Movies Watched -- Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

In Chinese. 106 minutes, but felt at least 15 minutes too long. Weird one from China. The Chinese title is 白日焰火, which means daytime fireworks, which makes sense at the end of the movie (it’s also the name of a night club within). Sort of a crime / mystery / thriller, but it was none of those things really — more a low-budget art house movie than anything. The only thing that interested me about it was that it was set in Harbin, a city I have some familiarity with, having spent my fall semester of my junior year abroad (in 1990!) at the Harbin Institute of Technology … and of course I know China well.

Structure of the movie wasn’t very good, fairly disjointed, lot of leaps of logic, femme fatale angle didn’t really work, just strange — how did the detective (who was later killed) track down the killer? Did the other detective love the girl? Why? And why screw her and not save her? Yellow rating for those who think about China, and especially Harbin, with some nostalgia, red rating for everyone else.

Luke Buckmaster correctly writes, “It's hard to imagine it traveling much wider than the festival circuit.“