A NEW OLD PLAY
HONG KONG, FRANCE | 2021 | 179min
Film script: QIU Jiongjiong
Director: QIU Jiongjiong
Producer: DING Ningyuan, YANG Jin
Co-producer: ZHAO Jin, LI Yuwen, Jordane Oudin
Cast: YI Sicheng, GUAN Nan, QIU Zhimin, XUE Xuchun, GU Tao
Photography: FENG Yuchao "Robbin"
Music: DIAO Lili
Costumes: BAI Yun
Sound Designer: WANG Ran
Art Director: LV Xin
One evening in the 1980s, Qiu Fu, a leading clown-role actor in 20th-century Sichuan opera, is killed in an accident and must reluctantly set off for the Ghost City under escort of two underworld officials. Along the way, he meets old friends. As they recall the past, earthly scenes creep into the mists of the underworld.
Qiu Fu’s life in opera unfolds against the backdrop of a secular upheaval. The "New-New" Troupe in which he grows up and learns his trade is affiliated with the military. As power shifts, the troupe is cast loose to wander rootlessly through a broken world. Despite this unsettled destiny, shaped by war, famine and political turmoil, Qiu Fu becomes one of the finest clown-role performers in Sichuan opera. And yet, one day he finds himself clapped in a pigsty as a political revolution rages outside.
Locarno Film Festival 2021
Special Jury Prize - Concorso internazionale
Junior Jury Award - Second Prize
Busan International Film Festival 2021
A Window On Asian Cinema
Golden Apricot Yerevan
International Film Festival 2021
International Competition-Special Jury Mention
45th Sao Paulo International Film Festival
Asian Pacific Screen Award 2021
Achievement in Cinematography
25th Black Nights Film Festival Tallinn
Festival des 3 Continents 2021
International Competition-Prize of Young Jury
Singapore International Film Festival 2021
Asian Feature Film Competition
The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2022
Göteborg Film Festival 2022
Voyage - Out of Competition
International Film Festival of Kerala 2022
The Golden Horse Film Project Promotion 2017
CNC Cash Award
Hubert Bals Fund spring selection 2018
BoostNL 2018 / 2019
QIU Jiongjiong (born 1977) is an active contemporary artist and filmmaker in China. As an artist, his works have been exhibited all over the world (for a detailed curriculum vitae please see attached). As a filmmaker, his experiments with cinematic language and aesthetics in documentary film-making have earned him a reputation as one of China's most important independent directors. His experimental/documentary feature MR. ZHANG BELIEVES (2015), supported by a Sundance Post-Production Grant, premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival and has been screened internationally. JIAO MA TANG HUI (A NEW OLD PLAY) is his first fiction feature.
A playful and vital work, a sincere act of love for a land and a culture steeped in history, a hymn to the Dionysian spirit of art.
---- Eddie Bertozzi (Head of Pardi di domani Selection Committee, Locarno)
Qiu Jiongjiong tells this story with affecting intimacy and candid observation—and with archly ironic methods. The movie is filmed as theatrical tableaux, complete with blatantly contrived sets and supernatural fantasy sequences, which virtually shout at viewers not to take the depicted events as literal truth.
---- Richard Brody (The New Yorker)
Qiu has made a cleverly contained existential epic, an ode to the innate persistence of workers, artists, and people in the face of futility and poor fortune. It is a wonder the film carries it off with an empathetic sparkle—there must be some purpose to art, to life, after all.
---- Daniel Kasman (MUBI Notebook)
---- Maria Giovanna Vagenas (Sense of Cinema)
---- Shelly Kraicer (Programmer, Critic)