AROUND THAT WINTER
Tianyuan jiang wu
Directed by Wang Xiaozhen
2013, 96 min, digital.
In Shandong dialect with English subtitles.
This curiously beautiful Daoist comedy, the opening film of BIFF2013, is a first film full of promise. Wang, painting with scrupulously composed, eloquent black-and-white images, tells of a young urbanite who brings his girlfriend to meet his farmer parents in the countryside of Shandong province. Although nothing precisely happens, the farm and surrounding woods are a stage for almost non-stop cursing, kissing, pissing, and fucking. It’s both earthy and somehow unworldly at the same time, featuring perfectly ribald kids, a voyeuristic brother with a urination fetish, and a deadpan comic couple. Wang has a terrific eye, and an utterly unique, low-key comic voice.
Wang Xiaozhen, Zhou Qing
Wang Xiaozhen, Hu Mingyang
Zhou Qing, Hu Jinwei
Wang Xiaozhen (Xiaozhen), Zhou Qing (Zhou Qing), Hu Mingyang (Xiao Hu), Xiang Xingqi
I have a physiological and psychological need to shoot independent films.
The current atmosphere for creating art films and independent films in China is quite good, and there are a great number of possible topics. I don’t tell stories anymore, and hope that my works, like our lives, embody a great deal of trouble and anger.
I don’t believe that the goal of my work is to attend large international film festivals. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve already given up the possibility of distribution and profit, at least for the moment.
-Xu Ruotao (Yumen)