SUBURBAN BIRDS (narrative)
Directed by Qiu Sheng
2019, 113 minutes
Ships Q3, 2019
A striking debut from Chinas Qiu Sheng, SUBURBAN BIRDS is a tantalizing mystery and a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy rolled into one. Hao (Mason Lee) is part of a team of young engineers called in to investigate a series of craters that have opened up on the edge of the city. As he and his team survey the subsiding area, another story is taking place in the same suburban landscape. A younger boy, also named Hao, spends long afternoons playing with friends and making mischief until one-by-one, his playmates start to disappear. As these parallel stories unfold, the connections between them proliferate and grow stranger.
With virtuosic assurance, Qiu employs distinct styles for each of the two narrative strands and unites them with a wry and wistful sense of humor. SUBURBAN BIRDS is both a reflection on the slippery nature of memory as well as a comment on Chinas rapid urbanization that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.
Subjects & Collections
Festivals & AwardsOFFICIAL SELECTION - New Directors/New Films 2019
OFFICIAL SELECTION - San Francisco International Film Festival 2019
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Locarno International Film Festival 2018
NYT Critic's Pick, "A spectacular opening debut... Its observations on the expanding cityscapes of China recall the work of Jia Zhangke (“Ash Is Purest White”), while its near-mystical quietude has accents one recognizes in the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul."
- Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
"So good—and delightfully kinked—that it’s well worth catching now (and watching twice)."
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"Qiu Sheng's stylish debut feature is a seductively inscrutable puzzler."
- Guy Lodge, Variety
"'Stand by Me' meets Kafka's 'The Castle.'"
- Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
The conversion of a state-owned munitions factory into luxury high-rise apartments allows for an acute appreciation of Socialism's impact on the Chinese people and the complex social changes transforming the country in this masterful new documentary from Jia Zhang-ke.
NEIGHBORING SOUNDS (narrative)
A thrilling debut by a major new voice in world cinema, Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds is a film about the long-suppressed history of class and racial oppression that continues to haunt contemporary Brazilian society.
A haunting masterpiece and possibly the last film from the great Tsai Ming-liang, Stray Dogs is a visually powerful work about a single father and his two young children trying to survive on the streets of Taipei. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.
Jauja is the story of a man’s desperate search for his daughter, a solitary quest that takes him to a place beyond time, where the past vanishes and the future has no meaning.
From acclaimed director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle; So Long, My Son) comes a personal snapshot of contemporary China in all its diversity. Shot over the course of ten years on both film and video, the film consists of a series of carefully composed tableaus of people and environments, each one more extraordinary than the last.