中国姑娘 | She, a Chinese

She A Chinese

Mei, a young Chinese girl bored with life in her little village, decides to quit for the nearest town, Chongqing. But life there isn’t much easier either; sacked from a clothing factory shortly after starting work, she makes do with a job in a hairdressing salon. There she meets and falls for Spikey, a local mafia’s contract killer. For this brute of a man – who has no qualms about asking her to beat him in the street with a nunchaku – she seems simply another notch on the bedpost. One evening, he comes home covered in blood and dies at her feet. Mei discovers several bundles of banknotes under his mattress, and sets off for London where she has an opportunity to marry Mister Hunt, a man of seventy. In her new husband’s silent home, a new life begins. Will she be satisfied with this monotonous routine? Paced to an original soundtrack by John Parish – working with PJ Harvey and the band Eels – and chaptered in telling titles such as Sometimes you wonder who you really are and Mei feels love under the Big Ben calendar, Xiaolu Guo has made a film in which the challenges Mei must confront do not deter her quest for a more promising future. The filmmaker uses elements of nature – stifling summer heat, a duck bleeding to death, a dog wolfed down by a fox –to express her protagonist’s feelings. Through this journey and the people Mei meets, She, a Chinese conjures the mix of cultures in the early 21st century and how people, lifestyles, consumer goods, and music all cross borders. Although these cross-cultural currents bring about a degree of chaos in Mei’s life, she finds the will to escape isolation, and to follow her desires, come what may.

Directed by Xiaolu Guo | Starring : Lu Huang, Wei Yi Bo, Geoffrey Hutchings, Chris Ryman, Hsinyi Liu | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival

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今天的鱼怎么样? | How Is Your Fish Today?

How is your fish today

How Is Your Fish Today? tells the story of a famous screenwriter whose film scripts have all been rejected by Chinese censors. He writes a script about a man named Lin Hao for his producer, who expects it to be a Chinese version of The Fugitive. Upon reading Rao’s arthouse script, the producer rejects it as the worst screenplay he has ever read. Rao is infuriated with the response and kills Lin’s wife. Lin finds out while cheating on his wife and immediately sends Rao a thank you note. Rao is upset that Lin did not get adequately infuriated and kills all of Lin’s dogs. Lin then calls in three Nazis he knew from back in the day to poop all over Rao’s lawn. Rao is discouraged and now sees his mistake. However, Rao does not abandon his story, instead he rewrites it. Rao begins to live through his main character, Lin Hao, as he writes about him fleeing his home on a journey of self-discovery. Hao makes his way to Mohe, as does Rao, and the writer enters his own narrative. Both characters, in a struggle for freedom, have left their homes behind, but while Lin Hao is running away, Hui Rao is searching for something.

Directed by Xiaolu Guo | Starring : Xiaolu Guo, Ning Hao, Hui Rao, Zijiang Yang | Presented at Edinburgh Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival