Bangzi Melody

Bangzi Melody

Dir: Zheng Dasheng
Orig Story: Jia Dashan
Scr: Li Baoluo
Prod Co: Shanghai Film Studio
Cast: Li Zhibing, Liang Chunzhu, Wang Chunming, Lu Aihua, Zhang Huijuan
2017 | B&W | DCP | Hebei Jingxing dialect | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 110min

There are no intense conflicts in Bangzi Melody, but a tragic end depicting the everlasting sorrow brought by historical incidents. The film was adapted by merging three nouvelles from The Best Collected Stories of Jia Dashan. In 1982, the Under-secretary Wang of a remote village announces the staging of a traditional piece Chastising the Princess instead of official propagandistic drama and the country leadership will appear to watch the performance. Lu has in mind his daughter Fen as the female protagonist, and is then engaging the industrious to replace the talented actor whom Fen loves by pledging the excuse that his mentally disturbed father Wang is a trouble-maker: Some ten years ago, Wang caught his little daughter stealing peanuts at his land and his punishment unintentionally caused her death. He then became mentally disturbed. Lu even uses a drama to ridicule that Wang killed his own daughter, making Wang mentally collapse and sending him to an asylum, in order to seize Wang's land.

The absence of the composed film score is a key characteristic of the film, which enhances the realistic simplicity and minimalistic atmosphere. Performances of non-professional casts are all very mundanely convincing as well. Using mainly black and white while glaring red and green to imply the theme is remarkable; against commercial practice the implantation of extreme wide shots and soft focus close up on symbolic details also enhance the pathetical situations of the protagonists and the artistic values of the film.

Date Time Venue
13/11/2021 (Sat) 11:00am Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.