A scene from DITCHING SCHOOL TO WHISTLE, directed by Ien Chi.

Ditching School to Whistle (2012, Ien Chi)

Ditching School to Whistle has some of the general problems of a documentary short subject, especially one about a quirky topic. Director–and film student–Chi recounts his adventure cutting school to compete in the International Whistlers Convention and he has these occasionally lame moments where his narration pushes for profundity.

But one can forgive such mistakes as Chi’s direction and editing is astonishingly good. All of his filmmaking instincts are right on–especially when one realizes he must have been shooting Ditching on prosumer cameras at best. He cleaned a lot of it up in post; the end product is phenomenally well-made.

He tries too hard to rationalize the whistling convention, offering too much complementary commentary on his interviewee’s lives. So, as a documentary maker he needs to develop a tad, but as a director he probably ought to be teaching those film classes instead of taking them.

3/3Highly Recommended


Directed, produced and edited by Ien Chi.


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