Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) at Maridon Museum, October 7.

The 2015 Chinese film Mountains May Depart (山河故人) will play at the Maridon Museum on October 7 as part of this fall's Chinese Film Series. A February New York Times review provides a summary:
Three times in “Mountains May Depart,” the latest from the transformative Chinese director Jia Zhangke, people stand near a river that weaves through the landscape like a snake. In the first instance, three friends light fireworks that send out modest sparks. In the second, only two return to the river, where they ignite a bundle of dynamite. By the third trip, only one of the original three remains, everyone’s life having changed as profoundly as China, a cataclysm that’s expressed by a series of rapid explosions in the river, suggesting a drowning world.

Few filmmakers working today look as deeply at the changing world as Mr. Jia does, or make the human stakes as vivid. The three sending out those sparks are Tao (Zhao Tao), and her two close male friends, Zhang Jinsheng (Zhang Yi) and Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong). An affable, easygoing drifter with an expansive smile, Tao works in a small store in the city of Fenyang (Mr. Jia’s birthplace). Mr. Jia likes a slow reveal and it isn’t initially obvious that Tao is the movie’s emotional organizing principle whose feelings run, surge and erupt. The story tracks Tao and her relations with both Liangzi, who works at a coal mine, and Jinsheng, a budding entrepreneur.
The movie premiered in Pittsburgh last fall as one of two Asian movies in the 2015 3 Rivers Film Fest, and played in Pittsburgh again in March. The October 7th showing starts at 6:00 pm and is presented by Dr. William Covey of Slippery Rock University.

The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St. in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.