In the latest film from Sixth Generation filmmaker Zhang Yuan (Little Red Flowers; Beijing Bastards), the displaced youth of Beijing may be down and out, but they find solace in a makeshift family—one another. San Bao hasn’t spoken in 127 days, not since his girlfriend left him for a much richer man, his dog ran away, and he lost both his job and his apartment. Faced with all these failures, he tries to kill himself, and even fails at that. Meanwhile, Wang Min drives expensive cars (as a valet for rich people) and worries his actress girlfriend will leave him, too. Youzi’s roommate is given to a Big Boss by her own rich-guy boyfriend, leaving Youzi alone. Together they and others form a community of outcasts, left behind by prosperity, and reminded of it every day. Zhang, whose film Beijing Bastards similarly captured the marginalized and ostracized of the city in the early ‘90s, uses the stories of current twenty-somethings to evoke a world in which artists may be starving, but they’re not wasting away. Beautiful, gritty, and poignant, Beijing Flickers straddles the thin line between comedy and drama.
Executive Producer: Dong Ping, Han Sanping
Producer: Zhang Yuan
Cinematographer: Cai Tao, Zhang Yuan
Writer: Kong Ergou, Li Xinyun, Yang Yishu, Zhang Yuan
Editor: Wu Yixiang
Sound: Zhao Bo
China / 2012 / Bay Area Connection / 20 minsA blackout on Christmas Eve in Shanghai makes intimates of strangers, as a Chinese woman tells a British man something that no one else knows. Joan Chen, who will be in attendance at the screening, directs this moving short about love in the time of SARS.