• An exciting debut from 26 year old (in 2015) Chinese auteur Gan Bi—it is very rough drafty compared his follow-up 2018’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night but there is a clear vision here- a uniqueness that is confirmed (and made richer) with his more polished sophomore effort
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reoccurring images, dead characters dogs that come in and out of scenes (there’s a Tarkovsky trait there)
  • Shot in long takes (including one very long take which seems to be a trademark now) The tone is dream-like- surreal, closer to Apichatpong Weerasethakul than David Lynch
a stunning sequence in a tunnel
  • A strong split frame mise-en-scene shot with a window and disco ball
A strong split frame mise-en-scene shot with a window and disco ball
  • Medicine,  past, present and future interchanged (Weerasethakul again)
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we get the film’s titles on a retro tv with a character off screen reading some names
  • A 40 minute long take on hand-held camera
  • Heavy use of reoccurring images and icons, trains, a transition on an ear (Lynch)
Heavy use of reoccurring images and icons, trains, a transition on an ear (Lynch)
  • It does seem rather formless —but it is more about creating a mood—he blends dreams, reality, past–  (voices on a tape (Tarkovsky’s Mirror) talking about dreams, the voice on the tape is often poetry, but we get random facts about the city of Kaili a well (coordinates, altitude-haha—this is an art-house film for anyone who isn’t initiated)
  • We get the film’s delayed title– 30 minutes into the film (Weerasethakul) and dramatic music for the first time—dissonance and an opaque film
We get the film’s delayed title– 30 minutes into the film (Weerasethakul) and dramatic music for the first time—dissonance and an opaque film
  • The tracking shot–  a long first person POV ride on the scooter at the 56 minutes mark, tracking as we watch people travel, go on a boat, a bad rock band—I can’t say it’s overly impressive (and it’s dwarfed by say 1917 or even Long Day Journey’s hour long final shot) as far as a technical accomplishment but the shot and the entire film work as a dream simulation on film (which is where you could argue the formlessness or fogginess of it is intentional). It is a good marriage of style and content.
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the 40 minute tracking shot, impressive agility– we’re jumping from a scooter, to a truck to a boat
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  • Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2015