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New Meetup: VIFF Chinese movie: "Sun Spots"

From: Cali
Sent on: Monday, September 14, 2009 10:04 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Vancouver Mandarin Chinese Meetup Group!

What: VIFF Chinese movie: "Sun Spots"

When: Sunday, October 4,[masked]:45 PM

Movie ticket: CAD11.00 (your responsibility)

Pacific Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2L7

The Vancouver International Film Festival will be in town from October 1st to 16th.
I propose the following Chinese movie for us to go watch together.
You are responsible for buying your ticket in advance on the VIFF website, by phone or in person.
See you there!

Sun Spots (Guangban)
(China, 2009, 112 mins)
In Mandarin with English subtitles
World Premiere
Directed By: Yang Heng

A subdued but powerful tale of a young gangster from southern China?s Henan province and the lonely woman he loves, Sun Spots is one of the most stylistically daring Chinese independent films of recent years. Daring in a rigorous sense: the film is very long takes with a still camera kept at an elegantly discrete distance from the characters. But director Yang Heng (whose Betelnet featured at VIFF in 2006) structures each shot so perfectly, with expansive, sublime natural scenery framing its solitary human figures, that the experience of viewing it is akin to reading poetry or immersing oneself in traditional Chinese brush painting.

The story could be a Hong Kong gangster melodrama, though the tone is anything but. Tian Li is a tattooed young debt collector with a shock of yellow hair. When he?s not wielding a knife, shaking down (offscreen) debtors, he passes time on a riverbank, or puts up with his alcoholic father. Taciturn, lanky Yiling discovers her boyfriend with another woman, and takes up temporarily with Tian Li. Though dialogue is at a minimum, we can follow their peculiar love story to its seemingly preordained conclusion.

The ?sun spots? of the title maybe be better rendered as a flare of sunlight: so bright that it hurts to gaze at directly. The gaze of Yang?s camera is astoundingly direct, all-encompassing and ultimately devastating.

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