A面B面 | The Double Life

Double life

Hangzhou, China, the present day. Chen Congming, an associate professor at a medical college who is popular with his students, alarms his superiors with his theory that everyone has the potential to go crazy, and that the dividing line between sanity and insanity is paper-thin. The college principal has Chen committed to a mental asylum. There Chen gets to know an orderly, Liang Haichao, who was recently divorced by his childhood sweetheart Liu Yue, a money-obsessed model now suffering from chronic depression. Liu is now engaged to wealthy Cantonese businessman Xiao Chunlei, who’s made his fortune from health/sex tonics. But when Xiao’s six-year-old daughter by his ex-wife Shao Meili has to go into hospital for an emergency kidney operation which Xiao pays for, Liu becomes further depressed that he’s looking to reconcile with his ex-wife. She has a very public nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, Liang has decided that Liu needs “rescuing” from Xiao, and persuades her to get Xiao committed to the mental asylum by feeding him her anti-depressant pills. In the asylum Chen meets Xiao, whom he realises has been framed, and the pair decide to break out together.

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Luoyong Wang, Jingchu Zhang, Daniel Chan Hiu Tong, Wenkang Yuan, Wei Kong | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival

无穷动 | Perpetual Motion

Perpetual Motion

Four mature and successful women, epitomizing today’s Chinese high society, meet on the Spring Festival’s eve in the opulent mansion of Niuniu, an established editor of fashion magazines. While the party enfolds, the four friends have the chance to open up their hearts, for the first time in their life, and to reveal the traumas deriving from a dramatic past. Political events, family tragedies, sentimental affairs, which seemed deeply buried beneath the modern facade of these successful women, mark in reality all of their lives. A film dealing with women sexuality and questioning the past generation of old revolutionaries, with a touch of black-humor in the signature style of director Ning Ying.

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Huang Hung, Qinqin Li, Sola Liu, Yanni Ping, Hanzhi Zhang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival

夏日暖洋洋 | I Love Beijing

I Love Beijing

The third film in director Ning Ying’s “Beijing Trilogy”, this romantic drama follows the fortunes of a young cab driver who is depressed because of a recent divorce. He turns his personality around to become a ladies’ man, wooing a waitress, a librarian, and then a talk-show host. Lost in the dating wars, he longs to find the love of his life in the rapidly changing city of Beijing. Winner of the Don Quixote Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Yu Lei, Zuo Baitao, Höng Tao, Yi Gai, Miao Liu | Presented at Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Belgrade Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival

民警故事 | On the Beat

On the Beat

Take crime out of police work, and what’s left is procedures. In the western sector of Beijing, we follow the tedium of police officers. A rabid dog is loose in Guoli’s beat: a gang of police officers hunts it down. Then, word comes from on high to pick up all the dogs in the sector: fear of rabies combines with the dogs’ being status symbols of the nouveau riche. Occasionally a criminal is picked up: someone selling porn, someone running a three-card-monte game. Cops smoke, go to meetings, and hold trainings. They patrol on bicycles and enforce edicts. Guoli works nights. He’s lazy at home, his wife wants him to do more. Is there any more to do?

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Li Zhanho, Liangui Wang, Zhiming Zhao, Li Jian, Shen Zhenou | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Entrevues Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

找乐 | For Fun

For Fun

The Beijing Trilogy begins with a loving but unsentimental tribute to traditions and people forced into obsolescence. Required to retire from his job as a utility man at a Peking Opera theater, Old Han is at loose ends, wandering the backstreets of Beijing looking for something to correct. When he comes upon a group of amateur musicians in a public park, this inveterate meddler finds an outlet for his autocratic tendencies.

Directed by Ying Ning | Starring : Zongluo Huang, Wenjie Huang, Shanxu Han, Shihua Feng, He Ming | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival