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Kaili Blues

June 3, 2016

Kaili Blues

(Dir. Bi Gan, 2015)

Los Angeles premiere!


7:30 PM


8:00 PM


Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

Voted one of the ten best films of 2015 by Cinema Scope magazine, the ambitious first feature by the young Chinese filmmaker Bi Gan utilizes cinema's unique capacity to suspend time as a means toward actualizing an array of sensations, ranging from the environmental to the existential. When Chen Sheng, a doctor recently released from prison, embarks on a journey across southwest China to locate his missing nephew, memories of his deceased wife, a colleague's estranged lover, and a violent past manifest in waking-life emanations of repressed cultural trauma and unreconciled emotional strife. With a background in poetry, Bi conjures a dreamlike sense of narrative logic as his characters appear to navigate between multiple states of consciousness and planes of existence, in the process deducing a formal language to compliment their wayward, enigmatic plights. Anchored by a bravura midfilm feat of technical imagination, Kaili Blues is that rare debut with a metaphysical magnitude to match that of its stylistic ingenuity.

~ Join us before and after the screening for refreshments.

Remarkable....Bi  Gan’s art is something completely different. While it is clearly deeply  embedded in contemporary culture, its poetry—not its politics—makes  meaning. There is something uncanny, something quietly, modestly  rapturous about Bi’s world: it’s seemingly grounded in a specific  location, circumstance, and personality, while at the same time freely  roaming, and not delimited by space, time, and character.

- Shelly Kraicer, Cinema Scope

For  Bi, the past serves as a kind of Proustian madeleine, and he uses  geographic markers and persons as a way of calling up past events....A  constant doubling of persons creates a sense of time that feels cyclical  rather than linear, and evokes myriad associations that are, indeed,  lyrical rather than causal, or logical...In Kaili Blues, memory is visceral, and a near-hallucination.

- Ela Bittencourt, Slant Magazine

Punctuated  by a voice over reciting a few poems where solitude and sadness  prevail, Bi Gan's film shows a remarkable capacity to make its viewer  wish for simple but striking revelations and to bring close to all an  intricate and delicate network of memories, regrets, dreams and affects.

- Marie-Pierre Duhamel, MUBI Notebook

I was reminded in an abstract way of early Bertolucci, if only because Bi  comes from poetry and, in each of his film’s distinct movements,  exhibits a clear desire to astonish.

- Nick Pinkteron, Film Comment

Traditional  ways of life, including the traditions of Communism, seem to dissolve  into a rootless, melancholy modern existence. But there are still hints  of beauty and pleasure to be found. Mr. Bi is a virtuoso of the mobile  camera, following his characters as they travel restlessly (and  sometimes pointlessly) by foot, pickup truck and motorbike.

- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

(Available to download after screening date)

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