Man Yan is a young chinese filmmaker who has already achieved considerable renown, His most recent work is “Pirated Copy“, a study of the cycle of production of counterfeit DVDs in China, and they way in which they cause people’s lives to intertwine.
Opening with a series of face-hidden shots of DVD hawkers I initially took it for a documentary, so it was only a police chase in which the cameraman is also involved until its conclusion that woke me up to the fact that it’s fiction. Thereafter we are introduced to the characters, a cinephile whose street-peddling allows him to meet strangers, a film professor with a penchant for Almodavar, a prostitute on the hunt for romance, and a worker high on Tarantino-style imagination who has just been laid off from his job and is desperate for money. Conveniently our friend Lawrence Liang from the Alternative Law Centre in Bangalore came to Berlin for Summit and gave a presentation about the film on sunday morning. He had visited some of the locations where it had been shot, including a bookstore/cafe adjacent to a pirate dvd shop which sells everything from Foucault to Ginsberg (not your knee-jerk idea of Beijing perhaps?), and who faced is adorned with a small mural of Lola from Lola Rennt.
I really recommend the film which is stylishly shot but whose strongest point is in conveying the type of intimate relationship that is created when people share ideas, desires, sensibilities and things.
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