Zhao Wei Films 4:30 (2006)

4:30 (2006)

4:30 (2006)
Feature Film

Directed by:
Royston Tan

Written by:
Royston Tan
Liam Yeo

Executive Producer:
Eric Khoo
Jacqueline Khoo

Produced by:
Gary Goh
James Toh
Makota Ueda

Associate Producers:
Chieko Murata
Tan Fong Cheng

Xiao Li Yuan
Kim Young Jun

Cinematography by:
Lim Ching Leong

Music by:
Hualampong Riddim

Art Director:
Daniel Lim

Edited by:
Low Hwee Ling

Distributed by:
Shaw Organization

Int. Sales Agent:
Celluloid Dreams

Release date:
29 June 2006

Running time:
93 minutes


Go to film's website


  • Berlin Film Festival

  • Black Movie Festival, Geneva

  • Deauville Film Festival

The narrative slides towards a melancholy that hints a deep emotional pain underlaying the film’s opening good humor

Creating powerful visual metaphors of solitude seems one of Tan’s gifts in 4:30
Greencine Daily



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.

About the Film

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.

-Royston Tan