4 Faces of Eve

The shocking conceits of two of these thematically linked sketches (1996)—all four of which star producer Sandra Ng—complicate their meanings intriguingly. In part one a female prostitute courts a male psychiatry student at a swimming pool and later by a riverbank. Pathetic yet self-aware, she reveals a desperate, stereotypically female compulsion to use a romantic relationship to get therapy, imagining that acknowledging her ulterior motives will somehow be seductive. In the next segment rapid-fire cinematography and editing depict the horrifying slapstick travails of a woman who spends all of her time cleaning up after her children as well as her husband's reluctant mistress, who's locked in a cellar. The garish colors, abrupt alternations between sprightly music and silence, and breakneck motion of the actors and the camera make for a viscerally and cerebrally provocative meditation on male and female roles. But the third section nests its ideas in an elaborate narrative about a cross-dressing twin; the mixture of video techniques is alluring, but the symbolism is both pandering and obscure. The fourth section runs an obvious conceit into the ground: a couple compete on a hyperactive game show, winning more and more as the wife, responding to questions posed by the host, enthusiastically reveals her knowledge of her husband's infidelities. Codirected by Jan Lamb, Eric Kot, and writer K.L. Kam.

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