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Kaili Blues
Suns Cinema
Washington, DC
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Nov 07, 2019 8:00 PM

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General $10.00 ($11.49 w/service fee) Sales Ended


Kaili Blues
An audacious, richly imagined feature debut that has collected prizes around the world, Kaili Blues heralds the arrival of a major new filmmaker. Chen, a preoccupied doctor working in a small clinic in the rain-drenched city of Kaili, decides to fulfill his late mothers wish and sets off on a journey to look for his brothers abandoned child. His partner in the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks him to also find her former lover, giving him a photograph, a shirt, and a music cassette. On the way, Chen passes through a mysterious town where distinctions between past, present, and future appear to slip away.

"One looping shot, reflecting a Buddhist view of the universe as an endless cycle of life, death, and reincarnation, adds to the films hallucinatory aura, as does a trippy, ethereal score by Lim Giong (a frequent collaborator of Jia Zhangke and Hou Hsiao-hsien). Bi Gan directed this boldly original debut feature." - Reader

"Mixing the mundane and the mystical (unexplained recurring motifs, reports of wild men living in the forest, etc.) against a backdrop of mountainsides and crumbled concrete, Kaili Blues plays freely with reality and time, bringing to mind the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Bi, part of Chinas Miao ethnic minority, seems to have taken Apichatpong as an example; the Thai filmmakers influence is all over Kaili Blues, and its imagery is as personal and culturally specific as Apichatpongs." - AV Club

"Like the work of many young filmmakers, Bi Gans debut feature pulsates with a cinephiles admiration for his predecessors: there are leisurely motorcycle rides reminiscent of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, lonely locomotives borrowed from Hou Hsiao-hsien, and symbolic clocks out of Wong Kar Wais Days of Being Wild. Yet the voice resonating behind these familiar motifs is one of such dazzling originality, its hard to emerge from this waking dream of a film without feeling the shock of the new." - Film Comment

"Perhaps one of the closest continuations of Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovskys insistence on film as sculpting in time, but where Tarkovsky sought to incite a sense of immensity and the sublime in films such as Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, Bi here takes a far more gentle, handcrafted, and playful approach. Its impressive and its bold, but its also delightfully skeptical of the concept of auteurist perfection." - Brooklyn


Jonathan Demme on KAILI BLUES:

What if a brazen first-time filmmaker decided  beyond audaciously  that they didnt want to cut from one location to another (all quite distant from each other) for about oh, half their new movie, and instead chose to dare to go with one super-duper-transcendental half-hour plus single take? Answer: you wind up with Bi Gans absolutely extraordinary Kaili Blues.

Fair warning here: you need to be a seriously open and accessible film buff / cineaste / movie lover to be right for this picture. The cinema musedeities have inspired and blessed Kaili Blues with a magic and mystery that is utterly unique.

This film is capable of generating giant cinema joyfulness in those who are ready to bring an open heart, mind and eye to this viewing experience.

Director Bi Gan won Best Emerging Director and Best First Feature at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival. I had the thrill of seeing this film first at last years Venice Film Festival, and two months later at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festivals. The screenings I attended gave rise to audience-ecstasy in both situations. I loved it even more the second time.



Suns Cinema (View)
3107 Mount Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
United States


Film > Movies

Minimum Age: 21


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