Midi Z, China, 2019
The movies love a movie about making a movie. The industry eats its own tail.
Here we have young starlet, Nina, trying to make it – though to be honest she looks happier making social media videos – and coming up against the kind of abuse revealed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and consequent #MeToo movement.
The filmmaker portrays the women here as delicate and vulnerable. The men surrounding them – the director, the agent, the casting director – are bullying, threatening, ruthless sharks.
Nina herself seems constantly scared and worried. She’s very serious. But she’s not a very well-rounded character, more a means for the film to rifle through events and themes.
I did love the use of colour – lots of very prominent black, white and red, embodied by Nina herself with her black hair, porcelain skin and red dress. I also loved the moments when you weren’t quite sure what was dream/nightmare and what was reality.
Sometimes the camerawork added to the sense of exploitation, putting the audience in the position of voyeur or participant. But for me, the slowly-panning-in wide shots (there must be a technical term?) were overused and had no purpose.
So altogether, a bit meh and forgettable, unfortunately.