By Calum Marsh
By Michelle Orange
By Michael Atkinson
By Simon Abrams
By Zachary Wigon
By Aaron Hillis
By Casey Burchby
By Stephanie Zacharek
Not showing anything like an authorial personality means never having to say you're sorry. Lazy "realism" is even good for an award or two on the law-of-averages festival circuit—Pusan and Rotterdam, in this case. In the inverse of an auspicious debut, Malaysia's Liew Seng Tat has made a film studiously burnished of anything to suggest he had input into its creation: arbitrary static framing, ambient soundtracking, vague performances, tick-tock monotonous cutting, and natural-sourced lighting. Flower in the Pocket concerns two brothers, not-especially-spontaneous-or-capable child actors, left by their father to sprout like weeds. Ethnic Chinese Mandarin speakers at a Bahasa school, the boys are perpetual classroom scapegoats. Wandering through outer Kuala Lumpur, they interact with a puppy and tomboyish Muslim girl. Apparent levity includes mild scatology and the brothers scampering for the bus only to discover they've accidentally dressed in each other's mis-sized uniforms. Shot on location in rundown districts and focused on just-getting-by families, the film can stake some journalistic claim to social relevance, but you'd have to have an NPR tote for a brain to call this art.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city