New Noir: Chinese Crime Films

Sunday, November 12 – Thursday, November 15, 2017

Repertory Series

Co-presented by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University

Film noir, as its meaning indicates, is an art of darkness with connotations of pessimism and menace with a focus on crime – especially unsolved ones. Neo-noir has been a rare event in Chinese cinema, because it is considered by the authorities to be an admission of discontent with life in what is supposed to be the people’s paradise.

Recently, however, a new generation of young auteurs, working independently, has been reworking the tropes of Chinese crime and spy films to address the country’s endemic corruption and violence, with films that portray drifting killers, frustrated police, and fatal beauties, all enmeshed in a web of vice and desire. Starting with BLACK COAL, THIN ICE, a landmark in Chinese crime film, and ending with FREE AND EASY, a twisted, dark comedy, this program bears witness to the birth of a Chinese mainland school of film noir.

“New Noir” is part of the Creative China Festival, curated by Meng Xie, supported by Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.

Black Coal, Thin Ice

The Dead End

Lethal Hostage

The Coffin in the Mountain

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