ByCarl KC'arl Li, writer at

'The Grief of Others' the second film by Patrick Wang, adapted from the novel by Leah Hager Cohen.

This isn't a typical film review in that I don't actually go into any detail of the film's story, or acting but I go DEEP into the ideas behind Patrick Wang's approaches to film-making and storytelling for this film.

The book the film is based on is a drama. I haven't read the book and I hadn't even heard of it, but have since heard/seen many positive reviews for it! The film is more than drama; the film style demands that it be more. Its a bit of an artistic puzzle, where the visual storytelling is less straight forward and spelled out for you. In contrast, the author of the book who was at the Q&A at the screening I attended, said that she may have over-explained things in the book. I imagine reading the book would be a nice companion to the film. I'm curious how different the experience of the film was for those who read the book prior to watching the film, from those who hadn't. I wonder if it was a significant difference, since the words from the book, and how they effected the reader, will provide additional insight, or data in which to interpret the films images, shooting style, pace, etc. Things which may have gone over the heads of other viewers, or may have been interpreted one way, may evoke other things to those who read the book. It's almost like a hidden language. As we watch the film, with the knowledge of our own experiences, certain things from the film may or may not come to mean something to us in the context in which it's given. This, to Patrick, is very true to life. We are not always guided to the meanings of things we see, or things others do. Life experience gives context to things and each person's will be different. The context in which certain things happen in the film will be different for those who have read the book, but honestly, regardless of whether or not someone read the book, it will be different.

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