出埃及记 | Exodus

Exodus

After the artistic breakthrough and acclaim of Isabella, maverick director Edmond Pang Ho Cheung returns to black comedy territory with his new film Exodus. From Men Suddenly in Black, Beyond Our Ken, You shoot I shoot, Pang’s films often spin gender issues into wry commentary, and he takes this “battle of the sexes” concept to the next level with Exodus. Black comedy, suspense thriller, and male mid-life crisis drama all rolled into one, Exodus throws out a seemingly ridiculous premise – women are conspiring to kill men! – and challenges both the protagonist and the audience into amused belief. A low-ranking cop often relegated to desk duty, middle-aged Tsim Kin Yip lives a stable, mundane life with his young yoga instructor wife Ann. The monotony is broken one day when he interrogates Kwan Ping Man, a nervous, profanity-spouting man caught spying in the women’s bathroom. Kwan, who seems to have more than a few screws loose, confides to Tsim a shocking secret: a ring of women conspiring to murder men. Everyday, plans are whispered in restrooms and deaths are carefully engineered, so that men die unnoticeable from “accidents” that are anything but. Tsim initially dismisses Kwan’s conspiracy theory, but then clues crop up suggesting there is something fishy at work. Both his marriage and life could be at stake as Tsim becomes increasingly obsessed with cracking the case.

Directed by Ho-Cheung Pang | Starring : Simon Yam, Annie Liu, Nick Cheung, Irene Wan, Maggie Siu | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival

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赖小子 | Walking on the Wild Side

Walking on the Wild Side

Han Jie’s feature debut draws on his own experiences growing up in a desolate mining district in northern China’s Shanxi province. A Chinese road movie, Walking on the Wild Side charts a young gang’s continuous flights from one kind of trouble to the next. Mirroring the stark and barren landscape, the film relays the grim story of these delinquents’ dreams of liberty and easy money. Played by nonprofessional actors who are real life troublemakers, the film offers a realism that is at once oppressive, cruel, and sympathetic.

Directed by Jie Han | Starring : Paijiang Bai, Qiang Guo, Jing Hou, Jie Lu, Zhaoting Tian | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, La Rochelle Film Festival, Jakarta Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival