二次曝光 | Double Xposure

Double Xposure

Since debuting with her first feature Fish and Elephant in 2001, director Li Yu has gone from rough-and-ready documentary realism with non-professional actors to working with some of the biggest Chinese stars. This stylish and briskly paced psychological thriller, her fifth and visually most ambitious feature yet, plumbs thriller staples of dualities and doubling in dizzying permutations – past indistinguishable from present, reality entangled with illusion, guilt and terror shadowing feelings of love – to a clincher of an ending. Joan Chen in a supporting role impresses, as does Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, playing a young urbanite whose façade of certainties and comforts – boyfriend, apartment and car – violently splinters in a moment of jealousy.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Joan Chen, Shaofeng Feng, Siyan Huo, Anlian Yao | Presented at N/A

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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

苹果 | Lost in Beijing

Lost in Beijing

Lin Dong and Wang Mei are a childless couple in Beijing, wealthy, approaching middle age. Lin owns a foot-massage parlor. One afternoon he rapes one of his workers, Liu Pingguo, who has nearly passed out from drinking alcohol with a friend. Part of the assault is witnessed by Liu’s husband, An Kun, a window washer. He’s angry with the boss and with his wife, and he seeks compensation. Lin’s wife counsels him and joins in revenge. Then, Liu realizes she’s pregnant and a set of emotional calculations ensues: Lin wants to buy the child, Wang agrees but has conditions, An Kun goes back and forth and barely contains his anger; Liu withdraws. The baby comes. Can anything be sorted out?

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Dawei Tong, Elaine Jin, Meihuizi Zeng | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival

红颜 | Dam Street

Dam Street

A young woman’s indiscretion causes tremendous sufffering for her family. When, years later, she is still ostracized in the small, riverside town in China where her family lives, she resigns herself to singing with a shabby song-and-dance troupe. Her family relationships are strained and her personal life is in disarray when the young woman forms a friendship with a fiercely protective ten-year-old boy who lives across the dam. As her prospects for the future finally begin to improve, her relationship with the boy is tested, and she must come to terms with her unresolved past.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Yi Liu, Xingrao Huang, Kechun Li, Yizhi Wang, Li Fang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival

今年夏天 | Fish and Elephant

Fish and Elephant2

Both Ling, who runs a tiny clothing shop in the local market, and Qun, who takes care of elephants at the zoo, have bottomed out when it comes to true love. But a surprising thing happens when they meet: They fall head over heels for each other. Their lesbian relationship is bliss, at least for a while … until Ling’s former girlfriend comes to call and Qun’s mother pays a surprise visit.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Yi Pan, Tou Shi, Jilian Zhang, Qianqian Zhang, Pengcheng So | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival