Monday, July 22, 8:00 pm
DIR: STANLEY KWAN, 2002, HONG KONG, 35MM, SUBTITLED, 86 MIN.
Award-winning director Stanley Kwan, a pioneer in the cinematic representation of gay lives in the Far East, turns in a passionate and unforgettable love story in this superb feature.
Set in Beijing during the late 1980s, LAN YU depicts an affair between two very different men and the social clashes that define and test their relationship. Handsome Chen Handong is the head of a shady securities company with deep ties to the highest levels of the Communist regime. A circumspect gay man, he enjoys an active sex life of casual encounters. Lan Yu is a young architecture student in dire need of money. Seeking benefactors at a local gay bar, he meets Handong, who takes him home for a night of passion. Despite his sympathy with the student democracy movement, Lan Yu is intensely attracted to the high-rolling Handong and ignores the older mans warnings that their time together will be limited. Handong likewise finds this new boy perplexing but uniquely captivating, and thus begins the battle of wills that tests each mans conviction as heartache, scandal and social upheaval threaten to break their curious but unmistakable bond.
Kwan tells this story in powerfully understated terms, coaxing breathtaking performances from Hu Jun (EAST PALACE, WEST PALACE, featured in OUTFEST 98) as Handong and newcomer Liu Ye as Lan Yu. Kwans incisive portrait of Chinas lurching, ambivalent embrace of capitalism and its simultaneous, violent contempt for democracy adds profound dramatic impact to the drama between the central characters, their symbiotic relationship becoming emblematic of the clashes on the teeming streets of Beijing. This delicately observed story, deeply felt and masterfully stylized, is a triumph for its maverick director.
-Shannon Kelley, Director of Programming
CLOSING NIGHT AFTER-PARTY: Join us for a spectacular "Absolut Night Out" following the Los Angeles premiere of LAN YU. Sample tempting dishes and an open bar at Ultra Suede/The Factory, 661 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood.
IN COLLABORATION WITH: APIHR (Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights), Visual Communications and APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team)
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