April 19, 2019
(Dir. Qiu Sheng, 2018)
Los Angeles premiere!
Introduction by critic and programmer Mark Peranson.
Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA. 90026
A striking debut from China’s Qiu Sheng, Suburban Birds is a tantalizing mystery and a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy rolled into one. Hao (Mason Lee) is part of a team of young engineers called in to investigate a series of craters that have opened up on the edge of the city. As he and his team survey the subsiding area, another story is taking place in the same suburban landscape. A younger boy, also named Hao, spends long afternoons playing with friends and making mischief until one-by-one, his playmates start to disappear. As these parallel stories unfold, the connections between them proliferate and grow stranger.
With virtuosic assurance, Qiu employs distinct styles for each of the two narrative strands and unites them with a wry and wistful sense of humor. Suburban Birds is both a reflection on the slippery nature of memory as well as a comment on China’s rapid urbanization that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice. (Cinema Guild)
A seductively inscrutable puzzler.
- Guy Lodge, Variety
Odd and mysterious.... A promising, bittersweet debut.
- Tommasco Tocci, Ioncinema
A pleasing, perplexing debut. Shares a kinship with the enigmatic storytelling of Hong Sang Soo and Bi Gan.
- Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
Qiu's directorial touch is remarkably gentle... he avoids schematic logic in favor of a light mystery of unity, seeking quiet depth beyond sensory perception.
- Chloe Lizotte, The Hollywood Reporter
(Available to download after screening date)