A Love of Blueness- -
Rookie policeman Tai Lin yearned to be an artist before he failed an examination and followed in his father's footsteps. One day he interrupts an apparent suicide attempt by a woman standing on the edge of a bridge.
Huo Jianqi won the 2001 Golden Rooster Award for best director with his fifth feature A Love of Blueness.
The director is an acknowledged crowd pleaser: his Postmen in the Mountains won the audience award at the 1999 Montreal World Film Festival. Whereas Postmen was a delicately nuanced, beautifully photographed rural coming-of-age story, A Love of Blueness is a contemporary Chinese take on film noir, told in flamboyantly expressionistic style. Tai Lin is a frustrated young cop. After failing his art school entrance exams, he became a policeman to please his father, a retired cop himself.
Tai is still looking for poetry in his life, and stumbles across it in the form of young performance artist Lin Yun when he interrupts her (fake) bridge suicide. He arrests her and then can’t get her out of his mind. In true film noir style, she entrances him with her mysterious personality and an identity puzzle: she asks him to locate a certain Ma Baiju, a lost figure from her past but also the object of an unresolved murder investigation involving his father. The adapted screenplay does have a bit too much solemn talk of “life as creative activity, as a work of art”, and some awkwardly inserted performance art scenes, in which Yuan comments on the significance of her character’s life. But this is not fatal in a film whose constantly inventive photography lingers on the expressive face and energetic performance of Yuan Quan. Pan Yueming is fine as the young confused cop, but Yuan should really share top billing with the film’s striking setting, the northeastern city of Dalian, whose streetcars, handsome colonial architecture, and stunning seascapes are displayed to great advantage.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival