'Artsy' Winner at China's Oscars


China’s equivalent of the US’s Academy Awards took place over the weekend, and the big winner was a Taiwanese film — based on a true story — that some are calling an ‘art-house film.’ No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti, or ‘Cannot Live Without You,’ centres on the struggles of a single father trying to regain custody of his daughter, and it took home the best film award at the 46th Golden Horse Awards ceremony held Saturday in Taiwan.

I’m pretty sure, as is so often the case, that one reason it’s been dubbed ‘artsy’ is that it was shot entirely in black-and-white. But actually, I’m all for that — film, photography, websites, clothing, etc. void of colour. I like to think that there’s something about monochrome that draws attention to other details, like secondary focal points and fine textures for example, which help make the medium thoughtful or a little more artistically inclined, both in creation and consumption.

Director Leon Dai, who also wrote and produced No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti, supports this notion when explaining his decision to film in black and white. He’s said that although he knew it would be a risk commercially, it was really his only choice because after much thought he was simply unable to find a suitable ‘colour tone’ to tell his story. And to top it off, Dai’s hopes for his audience is as optimistic as it is almost instructive (in an art teacher-ish way): ‘I hope the audience will be able to use more of their imagination and to give these images their own colours.’

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Stay tuned for an exclusive review of something else sure to be spectacularly black and white — ‘Eastern Eye & Western Eye,’ a photographic collaboration currently showing in Tokyo, featuring works by world-famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson andIhei Kimura, who is one of Japan’s most highly regarded contemporary photographers.

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