Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Nina Wu Review: A Painful and Powerful Film About Succeeding In A Cut Throat Industry

Ke-Xi Wu	...	Nina Wu Vivian Sung	Vivian Sung	...	Kiki Kimi Hsia	Kimi Hsia	...	No.3 Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Li-Ang Chang	Li-Ang Chang		 Jen-Shuo Cheng	Jen-Shuo Cheng		 Ping-Chun Cheng	Ping-Chun Cheng		 Ying-Hsuan Hsieh	Ying-Hsuan Hsieh		 Shang-Ho Huang	Shang-Ho Huang		 Lee-zen Lee	Lee-zen Lee		 Ming-Shuai Shih	Ming-Shuai Shih		 Shau-Ching Sung	Shau-Ching Sung		 Chih-Wei Tang	Chih-Wei Tang		 Chuan Wang	Chuan Wang		 Moon Wang	Moon Wang		 An-Shun Yu	An-Shun Yu

Release date: April 2, 2021 (Virtual Cinema)
Running time: 104 minutes
Ke-Xi Wu, Yu-Hua Sung, Yu-Chiao Hsia, Ming-Shuai Shih
Directed by: Midi Z
Written by: Ke-Xi Wu, Midi Z

After toiling for years in bit-parts, aspiring actress Nina Wu (Ke-Xi Wu, who also co-wrote the script based on her own personal experiences) finally gets her big break with a leading role in a spy thriller set in the 1960s. The part, which calls for nudity and explicit sex scenes, is made all the more challenging thanks to the director’s unending belittlements. While seemingly on the brink of professional triumph, Nina’s psychological resolve begins to crack under the pressure. As she rushes to her childhood home following a family emergency, Nina begins suffering paranoid fantasies that a mysterious woman is stalking and attacking her. As Nina clings to memories of happier times, it seems that there is one crucial memory that she is repressing.

Produced by  Midi Z	...	producer Joanne Goh	...	executive producerMusic by  Giong Lim	Cinematography by  Florian Zinke	Film Editing by  Matthieu Laclau	 Yann-Shan Tsai	Art Direction by  Chih-Da Kuo	Costume Design by  Cheuk Ming Chan	 Cho Ting Chung	Sound Departmen
Nina Wu has a bold style bold, which is needed to tell thsi bold story.  Writer and star Ke-Xi Wu draws from her own traumatic experiences to create this film and its painful yet powerful subject matter.  And this vision is brought to life by co-writer and director Midi Z.  The film has striking, solid colors that are evident from the poster and continue throughout the story.  Prominent colors and scenes are repeated as Nina begins to unpack some of the traumas that have happened to her.  The film also has some fantastic camera angles to help tell the story, and some really powerful scenes where the movie within the movie is being filmed.  And these colors become even more bold when the surreal parts of the story are explored.   The film has scenes from Nina's psyche interspersed throughout the story, which provide an interesting break but can also be confusing as sometimes they are not clearly called out.  But they also crucially reveal small parts of the story, a story that becomes more clear as the film goes on.

The core of this film, and what it really should be celebrated for, is that it depicts the level of dedication that actors have to their craft.  Nina Wu is beaten, abused, tormented, and worse in her quest to succeed in the field that she desperately wants to, and forced to go outside her comfort zone to try and do this.  This happens subtly, such as by those who seemingly are supposed to have her best interests at heart, and not so subtly, such as a director who torments and assaults her in an attempt to coax some additional emotion into her performance.  And through this all, Nina Wu must maintain the fa├žade that everything is alright in order to deal with the press and social media.  It is a sharp contrast and one that can be tough to watch at times (especially as the depth of her abuse is explored).  But it is an important film to highlight these abuses, made all the more powerful by the fact that this is based on her own personal experiences.  Especially in our hyper socialized media, Nina Wu showcases the pressures to succeed and the need to artificially shrug off and suppress those pressures to cultivate a public image.

Nina Wu is a painful and powerful film, with a bold style and striking performances, telling a story that looks at the pressures and abuses to succeed in a cut throat industry.

Watch it.

Directed by  Midi Z	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Ke-Xi Wu	 Midi Z   Sound Department  Cheng Chou	...	sound Chun-Yi Li	...	boom operator Danfeng Li	...	sound Morgan Yen	...	soundVisual Effects by  Min-Gze Chen	...	visual effects Tzung-Min Wang	...	visual effects (as Tzung-Min Lin) Yi-Shiuan Wang	...	visual effects ArChin Yen	...	visual effectsAdditional Crew  Maher Diab	...	Distribution Alaa Karkouti	...	Distribution

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Nina Wu is playing in virtual cinemas across the country.  For more information and for showtimes click here.

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