Milky Way Image Company
Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To has long been adding balletic touches to both his gunslinging action movies and his wild romantic comedies, which made the prospect of his first outright musical—in 3D, no less—one of the most exciting selections in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. But even hardcore fans could scarcely anticipate what a major departure Office is for the director. To arranges the film around a gigantic, blacked-out set filled with the skeletal outlines of consumerist life: Subways constructed of nothing more than winding, orange pipes carry workers to a corporate office of endless computer desks encased in glass. On the building’s bottom floor, the work environment opens imperceptibly into a department store, further limiting the parameters of the film’s world and presenting a closed ecosystem of money that resembles Playtime by way of Dogville.