Friday, December 26, 2008

Ye Che (Night Train)

Definitively the film style of the Chinese Sixth Generation of movie directors is breathtaking and this film by Diao Yi Nan is amazingly emotional just with images that can generate strong emotions in viewers. I was totally in awe while watching the fantastic compositions with mainly a blueish palette that complemented the story of loneliness, meaningless lives and a woman that’s trying to wake up from the nightmare that her life is.

This is only the second movie by Diao Yi Nan but definitively is one director that I’ll follow as I hope that his next movies have to be as magnificent as this one, especially because this movie has a mundane but impact full story told in the most awesome and beautiful way. Telling a mundane story perhaps makes him a little different from Jia Zhang ke, that by the way is one of many that Diao Yi Nan thanks in the movie.

What you will see as a story in the screen is about a female court baliff with her grim job not hardening her, even after years of dealing with women awaiting execution. Every weekend the widowed woman makes a long train ride to the city for the Good Luck Matchmaking dance where she has forgettable and unfulfilling encounters. But after she executes a condemned woman her life changes forever when she finds one man that perhaps will liberate her from her miserable life. Yes there is a narrative and that’s what you will see in the screen, but as I mentioned the film is about loneliness, meaningless lives and I’ll add a little about justice and living in western China.

Unbelievable breathtaking magnificent outdoor settings that Diao Yi Nan captures with truly awesome cinematography, outstanding frame compositions, great long takes, very little dialogues and a very slow pace that allows to see every detail and definitively intensifies the thrilling effect when the woman, Wu Hongyan, meets the man, Li Jun. Honestly, it’s impressively good. Bravo!

The film was screened in competition at the 2007 Cannes in the Un Certain Regard program and won three awards in the 2008 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinena, for Cinematography, Best Actress and the Jury Special Award, also won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Warsaw International film fest.

Obviously I strongly recommend this film to all that enjoy the work of the Chinese Sixth Generation of film directors, to those that have seen the work of Jia Zhang ke and to those that are not familiar with any of the above I suggest to give it a try as the movie has a story that can be easily understood, but be aware that there is no traditional ending you will have to choose the end you wish.

Big Enjoy!!!

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