Directed by Bi Gan • Drama • With Wei Tang, Jue Huang, Sylvia Chang • 2019 • 140 minutes
Bi Gan follows up his knockout debut, Kaili Blues, with this noir-tinged stunner about a lost soul (Jue Huang) on a quest to find a missing woman from his past (Wei Tang, Lust, Caution). Following leads across Guizhou province, he crosses paths with a series of colorful characters, among them a prickly hairdresser played by Taiwanese superstar Sylvia Chang. When the search leads him to a dingy movie theater, the film launches into an hour-long, gravity-defying 3D sequence shot that plunges its protagonist—and us—into a labyrinthine cityscape. China's biggest arthouse hit of all time, the film took in more than $40 million dollars in its opening weekend at the domestic box office.
"A moody crypto-noir that veers midway into Tibetan Book of the Dead territory." —J. Hoberman, Artforum
"It is a film about obsessive love, lost love, and that Dantesque dark wood in which, in middle-age, you can suddenly find yourself, with a longing for the past and a creeping dread of the future." —Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Critic’s Pick! Intoxicating. Feels like dreaming with your eyes open.” —Glenn Kenny, The New York Times