Kaili Blues (Dir. Bi Gan)

 

Date: June 3, 2016

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: Echo Park Film Center

Address: 1200 N. Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA. 90026

 

Los Angeles premiere!

 

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

 

 

 

 

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