search

The Motel

A coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail

The Motel
Like a teenager struggling to stick out and fit in at the same time, Michael Kang makes his feature debut with "The Motel," a well-worn coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail and a sharp visual sense. Ernest Chin (Jeffrey Chyau) is a tubby, awkward 13-year-old Chinese American who cleans rooms at his mother's suburban no-tell motel. He's also a budding writer who's just won "honorary mention" in a short-story contest, but his unforgiving mother, Ahma (Jade Wu), is not impressed. Honorable mention, she says, "is worse than losing."

Abandoned by his father, Ernest finds a substitute in Sam Kim (Sung Kang), a self-assured Korean American who squires an endless succession of prostitutes past Ernest's awestruck eyes. Sam's cocksure posturing is thrilling to Ernest, whose post-tryst cleanups have done little to prepare him for the onset of puberty, as his painful flirtation with a pretty older girl (Samantha Futerman) makes abundantly clear. But even Ernest sees through Sam's act after a visit to the self-styled playboy's former house, where Sam's estranged wife has already started rearranging the furniture.

In the kind of offhand but carefully considered touch that lifts "The Motel" above a crowded pack, an anxious Ernest, whom Sam has ill-advisedly brought along on his home invasion, catches sight of a rack of carpet slippers, then looks unsteadily at his own feet. Perhaps he's worried about leaving tracks or wondering if stepping into Sam's shoes is really such a good idea. Thankfully, "The Motel" doesn't make too much of such fleeting moments. Ernest won't understand their import for years to come, and it's all right if we wait a little while as well. (S. Adams, Los Angeles Times)

The Motel

Thu October 5, 2006, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 2005, in Cantonese, Color, 75 min

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Radio 1190
Boulder Weekly
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).