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Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »
Deng is a stubborn retired widow who spends her days caring about her two grown up sons and her elderly mother, despite her family efforts to stop her. But her daily routine starts derailing when she keeps receiving anonymous calls..
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Factory and construction workers, farmers, commuters, miners, students. The director captures the state of his nation, by static filming one or more people in more or less motionless poses. No narrative, just portraits.
Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family's bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da's ... See full summary »
Beijing: young men in packs, machismo, class divisions, violence, and indifference. Guei arrives from the country: toothbrushes, hotel foyers, and Qin, a rich neighbor in high heels, dazzle him. He gets a job as a messenger. The company issues him a bike, which he must pay for out of his wages. When it is stolen, Guei hunts for it. A student, Jian, has it; for him, it's the key to teen society - with his pals and with Xiao, a girl he fancies. Guei finds the bike and stubbornly tries to reclaim it in the face of great odds. But for Jian to lose the bike would mean humiliation. The two young men - and the people around them - are swept up in the youths' desperation.Written by
I don't care what this film may have to say about the class struggle in Beijing-that entire aspect of the film being way too obviously stated for my taste. I was more concerned with my struggle to stay interested in what was happening. Back and forth, back and forth with the damn bicycle. Nobody speaks up when you want them to, and no one asks the question your mind is screaming in any given scene. All the characters behave inexplicably to the point of exasperating the viewer. Now I love a lot of potentially frustrating films (Neighbors, for example), and I'm not one to demand payoff out of hand. I can roll with films and see where they take me. But this one was taking me down aggravation alley. Beijing Bicycle looks good, and the writing is reasonably clever, so on the surface it makes a good 'import'-many will profess to have been deeply moved, but I'm not buying. Skip this one, but for a similar tale with leagues more depth, see Cyclo.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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