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Yang Fudong's Cinematic Influences

Thursday, August 22, 2013
7:00 p.m. An Estranged Paradise
Yang Fudong (China, 1997/2002)

In person/Yang Fudong and Philippe Pirotte


(Mosheng tiantang). Beautifully shot and edited in lustrous B&W, this quiet masterpiece offers rare glimpses of life in China circa 1997. Loosely based on Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise, Yang Fudong’s first film is a poignant psychological drama that follows the activities of a young man in Hangzhou. Zhuzi is preoccupied with his sexuality—engaged to be married, he is tempted by romantic affairs with other girls. Physically, he suffers from a general feeling of sickness, but no illness can be diagnosed. It becomes clear that the true origin of his discomfort may be found in a profound discontentment; like many young Chinese of his generation, he feels strangely un-housed in his own life.

• Written by Yang. Photographed by Wang Yi, Liu Tao. With Zheng Chun-zi, Zheng Hong, Qi Wei, Shen Xiao-yan. (74 mins, In Mandarin with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm transferred to digital, From Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris/New York, and ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai )