Bi Gan’s mesmerising second feature is a mystery that plays out in both past and present. Luo Hongwa (Huang Jue) returns to his home town of Kaili after his father’s death and, combing through his family home, stumbles upon clues that lead him on a search for a former lover: Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei), a woman tied up with a local gangster, who disappeared from Luo’s life years earlier.
The narrative is elliptical by design – we move through memories and new discoveries, often with little sense of when and where we are, culminates in the film’s greatest achievement: a 59-minute 3D one-take shot.
Much like the final movement in Kaili Blues (2015), this shot winds its way through a small village, though in this film nothing you see or hear can quite be trusted. The anxieties of now bleed into a dream logic reinterpretation of Luo’s past in a way that calls into question his story and his relationships.
After a highly successful theatrical release in China and a illustrious festival run including Cannes, TIFF and NYFF, this is a rare opportunity to see Long Day’s Journey Into Night as intended – in 3D, on a massive screen – and a film event not to be missed.