Mysterial Power: Recent Video Work by Lana Lin | Chicago Reader

Mysterial Power: Recent Video Work by Lana Lin

A New York-based filmmaker with family ties in Taiwan, Lana Lin is interested in the way that island's culture balances traditional and modern beliefs, and in using split-screen technique to impart layers of information. Mysterial Power (2002, 53 min.) associates her grandmother's mysterious recovery from a serious illness with her teenage cousin's habit of communicating with a Taiwanese deity. One side of the screen shows an elderly woman worshiping in a temple and, later, a Confucian funeral; the other side presents a series of family discussions about how the young medium bridges two worlds. The conversation is digressive and the crawl of unrelated images distracting. No Power to Push Up the Sky (2001, 23 min.) is an exercise in multiple perspectives that doesn't add up to much: a triptych of panels shows American newspaper headlines and speakers reciting from the transcript of an interview with a Chinese dissident. Also on the program: Taiwan Video Club (1999, 14 min.). In English and subtitled Mandarin.

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