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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Wu yan" )


directed by Simon Chung
Hong Kong/China 2012


Inspired by the real life story of the "piano man" Andreas Grassl (a German student in the UK who had possibly experienced a psychotic episode and would only communicate through the piano), SPEECHLESS opens as a seemingly mute, amnesiac foreigner (Pierre-Matthieu Vital) discovered swimming naked in a Chinese river is sent to a local hospital. Nursing aide Jiang (Qilun Gao) seems to be the only person who believes that he is not insane. Before the foreigner can be sent to a state mental asylum (after some ethically-questionable "drug treatment" by the hospital's Dr. Lin), Jiang - who has a trouble relationship with his absent father (Chen Woi Hong) who has recently returned to town - spirits the foreigner away to his cousin's shack in the village where he was born. As the foreigner's memories begin to return, he dials a number on Jiang's phone but does not or cannot respond to the voice on the other end. Without the foreigner's knowledge, Jiang calls the number and arranges to meet its owner Ning (Yu Ting Si Tu) a strange young woman who tells him that the foreigner - named Luke - is a French foreign exchange student who fell in love with her but she rejected him. The answer does not satisfy Jiang who is then attacked by Ning's brother and cousin. Luke has disappeared and Jiang discovers that the police are looking for him in connection with the patient's initial disappearance from the hospital. Meanwhile, Luke's memories are returning and he may be walking into danger as the truth is revealed behind his trauma.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Breaking Glass Pictures/QC Cinema - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Breaking Glass Pictures/QC Cinema

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:36:03

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Mandarin/English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures/QC Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Simon Chung (16:9; 6:25)
• Cast and Crew Bios
• Photo Gallery
• Trailer (16:9; 1:08)

DVD Release Date: 4 December 2012

Chapters 12



Breaking Glass' progressive, anamorphic rendering of this HD-lensed film seems adequate with the occasional flatness of a handful of shots owing to the under-the-radar shooting, but is okay overall (presumably the clipped whites in the last capture are the result of the digital post flashback sequence filtering). Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and it appears to be the original mix (according to the not always reliable IMDb) rather than a downmix. The burnt-in subtitles could use some proofing but the few spelling and grammatical errors are far less distracting than on some of the other Breaking Glass/QC foreign titles.

Perhaps more interesting than the film is the interview with director Simon Chung who discusses shooting under-the-radar since the film had not been approved, the themes of homosexuality in China and local perception of westerners, the backgrounds of the cast, the film's structure (the shift in pacing at the 45 minute mark after a languorous opening is intentional), working with a cast and crew who spoke several different languages, and his hope that the overseas DVD releases (including this one) will allow Chinese viewers to see the film over the internet or through bootleg discs (the film is copyrighted in his own name rather than a distributor or production company). Talent bios, a trailer for the film, and trailers for some similarly-themed films (including Chung's own END OF LOVE) round out the package.

- Eric Cotenas


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Breaking Glass Pictures/QC Cinema

Region 1 - NTSC


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