Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Director: Bi Gan Run Time: 133 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2019 Language: In Mandarin with English subtitles
Screening in 2D
Starring: Wei Tang, Jue Huang, Sylvia Chang
Bi Gan follows up his knockout debut, Kaili Blues, with this noir-tinged fever dream about a lost soul (Jue Huang) on a quest to find a missing woman from his past (Wei Tang). Following leads across Guizhou province, he crosses paths with a series of characters, among them a prickly hairdresser played by Taiwanese superstar Sylvia Chang. When the search leads him to a dingy movie theater, the film launches into a hour-long, gravity-defying shot that plunges its protagonist into a labyrinthine cityscape and leaves the viewer breathless.
Glenn Kenny in the New York Times writes: “Midnight movies are no longer the attraction they were back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. This sometimes seems like a shame. Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the second feature by the Chinese director Bi Gan (whose 2016 debut Kaili Blues made an impression in art houses the world over), would make exemplary late-night communal viewing. Very often, and particularly in its second half, watching it feels like dreaming with your eyes open.” So Glenn, we’re doing it at midnight just like another film you mentioned, Inland Empire!