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- Movie: 4:30
- Director: Royston Tan
- Writer: Royston Tan
- Producer: Gary Goh, James Toh
- Release Date: June 29, 2006
- Runtime: 93 min.
- Language: Mandarin, English, Korean
- Country: Singapore
Xiao Wu's existence revolves around school, an empty apartment and the dubious comforts in instant noodles. One day, his routine is subtly transformed by a tenant in the apartment, who is nursing a heartache. Their paths cross only once and a while. Longing for human contact Xiao Wu tries all he can to make a connection through physical and metaphorical walls in that hour between night and day.
A meditation on absence and longing, 4:30 is about a moment, and a boy’s
attempt to cling to it, escaping his drab reality. 4:30 traces the relationship
between Zhang Xiao Wu and his tenant Jung, a thirty-something Korean
man. Told entirely from the perspective of the boy, this story of two very
different characters is less about friendship than about a shared experience
and appreciation of solitude.
4:30 was conceived while I was filming my first feature 15. I was doing a lot
of late night shoots and would normally still be up at 4:30 am. I realised that
this is a very lonely time of the day, in fact I think probably the loneliest. It
feels too late to go to sleep yet at the same time, too late to be
awake. I’ve heard a rumour that the suicide rate at this time is
apparently the highest.
The premise of 4:30 is built around 2 lonely people who share and probably find a kind of unspoken
connection through their loneliness. The reason for using a Korean character was in part, a way of
thanking the people at Pusan especially the Pusan International Film Festival for their
tremendous support for many of my short films over the last few years.
It was also my intention to show that loneliness is universal and cross – cultural hence there is
very little dialogue in the film 4:30. Emotions of the characters are told through their body
language like their eyes and facial expressions, or subtle cues of their hands. This perhaps also opens more doors to interpretation for the audience as well. -- Royston Tan
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