Wednesday night at the movies: Getting home

Beida film festival billboards
Billboards for the movies shown at the festival

This evening I was watching the Chinese movie “Getting Home” (落葉歸根/落叶归根) that was shown at the university’s largest auditorium during some kind of film festival. It only cost 0.60 Euros so I thought I might just watch it, even though I probably won’t understand anything… As it turned out, the movie did not only have the Chinese subtitles as most movies have, but also had English ones!

I bought the tickets with a friend in advance, but then I noticed that I had a class that did end at 6:30 p.m. – the time when the movie was scheduled to be shown. So of course the movie had already started when I got there, but as I had read some articles about the movie on the web, so I knew the main points I had missed. Initially I had read the articles to somehow get an idea about the content, in case it was only shown in Chinese, so that way it did not really matter to not see the first five minutes.

I first learned about the movie in the German Tagesthemen, during a feature on the Berlinale, Germany’s most important film festival.
The movie is about a man who is taking the body of his dead friend to the friend’s hometown in the three gorges area. To do so, he dresses the body and pretends that it is his sick friend, and during the trip he meets all kinds of people, good and bad. So it’s a funny road-movie although it’s very sad at some parts, too. I really enjoyed watching it!

Unfortunately I could not sit in my row 11 seat but was guided a gallery in the back – as all students who were late. This did of course not matter for the time during the movie but I was sitting in the very back afterwards. Then the director Zhang Yang, who had previously directed “Xizao”, appeared and answered questions by the students. Actually I did not expect him to appear on stage, especially after having paid such little money for the ticket (regular movie theatres appear to be more expensive).

Director Zhang Yang
Zhang Yang answering students’ questions

During the Q&A after the movie, Zhang stated that the he felt that the audience in Berlin liked the movie but did not fully understand all the humorous scenes, especially those with were in Guangdong accent (actually I obviously did not understand some of them either because the audience was cracking up at certain points during the show and I did not think the English subtitles were that much fun at these points). He also said that he could not make a film that was just sad, there need to be some funny elements in it, too. During his answers he often referred to Xizao which I have not seen yet, so I think I should get a copy of it to watch it. Of course, the discussion was in Chinese so I don’t know if I got him right on the points above…

Link: Trailer


One Response to “Wednesday night at the movies: Getting home”

  1. Pirated movies in China « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] students go to the movies very often? Although sometimes the movie tickets are quite cheap e.g. at Beijing University’s cinema, but at the regular ones you are required to pay more. Often you even have to pay more than to buy […]

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