NEW NOIR: CHINESE CRIME FILMS
Shoot-em-up gangster flick or film noir, policier or yakuza film: in just about every language you can think of in just about every country in the world there’s a word for crime pictures—with one noteworthy exception. In Mainland China, crime depicted on screen is an admission to the existence of discontent in the people’s paradise. Recently, however, a new generation of up-and-coming auteurs, working independently, have been revamping the tropes of the Chinese spy film to address the country’s endemic corruption and violence, with films that portray drifting killers, frustrated police, and lethal beauties, all enmeshed in a web of vice and desire. Beginning with the US premiere of The Conformist, with director Cai Shangjun and writer Gu Xiaobai in person, Metrograph is pleased to introduce a sampling of these hard-hitting fugitive films, little seen outside of the festival circuit either at home or abroad, which taken together signal the appearance of a Mainland school of noir.
New Noir is part of the Creative China Festival, curated by Meng Xie, supported by Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.