有种 | Beijing Flickers

Beijing Flickers

Beijing is happening these days, but not everyone is living the golden life. Dumped, fired, evicted and abandoned by everyone (including his dog), a down-on-his-luck man finds solace with a circle of equally ill-fated friends, in this touching and lighthearted drama from independent Chinese auteur Zhang Yuan.

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Zinuo Wang, Xiaofeng Li, Yulai Lu, Bowen Duan, Wenwen Han | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Miami Film Festival

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万有引力 | The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction

Four short exposé on love and attraction of the sexes in the big city: a business traveler is delayed due to the malfunction of the airport’s security device, but unexpectedly it sparks off a romance between him and the security officer; a couple’s marriage is in crisis when the repeated attempt to have a child fails; a traffic accident is in reality a trap set by a jealous husband for punishing his unfaithful wife; and a pair of young junkies trying to start anew.

Directed by Tianyu Zhao | Starring : Karen Mok, Jingchu Zhang, Tao Guo, Leon Dai, Zhang Wen | Presented at Montréal Film Festival

观音山 | Buddha Mountain

Buddha Mountain

Three 20-something buddies drift like free-spirits through Chengdu, Sichuan: Nan Feng, a gorgeous and fearlessly feisty bar singer, and her two admirers, bike delivery guy Ding Bo and roly-poly Fei Zao. When Nan Feng accidentally assaults a well-connected bar patron, the three need to find not only compensation money but also a new place to live. They find the apartment of Chang Yueqin, a retired but agelessly elegant Beijing opera performer. Life styles and generations clash: Yueqin tries to impose discipline on the youths, and they in turn mock her old-fashioned harshness. When their reckless violation of her privacy exposes Yueqin’s hidden sorrows, the four learn to accommodate their differences, then how to offer emotional and ultimately spiritual support.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Sylvia Chang, Bo-lin Chen, Yue Guan, Li Fang | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival

秘岸 | Lost, Indulgence

Lost Indulgence

After a fast turn on the night road, cabbie Wu Tao drives right into the Yangtze River and apparently drowns, though his body is nowhere to be found. His passenger, club hostess Su Dan, is left with a severely fractured leg. Unable to pay mounting hospital bills but determined to take responsibility, Wu Tao’s wife Li decides to take in Su Dan, and care for her during recuperation. Though Li’s angsty teenaged son Xiao Chuan is initially less than thrilled with the loud and demanding guest, some odd semblance of normalcy settles while relationships change; Li befriends a younger man, and Xiao Chuan falls for the older Su Dan. But as the days pass in that hot and cramped flat, the ambiguous connections and unspoken tensions among the increasingly infatuated Xiao Chuan and the mutually weary Su Dan and Li begin to drive lives in unexpected directions, and hearts to unanswered questions. Spring Subway and Curiosity Kills the Cat director Zhang Yibai helms the intriguingly titled and even more intriguingly told Mainland Chinese drama Lost, Indulgence. Set amid the rapid industrialization and hellfire heat of Chongqing, the film stars Eric Tsang, Eason Chan, Karen Mok, and Karen Mok’s legs, as well as Mainland actress Jiang Wenli and newcomer Tan Jianci. Though framed by a plot puzzle that pushes and pulls from all directions, Lost, Indulgence maintains a solid, subtle, and engaging narrative core revolving around the emergent relationships and identities of each character. Jiang Wenli and Karen Mok, in particular, delivering outstanding performances as two very different women who may share more than they say. Indeed, Lost, Indulgence is the rare film in which what is not revealed is as, and perhaps more, important than what is.

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Karen Mok, Wenli Jiang, Eric Tsang, Eason Chan, Bowen Duan | Presented at Tribeca Film Festival