TOO YOUNG (2000) [Feature]

Taiwan (MIFF 2001 , Regional Focus)
Director: Huang Min-Chen

Languid pace, gorgeous photography and a simple but emotive plot make this superb featurette one of the treasures worth unearthing at this year's Festival. Mo is a withdrawn and introspective high-schooler who likes to hypnotize himself by listening to meditation tapes. A burgeoning interest in spirituality is paralleled by a growing infatuation with classmate, Chieng. Rather than unfolding as a torrid teen gay romance, Too Young is a gentle evocation of a youthful crush flavoured with homoerotic elements.

Rumours abound about the muscled Chen, making him all the more enigmatic and attractive to both sexes Is it true he attempted suicide? Why? He is silent but defiant in class, spirited but wont to conceal his true emotions. A secretive skinny dip and a prank cements the bond between Mo and Chieng, events that begin to help both boys open up Too Young won the Best Short Film prize at the 1998 Taipei Film Festival and has also screened at the Vancouver, London and Rotterdam Film Festivals. Exceptional short filmmaking See also Birdland (page 29).

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