The Days

To those whose experience of Chinese cinema has been limited to the visually exotic films of Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou, this rather wonderful movie by young independent Wang Xiaoshuai may come as a surprise. Shot in lyrical, melancholy b/w, it begins with a sensual, languorous scene of a couple making love in a Beijing bedsit, before proceeding to chart the slow, inexorable break-up of their relationship. Dong and Chun are both unsuccessful artists-turned-tutors, but shared interests and sexual passion haven't managed to stave off boredom and petty domestic tensions, with the result that she now wants to go to America, and he hasn't the fire left in his soul to tell her he'd rather she didn't. The days pass, and Chun's proposed departure gets even closer. What makes the movie so compelling is Wang's subtle control of mood: the stark, elegant visuals, the music, the elliptical approach to narrative, the long takes, and the taciturn but telling performances - all work together to produce a hauntingly poetic elegy to the transience of love.

By: GA

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Wang Xiaoshuai
Screenwriter: Jin Jin Wang Xiaoshuai
Cast: Yu Hong
Liu Xiaodong
Lou Ye