July 13, 2023
Queens of Qing Dynasty
(Dir. Ashley McKenzie, 2022)
Los Angeles premiere!
2220 Arts + Archives
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057
In a remote small town, a neurodivergent teen forms an unlikely rapport with an international student from Shanghai volunteering at the hospital where they are a patient. Between the two, a bond forms, cemented by their candid conversations, nightly text messages, and exchange of their deepest secrets. The boundaries of their friendship quickly expand into something special, altering their inner alchemy.
Queens of the Qing Dynasty is a queer story that breaches the absurd and poetic, the platonic and the romantic. Both intimate and intense, it explores the intrinsic beauty and innate flaws of what it is to be human, the profundity of connection, and the vortex of mental illness. The electronic music score blurs between cinema foley and sound design to create a feeling of an alternate plane. Queens of the Qing Dynasty is an affectionate ode to women, asexuals, and neurodiverse and genderqueer individuals who exist beyond the norms of society by writer and director Ashley McKenzie, who was previously featured at Acropolis with Werewolf (2016).
In person: Beatrice Loayza
Daring. Destabilizing in the best, mind expanding way.
- Nicolas Rapold, Artforum
A rare, cathartic, and humane commodity. McKenzie has given us a movie worth talking about.
- Adam Nayman, Cinema Scope
Impressive. Showcases McKenzie’s flair for complex characters hoping to break free from their ennui.
- Scout Tafoya, RogerEbert.com
Wonderfull bizarre... understands queerness the way that bell hooks did: as a 'self that is at odds with everything around it.'
- Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times
Strikes a bold balance between internal and external observation: The film’s very intentional performance rhythms and detail-oriented mise-en-scène continually unsettle.
- Lawrence Garcia, MUBI Notebook
(Available to download after screening date)