Posts from the ‘Feature Film’ category

Seattle Post-Intelligencer on “Fish”

“’Year of the Fish:’ This Cinderella story is not for children”
By BILL WHITE, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Published: September 25, 2008

Not every Cinderella story set in Manhattan is “Enchanted.”

“Year of the Fish,” so named because it is narrated by a fish, is an animated fairy tale that will appeal more to fans of Ralph Bakshi (“Heavy Traffic”) and Aron Gauder (“The District”) than the Walt Disney crowd.

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NPR reviews “Year of the Fish”

“’Year Of The Fish': A Cinderella Story, In Chinatown”
by Bob Mondello, National Public Radio
Published: August 29, 2008


The back story is unconventional, as is the narrator, but that doesn’t make Ye Xian any less recognizable as a modern-day Cinderella.

As her goldfish (yup, her goldfish) tells it in Year of the Fish, our pretty young Chinese heroine has arrived in the U.S. not realizing she’s been delivered into indentured servitude. Stern massage-parlor proprietress Madame Su (Tsai Chin) holds both Ye Xian’s passport and a contract that says she’ll work off her passage.

When Ye Xian (An Nguyen) balks at giving massages to men who are clearly interested in having her do more than rub their backs, she’s forced to work as the joint’s servant — scrubbing floors, doing laundry, serving Madame and the wicked step-masseuses — and left to wonder whether someday her prince might come.

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Hammer to Nail reviews “Year of the Fish”

“YEAR OF THE FISH – Cinderella in Chinatown”
by Michael Tully, Hammer to Nail
Published: August 29, 2008

For his debut feature, writer/director David Kaplan created a hefty stack of obstacles for himself. One: he chose to update one of the most familiar and oft-told fairytales in the canon (in fact, he went back to 9th Century China for the oldest version known). Two: he shot his work of magical fantasy on the unmagically realistic medium of digital video. Three: he manipulated his footage by rotoscoping it, turning his low-budget DV drama into a full-blown animated feature. It takes a special individual to not let these ingredients become an overcooked, inedible concoction, but somehow, Kaplan pulls it off. Year of the Fish is that rare low-budget film that casts a genuinely magical spell.

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San Antonio Express-News on “Fish”

by Larry Ratliff, San Antonio Express-News
Published: October 17, 2008


If you’re keeping up with exciting emerging filmmakers, please add New York-based David Kaplan to your list.

“Year of the Fish,” Kaplan’s provocative, animated twist on the centuries-old Cinderella story, is a must-see for anyone who appreciates innovative, quality filmmaking.

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Film Threat Review: YEAR OF THE FISH

by Peter Vonder Haar, Film Threat
Published: June 8, 2007


The folk tale upon which the story of “Cinderella” is based originated during China’s Tang Dynasty, some 800 years before the European version written by Charles Perrault. It has hundreds of variants and versions, though I doubt many before “Year of the Fish” included a fairy godmother who ran a brutal sweatshop and threatened to bite the heroine’s tits off.

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The Diva Reviews “Year of the Fish”

by Diva Velez,
Published: August 28, 2008

As a pachyderm who grew up devouring every possible version of Disney’s Cinderella, the film, the storybook, the LP with the storybook attached, the View-Master Viewer edition, the colouring book, etc. how shocking it was to find out that the fairy tale, long believed to have been authored in seventeenth-century France by one Charles Perrault, actually hailed from Asia sometime around 800 AD (- and apparently, there earlier versions than that). It’s the Chinese tale that brings us to Year of the Fish, a modern Cinderella story with a sweet and sour twist.

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“Year of the Fish” Press Blurbs

“[ONE OF] OUR 20 FAVORITE FILMS FROM SUNDANCE ‘07… not only charming, it’s also amazing to look at.” – AOL

“Doyer Street has never looked so poetically sun-dappled… the piquancy of a fresh slice of ginger… the thing glows.” – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

“Sundance ’07 was one of the best… [one of] the festival’s most memorable films.” – Don Marshall, Deseret Morning News

“★★★★… [the director] finds the sweet spot where “Year of the Fish” is able to be mature and “real” enough to play to an adult audience while not losing track of the simple, hopeful idea that makes this story work in the first place.” – Jay Seavor,

“Superb – wonderfully acted and scripted.” – Michael Chen, San Diego Film Foundation

“The logline for this first feature by writer-director David Kaplan says, “Cinderella set in a Chinatown massage parlor,” and he’s not kidding. Even more surprisingly, it works.” – Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News

“Painterly and lyrical.” – Cynthia Wisehart, Digital Content Producer

“A tale of destiny and romance.” – Lisa Nesselson, Variety