An Elephant Sitting Still
Da xiang xi di er zuo
2018, Hu Bo, China, 234 min.
With Peng Yuchang, Yu Zhang, Wang Yuwen, Li Congxi
- Fri, Apr 26th 2:00pm
- Sat, Apr 27th 7:00pm
- Sun, Apr 28th 1:00pm
- Mon, Apr 29th 6:00pm
- Wed, May 1st 6:00pm
"A landmark in modern Chinese cinema."--Tony Rayns, Sight and Sound
"One of the great achievements of recent cinema...Hu’s volatile, roving long takes pursue the characters to the deepest corners of their explosive despair and find a core of fierce resistance; his view of social breakdown rises to a total vision of existential rage."--Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Acclaimed after its premiere at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, this stunning debut would have heralded the arrival of a major new talent in Chinese cinema--had its 29-year-old director, embroiled in a dispute with the film's producers over its mammoth running time, not committed suicide four months earlier. An intimate epic that surveys the spiritual toll of China's dog-eat-dog economic boom from the perspective of those on the lower rungs of the social ladder, ELEPHANT takes place over a single day in an unnamed industrial city in northern China. The interlocking plotlines focus on four characters: Wei Bu, a high-school boy driven to stand up to a bully; his classmate Huang Ling, involved in an affair with a school administrator; the bully's older brother Yu Cheng, out to avenge him more out of obligation than conviction; and Wei Bu's grandfather, about to be dumped into a nursing home. Following his characters closely with extended Steadicam shots, director Hu Bo regards their struggles with an astringent and invigorating punk nihilism, tempered by a transcendent stoicism embodied by the creature named in the film's title. In Mandarin with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
Note: There will be a 15-minute intermission.