Mirror Image | Chicago Reader

Mirror Image

Hsiao Ya-chuan's playful debut is set mostly in a Taipei pawnshop, run by the young Tung-ching (a droll Lee Jiunn-jye) since his father's stroke. Tung-ching hangs around with a girlfriend he met on the Internet who's fascinated with palmistry, in no small part because his fingerprints were erased in a motorcycle accident. A mysterious woman comes in to pawn her watch, and while the possibilities she brings to Tung-ching's life (they hawk goods together on the subway) provide the film's title, the idle reality of the pawnshop is more involving. Hsiao's cool visual style belies the fact that he honed his chops as an assistant director on Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flowers of Shanghai; the quirky characters and flitting romantic subterfuges are closer to Wong Kar-wai, though the film's rhythms are very original. 72 min.

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