|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 in
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 oneliness
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.
29th June 2006