timespace coordinates: 2001 till about 2017 in the city of Datong bordering with Inner Mongolia, an old mining city that now has become poor since the price of coal dropped and then in the province of Hubei in central China where the city of Wuhan lies.
“It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The story is loosely based on the leader of a gang from Jia Zhangke’s childhood, whom he had admired as a role model.”(wiki)
“A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.”(imdb)
“The film chronicles the return of Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue) to Kaili, the hometown from which he fled many years before. Back for his father’s funeral, Luo recalls the death of an old friend, Wildcat, and searches for lost love Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei), who continues to haunt him.
Director Bi Gan enlisted novelist Chang Ta-Chun as a consultant for the script, noting that Ta-Chun aided in the overall film structure as well as the division of the film into two parts. Of the two parts, Bi noted that “the title of the first part is Memory; that of the second is Poppy, in reference to Paul Celan’s poem Poppy and Memory. At some point, I even considered using this as the film’s title.”
Bi stated that “I liked the idea that the first half would be in 2D, because I wanted it to feel as fragmented as time, with little bits of memory… With the second half, I wanted it to be real-time, and the 3D was the best way to create a spatial experience for that.” The 59-minute unbroken long take 3D sequence that closes the film took two months to prepare, as techniques had to be devised to move a RED camera through the complicated environment of the scene. It took seven attempts at shooting the sequence before Bi was satisfied. The sequence was shot in 2D and converted to 3D in post-production because a 2D camera was lighter and therefore easier to move in difficult positions and small environments.
Bi drew inspiration for the film from the paintings of Marc Chagall, specifically The Promenade, as well as the novels of Patrick Modiano.”
“Many critics praised the final, hour- long dream sequence which was filmed in one continuous take. In his 4/4 star review for The Boston Globe, critic Ty Burr compared the sequence to his own dreams, noting that they are often “unsettling, unstoppable, and yet there’s often a logic within their illogic. This is precisely what Bi has re-created in the final hour of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” a fluid and outrageously extended camera shot that, as with dreams, doesn’t need editing to cast its spell.”(wiki)
“Zhou Zenong, is the leader of a gang of criminals specialized in the theft of motorcycles, and has recently been released from prison. During an argument with a rival gang, Zhou accidentally shoots and kills a policeman, mistaking him for his enemy.
Hunted by the law and rivals, the man finds himself on the run.
The rest of the story revolves around Zhou and Liu Aiai, a prostitute (“bathing beauty”), whose pimp is a well-known associate of Zhou. It will be Liu, as not directly known to the police and therefore not suspicious, who will have to get in touch with Zhou about a bounty issue on him.”