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China Onscreen Biennale brings new works from Jia Zhangke, Wang Bing, and more to LA and DC

Chinese cinema fans rejoice – the China Onscreen Biennale is bringing the best of recent Chinese cinema back to Los Angeles and Washington DC!

Beginning October 19th, UCLA and affiliated venues around Los Angeles will host a series of premieres, special screenings, musical events, and a Jia Zhangke retrospective with screening dates through early December.

The screening series will open officially on October 19th at the Billy Wilder Theater, UCLA, Los Angeles with the West Coast premiere of Bi Gan‘s second feature – the follow-up to his celebrated debut Kaili BluesA Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Set again in Bi’s Guizhou hometown of Kaili, “the film’s title has nothing to do with Eugene O’Neill’s play, and everything to do with evoking the languorous slide of consciousness into twilight.”

Bi Gan’s “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (courtesy of COB)

Rounding out a broad-ranging showcase of contemporary Chinese cinema are Hu Bo‘s tragically poetic epic An Elephant Sitting Still; hutong auteur Yang Mingming‘s sassy debut feature Girls Always HappyCai Chengjie‘s witchy feminist folk tale The Widowed Witch; A Family Tour, Ying Liang‘s semi-autobiographical tale of a poignant family reunion; and Wang Bing‘s Dead Souls, an exhaustive documentation of the brutal legacy of the Anti-Rightist Campaign of the 1950s.

A retrospective of the work of Jia Zhangke will include screenings of Xiao Wu, Platform, The World, Still Life, and finally the West Coast premiere of Jia’s newest film – Ash is Purest White – on November 10th at UCLA.

Zhao Tao in Jia Zhangke’s “Ash is Purest White” (Courtesy of COB)

The full program and calendar for the series can be found here.


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