2007-10-04 Dark Matter
Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng (2007, 90 min, Color, Video, USA, English/Mandarin w/E.S.). In his bold, chilling feature film debut, Chinese opera director Chen Shi-zheng examines the bitter politics of academia and the clashing of disparate cultures.
Liu Ye (CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER) plays Liu Xing, a modest but brilliant graduate student from Beijing who comes to an American university to study the origins of the universe under famed cosmologist Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn). Recognizing the student's enormous talent, Reiser turns Liu Xing into his protege, bringing him to prestigious academic conferences and inviting him to department gatherings outside the classroom. As a foreigner in a new environment, Liu Xing is acclimated into American culture by the kind and well-meaning Joanna Silver, a wealthy university patron played by Meryl Streep, and an American waitress at a nearby cafe, with whom he strikes up a casual flirtation.
During his tireless research on dark matter, the unseen substance that shapes the universe, Liu Xing stumbles across findings that threaten Reiser's established model. Against his professor's stern warnings, and blinded by his own ambitions, he publishes his sweeping dissertation, only to have it ultimately rejected. With a jobless, bleak future ahead of him, on top of the impending shame of his family back in China, he resorts to one final, cataclysmic act.
Based loosely on true events that occurred at the University of Iowa in 1991, DARK MATTER won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for best film relating to science or technology at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Featuring a sterling cast and an intelligent screenplay by Billy Shebar, it speaks to the innate human desire for fame and recognition, and the often futile struggle to attain them.
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, 2007 Sundance Film Festival
Best Narrative Feature Award, 2007 Cinevision's Asian American International Film Festival
DIRECTOR BIO: Raised in China during the Cultural Revolution, Chen Shi-zheng acted in a number of opera productions prior to his emigration to the United States in 1987, where he shifted to directing opera. His work has earned him international acclaim. The New York-based director, choreographer and singer recently collaborated with the virtual musical group Gorillaz on "Monkey: Journey to the West". "Dark Matter" is his first feature film.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|