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An Elephant Sitting Still A Cinematic Triumph from Writer/Director Hu Bo

March 9 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Saturday, March 9, 2:00–6:00 PM
Event Fee: General Public: $15; Students and Seniors (62+): $12
Location: FSLC’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th St

This intensely felt epic, already being hailed as a landmark of contemporary Chinese cinema, marks a career cut tragically short: its first-time director Hu Bo took his life shortly after completing the film, at the age of 29. The protagonist of this modern reworking of the tale of Jason and the Argonauts is teenage Wei Bu, who critically injures a school bully by accident. Over a single, eventful day, he crosses paths with a classmate, an elderly neighbor, and the bully’s older brother, all of them bearing their own individual burdens, and all drawn as if by gravity to the city of Manzhouli, where a mythical elephant is said to sit, indifferent to a cruel world. Through this complex interweaving of stories, full of moody close-ups and virtuosic tracking shots, Bo explores the violence, isolation, and anxieties of contemporary urban life in China.

Following the film stay for a talk back and Q&A with actor Zhang Yu, who plays Yu Cheng in the film; Dinda Elliott, senior vice president of the China Institute; Aliza Ma, head of programming at Metrograph; and Nicolas Rapold, editor-in-chief of Film Comment and host of The Film Comment Podcast.

DIRECTOR: Hu Bo
CAST: Zhang Yu, Peng Yuchang, Wang Yuwen, Liu Congxi
RUN TIME: 230 minutes
LANGUAGE: Mandarin, with English subtitles

Trailer:www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6j_d8ENXkY

“A colossal work so singularly rich that to speculate about the career he would have had seems beside the point: running four hours in length and seldom straying from a tone of absolute dread, despair, and not-always-quiet desperation, An Elephant Sitting Still is both a spiritual ordeal and an exhaustive vision of a world that, though its inhabitants constantly bemoan its essential wretchedness, one might almost feel loath to abandon.” – Dan Sullivan, filmcomment.com

This intensely felt epic, already being hailed as a landmark of contemporary Chinese cinema, marks a career cut tragically short: its first-time director Hu Bo took his life shortly after completing the film, at the age of 29. The protagonist of this modern reworking of the tale of Jason and the Argonauts is teenage Wei Bu, who critically injures a school bully by accident. Over a single, eventful day, he crosses paths with a classmate, an elderly neighbor, and the bully’s older brother, all of them bearing their own individual burdens, and all drawn as if by gravity to the city of Manzhouli, where a mythical elephant is said to sit, indifferent to a cruel world. Through this complex interweaving of stories, full of moody close-ups and virtuosic tracking shots, Bo explores the violence, isolation, and anxieties of contemporary urban life in China. An Elephant Sitting Still is nothing short of a masterpiece. The film has played at New Directors/New Films 2018, 68th Berlin International Film Festival, and won Best Feature Film at the 55th Annual Golden Horse Awards.

This film is presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center, with support from China Institute and the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.

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Date:
March 9
Time:
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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