Two men meet and fall in love under the least joyous of circumstances in this low-key drama from writer and director Yen Tan. Jeff (Adam Neal Smith) has been close friends with Mark most of his life, so when Mark unexpectedly dies, Jeff volunteers to clear out Mark's apartment and tie up the loose ends of his personal business. While examining Mark's correspondence, Jeff learns that he had been exchanging flirtatious e-mails for some time with Andrea (Alessandro Calza), an Internet designer from Italy who made plans to come to America and meet Mark in person -- and he's due to arrive only three days after Mark's passing. Jeff is unable to reach Andrea before he leaves, and ends up meeting the traveler at the airport, passing along the sad news to him. Andrea now has three days to pass in Mark's hometown of Dallas before his flight home, and Jeff offers to show him around the town. Over the next 72 hours, an attraction develops between Jeff and Andrea, based in part on their shared affection for a man they knew in very different ways. Ciao was an official entry at the 2008 San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. … More
as Mark's Father
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Critic Reviews for Ciao
In Yen Tan's glacially paced movie (every shot is relentlessly symmetrical), the actors are squares in graph-paper compositions.
Yen Tan's Ciao is a revelation, a minimalist work of maximum effect. It is determinedly understated and consistently expressive, beautifully composed yet never studied.
It's made on the smallest of budgets and features awkward if sincere performances, yet Yen Tan's film still manages to strike a series of plangent emotional truths about speaking one's heart and moving on.
Ciao moves at a snail's pace. It feels long even at its abbreviated length.
In theory, there's no reason a movie shouldn't endeavor to be somber and tentatively hopeful at the same time. In practice, unfortunately, Ciao is depressing and ploddingly elegiac.
Deeply sincere and exceedingly slow even at 87 minutes, Ciao involves two strangers who become acquaintances after the death of a mutual friend.
It's hard to shake the feeling that the onscreen words stick too close to the facts: The dialogue drags, making the viewer like an invisible third wheel at a nervous, slightly dull first date.
The film's calculatingly minimalist style is in many ways as affected as all the gay Amerindie films at which writer-director Yen Tan snottily thumbs his nose.
The ever-static camera undercuts the poignantly understated performances with the egotism of a futon ad photographer who fancies Ozu.
Helmer/co-scripter Tan conceives of his two characters as complementing each other within a minor key.
Audience Reviews for Ciao
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