In a small village in Northern China in winter, four teenagers take every opportunity to spend their last days of vacation. In the midst of absurd exchanges, heartaches run alongside with criticism of school education and the aftermath of national communism.
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Excellent ! Merci à Mubi de diffuser un film d'art comme celui-ci. Un vrai point de vue de metteur en scène, une image magnifique, une critique punk de la société que ceux qui sont impatients ne liront sans doute pas. Félicitation aux acteurs enfants, des merveilles !
A bleakly hilarious Beckettian film of disconnection, repetition & a living towards endless generation, a kurmagati death-in-life, everyone moving in aspic, with a sole hero a little boy who runs away 'to become an orphan' (O that nastily funny nearly aphasic song that keeps breaking through!) As the final startling scene, a paean to life and yet more life, makes clear it's also slyly subversive politically
Truly subtle, reserved filmmaking - and that manifests in the mood, setting, and especially the humour, which is dry, bordering on absurd and almost surreal at times. The film revolves around the social and political reality of modern China and gives us a brief glimpse of life in a small, remote Chinese town. Lovely static shots with careful framing. Intriguing use of music, the final scene is daring (nice song too).
Yes, "deadpan" is the go-to descriptor. WINTER VACATION might make you think of Kaurismäki or STRANGER THAN PARADISE Jarmusch, but I would suggest the Western equivalent would be a Zellner brothers movie on Thorazine. The performers (almost Bressonian models) and filmmaking itself are lugubrious in the extreme. It's hilarious but above all totally fascinating. Humans fiercely alienated by the spaces they occupy.
Like an early Charlie Brown series of daily strips. So happy to have seen this, Thank you, Mubi! Yet another reason I am here. Fun to see JP Sniadecki in the credits as one of the editors. Great music!