In 21 Century, a small town in Northern China. There are rich mineral resources in endless mountains. The owners make great fortune and step into the higher class. They change everything ... See full summary »
Lao Yang is an Erdosian businessman well in his 60s. He was broke years ago due to local economy decline. One day, he misappropriates a sum of money his children gathered for his wife's ... See full summary »
In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are sexually assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only witness. For fear of losing her job, she chooses to keep silence.
Pickle is a night security guard at a bronze statue factory. His colleague, Belly Bottom, works as a recycling collector during the day, and Pickle's biggest pleasure in life is flicking ... See full summary »
Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen,
Shot in stylish black-and-white, this three-act fable, set in wartime Chongqing, focuses on the indifferent rich, the head clerk on a farm, and some young intruders. Based on a 1943 short ... See full summary »
24 Frames is an experimental project made by filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami in the last three years of his life. It is a collection of 24 short four-and-a-half minute films inspired by still images, including paintings and photographs.
Madame Tang colludes and mediates between the government and the private businesses for the benefits of her all-female family. One case does not go according to plan, and an entire family ... See full summary »
A dying old lady reminisces about her happier moments. Her daughter, Hui Ying, decides to move her father's grave from his hometown to beside her mother's grave. However, his first wife, ... See full summary »
Greetings again from the darkness. One need only read the credits to understand that this is a personal project of Liu Jian. It's kind of comical to see his name come up as writer, director, illustrator, producer, and editor. He even wrote at least one of the songs featured in the film! An animated film from China that is clearly influenced by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and some modern day madcap caper films offers a nice respite from the typical January releases that hit the theatre.
Jian's film is a crime thriller with socioeconomic subtext that hovers over each scene. An extended opening credits sequence provides the lay of the land (in this case, city) for the upcoming story. There is very little build up to the crime that ignites the cluster that follows. Xiao Zhang steals a bag filled with one million yuan. The bag belongs to "Uncle Liu", a feared crime lord and gangster who sends his trusted and ruthless hitman "Skinny" to retrieve his money.
The old adage, "follow the money", comes into play here. Following the money is not as simple as it sounds, as these aren't brilliant criminal minds at work here. In addition to Tarantino, thoughts of the Coen Brothers came to mind, as did the Scorsese gem AFTER HOURS. Xiao Zhang has no heroic or altruistic motives. He simply wants to pay for a re-do of his fiancé's botched plastic surgery. The zaniness around the money involves many colorful participants, each who have their own designs for the bag.
A couple of odd musical interludes involve Shangri-La and some ocean waves, and there is a God vs. Buddha debate that reminds of the infamous Mighty Mouse vs Superman argument in STAND BY ME. The film played well at festivals and at 77 minutes, it's a briskly-paced chase movie that might have benefitted from a bit more humor.
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