The Tattooist

Thought provoking and vibrant. As much as short the runtime is, this arthouse project stays in your head for days. Days!

Michael Wong is completely on a new island, here. He is challenging himself and if he is in this new field, biking, hitch hiking and surfing violently, he wants his audience to go through that same experience. I am usually there, with the filmmaker, among those characters, for I respect the sport that they play and yearn for. But not every audience member could be asked to have that same sensibility and passion. Often or not, they require a push, a proper emotional boost to jump in that set piece. And since this short film is incredibly short and cannot be asked to possess emotional punches for the audience to communicate with them. The cinematography is incredibly open with us in that factor. The way the first shot of the film opens up and drives us, guides us, in this shady parlor that breathes the neo-noir genre of the film, we are up and ready in a snap just as the background score suggests us to be. Michael is monstrously confident and in command of this second project of his. More than the first, I found the style and etiquette of this horror attractive and expressive in what it has to say. The storyline is more of a question, if his first project was a gesture, the genre then is justified properly when this very precarious theme haunts you as the credit roles. This is fast, visually rich, compact and sleek filmmaking on “getting into your head”. The Tattooist spoke to me, for it is passionate and strict in its vocabulary. You are confined by dark boundaries that are slowly pushing towards you just as that almost-one-minute is ticking at the back of your head.

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