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China, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Asian Cinema Showcase)

Director: Huang Jianxin

The follow up to Huang Jianxm's very successful first feature Black Cannon Incident, is a decidedly different type of film, that even those familiar with the new developments in Chinese cinema may not expect, let alone a new audience. However all should be pleasantly surprised by China's first science fiction comedy! Liu Zifeng, repeats his role as the hapless hero Zhao Shuxin, an engineer now promoted to Bureau head. Endeavouring to free himself from the mounting documents, meetings and ever encroaching bureaucratic manipulations which leave him no time for his own research, Zhao designs a robot in his own image, programming it to attend meetings on his behalf.

The unexpected happens the robot cannot avoid the pitfalls of human reaction and existence, and starts developing a life and interests of its own. The consequences are a series of increasingly amusing incidents, hut incidents that force Zhao to make one inevitable decision... - A.McK

"Dislocation tries to show that negative restrictions imposed by certain social conditions can lead to character distortion The story isn't just absurdist for the sake of being absurd. The main point is to enable one to gaze down upon reality and reflect. Its just as they say its head is high up in the sky, but its feet are firmly on the ground.

'In the literature published over the last few years, the Cultural Revolution has always been depicted in terms of good versus evil As we have a better understanding of these sad lessons m history, we can use humour to satirise mistakes As our audiences become more sophisticated, they will also accept a more stylised form of filmmaking ' - Huang Jianxin

See also...


Black Cannon is the first satirical comedy worthy of the name made in China in 30 years. Engineer Zhao Shuxin (played by Liu Zifeng, who must be China s answer to Woody Allen) is suspected of ... More »


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Coming straight from the Cannes Film Festival's Directors Fortnight, Back To Back, Face To Face is a razor-sharp comedy from the Chinese cinema's resident satirist, Huang Jianxin. ... The film is a ... More »


Former cincmatographer Zhang Yimou makes an impressive directional debut with this lush rural epic based on renowned Shangdong author Mo Yan's short story. Set during the Sino-Japanese war in the ... More »


One of the most startling things about The Big Parade is how little its formal and visual qualities resemble Chen's internationally acclaimed debut feature, Yellow Earth. But perhaps the most salient ... More »


Despite the shift to regionalism in Indian cinema, productions from Assam (in India's North, bordering onto China and Burma) are scarce. Catastrophe, the director's third feature sets the wider theme ... More »

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