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Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Current Cinema - Barrie Pattison reviews A Fool, a new Chinese movie

Getting its second week in the stew of Asian movies, bobbing about undocumented  in the multiplexes, note the Chinese Yi ge shao zi/ A Fool, the first film  directed by Jianbin Chen an actor in, among others, the Chow Yun-fat Confucius. A Fool was held up a year after unexplained censor troubles on the Mainland. I didn’t time it so I don’t know whether we are getting the full 103 minutes.

It kicks off as a Chinese Boudu sauvé des eaux with the director-star and wife Angel Jian getting stuck with  grubby crazy Qinqin Jiang but then things go Franz Kafka like a European art movie.

More interesting than this is the depiction of rural goat herder Chen’s home, furnished
with store bought goods, perpetual TV and the bench bed and a hut in the yard for the
sheep, all a bit out of the town where they have a traditional dance show in the street. There's also a market where Jianjian knows the seed seller woman in an intriguing contrast to the life style of prosperous town man Xuebing Wang, with his shiny van, home
security monitor and luxury leather lounge. 


Jianjian keeps on trying to contact Wang over the payment he has made to get his imprisoned son released. Being a Chinese movie, we start wondering what the message of all the grim development is.

Bright colours are sharply rendered images in the digital copy. The director’s own sound editing includes showy touches like the conversation in the echoing tunnel under the road and off screen stereo effects.

This one is rewarding for the curious.


Screening twice daily at Event Cinema in George St and once in the evening at the Evemt cinema at Macquarie.

A Fool/ Yi ge shao zi, China, 2014, 103 minutes, Dir: Jianbin Chen, Script: Xuewen Hu.


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