Studio: Jungle Cat Productions
Movies can be filled with life-threatening issues people have everyday or sometimes just for a living. TOUCH is a dramatic Korean-storytelling tale crafted by a first-time feature film director Aleksandra Szczepanowska and is going to be showcased at The Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX in November 2020. A little backstory for the director is that Szczepanowska is a writer/director/producer/actor born in New York. Prior to TOUCH, she has written and directed several short films including Let it Ring and Naked Soles. Aside from being a filmmaker, Szczepanowska also steps in as an actress for the main role with Chinese actors Jun Yang, Beckham, and Jiangwei Yuan.
In Szczepanowska’s feature directorial debut, Fei Fei, a Caucasian, Western woman is living an affluent, cosseted existence as the wife of hard-charging, business executive Zhang Hua and mother to young son Mo Mo. Though she feels deeply alienated from the country she loves, her friends, and husband, her issues and mysterious circumstances have caused her life to be threatened by her own privileged, fragile existence and her family.
Director Aleksandra Szczepanowska portrays as Fei Fei while Jun Yang plays as her husband Zhang who is concerned about his wife. Jiangwei Yuan appears as an blind Chinese man named Bai Yu whom Fei Fei later encountered. Backham also comes into the scene as Mo Mo, Fei Fei’s young son.
The film is entirely shot somewhere in Asia, though the location for any Asian cities where the crew have shot the film is unknown. Szczepanowska, despite being a director and actress altogether at the same time, had much commitment on filming and editing the scenes throughout the film, bringing this delight and taste to that so-so old-school, new-school bilingual film compared to that critical-acclaimed film The Farewell with Awkwafina and Best Picture Oscar-winning film Parasite. Not to mention that this film is in English and Mandarin Chinese. Other than the scenes and editing themselves, the music and the camera shots and angles look pretty much similar to any films that were produced or made in Asian countries, giving a strong delicacy for the film’s texture and balance for both Asian and American audiences and critics.
The majority of the actors are all new to my viewing pleasures which means that my passion for films begins to grow simultaneously inside and outside of America. They both look like they’re having a hard time with Szczepanowska’s character, but they seem like they are getting along well. And to add a couple of bonus points, Szczepanowska also gives a good headliner for a female character, which is nice to study her own character developments and for that motherly focus on herself and to Backham’s character rather than focusing on the husband character entirely.
TOUCH is a nice, soft 95-minute production and is worth the watch. It gives me the chills and thrills. Of course, I realized that some people can be picky about movies, but as I recently pointed out that there are plenty of options to choose from. I say TOUCH is a so-called “real steal!”
(Review by Henry Pham)