Chu Er Film Fest.

Nicholas Quirke was having an uncomplicated day on Chu Er (day 2) of the new year with a continuing deep dive into the latest cinematic releases in China on 13 February 2021. The first task of the day was to check on the new year activities that historically needed to be adhered to and would addd colour and purpose to the arc of the day. He noted it was the birthday of the Dog, that it was expected of wives to visit their family and that they would be required to eat Fa Gao and Noodles. The week was becoming a mini film festival with Peng and they set off early in a taxi to get to the National Film Museum where they would see two new movies at the IMAX Screen. The day was extremely overcast and when he checked the weather he discovered that the pollution count was critical at over 200. The Covid face mask was not enough and they had to wear an industrial strength mask instead. . The landscape they traveled through in a remote outskirt of Beijing looked eerie and bleak in the smog and temperature that had settled on the day and made the grandiose architecture of the museum look even more austere. Though they didn’t have a lot of time before the film, as they had tickets, they were able to look around the museum before going into the cinema..He had been to the exhibition centre before but surprisingly Peng had never paid a visit and this meant Nicholas was in the privileged position of showing him some of the key sights. The design of some of the posters particularly attracted his attention. They made their way into the cinema and he was handed a pair of hi-tec laser 3D glasses which he would have to wear for the 2 hour duration of ‘A Writer’s Odyssey’. The film, an adventure fantasy, held him utterly captivated, with its 3D effects adding to the thrills and human drama that wove through the complex story of the merging of fact and fiction. A short 30 minute break enabled them to enjoy a snack of nuts before they headed back into the same screen for another 3D adventure. The film, ‘Nezha Reborn’ was an animation featuring the reappearance of a Chinese deity, a boy, who is worshipped in Chinese folk religion and is called “Prince Nezha”. He flies around swiftly on wind fire wheels and is regarded as the patron god of children and filial piety. Parents would make an offering to Nezha with the hope that their children would grow up strong, healthy, and be dutiful and respectful. her enjoyed the movie though it lacked the emotional depth of the first film they saw. It had been something of a marathon, particularly as it was quite a distance they needed to travel which had been easy in a cab but harder heading back as it was 5 km to the nearest subway station. They cycled traveled for nearly an hour on the underground and then went to Sogo Mall for noodles which are eaten on the second day as they symbolise longevity and fa fa gao (fluffy cake) which will hopefully bring affluence as, Tsai Shen, the God of Wealth, leaves for heaven on this day. Despite having already seen two movies, they rounded off the day by watching the deep and intense ‘Malcom and Marie’ a beautifully crafted and shot in real time black and white movie depicting the frustrating, agonising passions of a couple over one evening. They had done very little but sit and watch over the day, but it seemed that the concentration that had been required had quite exhausted him and readied him for a good nights slumber.


  1. We watched Malcolm and Marie a few days ago. What a fabulous script and outstanding performances. So much to love about this film. X

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