambitious project - is it successful? Personally, I found the emotional intensities flowing between Pascal and Ricky too weak to meet the challenge; but, ultimately, the film's achievement in spot-lighting affective intensity (by backgrounding narrative) will inevitably vary greatly from viewer to viewer.

If you're looking for an entertaining or classically-romantic story, skip SOUNDLESS WIND CHIME; but if you're curious for something different, then this unusual film just might reach you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars astonishing visually, but a bit unclear, 31 Jan. 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
To see this film is to enter into a world so poetic, so deeply felt and evoked that it makes most films look plodding and literal-minded. One should see it and surrender to its effect, the immediacy of the locations, the daring use of close-ups that bring us so near to the characters we feel we could almost touch them. Everyday moments are rendered vividly, but any attempt to describe how its world of feeling is conveyed is bound to fail, it is so purely cinematic. At a literal level the plot is not entirely clear after two viewings, and it could possibly have had a bit more focus in the script, as this does add a note of frustration. The acting is very strong and both the main actors have a beauty which feels somewhat incidental rather than the reason for their being there. Its meaning is more in the images than in what is said. A reviewer on American amazon likened it to a poem by Mallarme and this strikes me as an apt analogy - it requires thought; difficulty seems to be a part of it in the same way as it is in, say, a Robert Bresson film, even though it isn't austere in that way; but it is very dense, and at the same time light, brushing with the lightest touch against the spiritual essence of things.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Film of Loss, Longing, and Rebirth, 28 Jan. 2014
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
‘Soundless Wind Chime’ is a 2008 joint Swiss-Hong Kong production, directed by Kit Hung. It tells the story of the life of a short relationship between Pascal (a Swiss young man in Hong Kong, played by Bernard Bulling) and Ricky (a local Chinese boy, played by cute Lu Yulai). The relationship has its ups and downs; although short in time before tragedy strikes, its effect on Ricky is so intense that he travels to Switzerland.

‘Soundless Wind Chime’ is therefore a film of loss and longing, but it is far from maudlin. Do not let the strange opening put you off; it is well worth sticking with the movie as its narrative unfolds in separate strands of time and space. Indeed, the film has got to be seen at least twice in order to fully appreciate its detail and its emotional core. For those who are susceptible to a deeper meaning to life, there is a richness to be experienced from this film.

The juxtaposition of two totally different worlds – lonely windswept Alpine Switzerland, and hot bustling Hong Kong – is confidently handled and well-edited. The mixing of the two strands helps build intrigue and curiosity as one tries to tie together the chronology of events.

Shot digitally the film occasionally is a bit grainy, but this might be intended. Nevertheless, the whole film is professionally shot and well-acted. It has a dreamy quality and yet is fully real. The two lead actors certainly have a naturalness about them. One might crib about too many languorous moments, but these all add to the mystique of this atmospheric film.

My copy comes with a commentary by the director in conversation with Bernhard Bulling. Kit Hung describes the film as being concerned as much with rebirth as with loss. Other extras include nine short deleted scenes and a short documentary about the making of the imaginative soundtrack by Sepiasonic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Resonant, 28 Feb. 2013
By 
Philzee - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Ambitious and enigmatic, Soundless Windchime appears at first to buckle under the weight of its own profundity, however, the intelligent direction and assured acting saves it, I think, from abject frustration despite its irredeemable obscurity. Just!
There is a wholly human quality to this film that excuses its beguiling nature, exploring as it does what a simple act of kindness may accomplish. I found its lack of clarity to only slightly trouble my sense of frustration; never reaching the point where I wanted to give up watching, and that is completely down to the themes the film explores (kindness, friendship; loss, love; death), and the acting, which is natural and accomplished.

The opening imagery is deviceful and evocative; intriguing instantly and hinting at the surrealism to come.
Its uniqueness outweighs its inherent obliqueness but doesn't quite mitigate the wish for coherence. It piques ones interest immediately, however that initial impetus is lost to ambiguity.
Perhaps that's the point, and ironically the film resounds as one attempts to battle with its obscurity.
I agree it's an ambitious film, certainly in its core genre, and I was mesmerised by its seeming profundity, which thankfully never felt contrived.
I don't think I'll ever fully understand its intricacies, and there's a big part of me that would love the gaps filled in and the chronology defined. On the other hand, it is fun to speculate on those parts of the story the film wilfully conceals.

Ricky and Pascal inhabit this eclectic montage assuredly despite their overt timidity, and their blossoming relationship really is great to watch; affecting with its authentic, genuine nature.
The films surreal quality confers a tangible sense of melancholy which never detracts from the overall enjoyment. Yes it's sad, but not in a cheap way. There are moments of levity made priceless by their scarcity, and its expression of a very human need is seductive enough that its weighty intrigue does not feel cumbersome.

The lack of narrative didn't bother me as much as I thought it would as the film communicates in many other ways: the musical dissonance is integral and is used to convey mood perspicaciously, distorted or out-of-focus use of frame effectively communicates a wealth of emotions as does the prolonged looks between the characters.
I'd love to list the parts of the story that baffled me but fear, perhaps ironically, that too much would be given away.
This film cannot help itself - it will certainly resonate with the viewer if open to and accepting of its obscurity, which will confound even as it intrigues with its surrealism. Be warned though: multiple veiwings are inevitable...
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3.0 out of 5 stars A sincere romance, 27 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I enjoyed this movie a great deal for its innocence and sincerity.

Pascal the homeless foreigner in a culturally hostile country (Hong Kong) finds love in the most unusual places. A victim of his criminal past, affords him the grace and humanity denied him by his companion, and without any judgment welcomes him into his life and home.

At times the movie was difficult to follow as it was constantly moving between the present and the past, and whilst an effort was made to make this movement between times accessible to the audience, it could have done with better editing. Often I found myself taking a moment to establish where the story was going, and wether the scene was the in the past or present. In addition to which, I found some of the scenes to be poetically overstated. Long fade outs, with mountainous scenery and solitary figures does much for setting a melancholy, but can at times be overdone.

Nonetheless the story was innocent and sincere. Never once did I feel that it was fanciful or unbelievable, and I sympathized with both characters. One was trying to find his way, whereas the other was trying to find a way for him. Endearing in his love and affection for Pascal often without understanding or appreciation, finds Ricky torn between what he feels for Pascal and what he desires for them both.

The movie is beautiful in many ways, with much thought being given to the story and its scripting. The characters are broken in many ways, but somehow find peace in and with each other.

Worth watching if you feel like some innocent expression and sincere loving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soundless wind chime., 14 April 2011
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Some bits are fine & interesting, but it's often not clear why things happen, or what the connection between them is, or why things end up as they do.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Satyricon retold, 5 Sept. 2013
By 
R. Wooldridge (Waltham Abbey UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Nobody knows what The Satyricon is about because we only have fragments from different stages in the story. This is what Soundless Wind Chime is like. This is pretty to watch and the actors are attractive but trying to work out what it is about is the road to the lunatic asylum. Just enjoy the view then get on with your life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its dreamlike poignancy lingers long after the final scene closes, 26 July 2012
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James Harris - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
A film that you feel, perhaps more than you wholly understand, through gorgeous imagery and an understated sense of intimacy, told in such a sensitive way. I loved this film, it touched me greatly.
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Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009]
Soundless Wind Chime [DVD] [2009] by Kit Hung (DVD - 2011)
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