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LIU Dianxia + XU Ping:The Absent

“The Absent’, an independent short movie directed by LIU Dianxia & XU Ping, is about Andy, a psychologist, receiving a call from Bian Qin, a prison warden, asking him to visit a patient in prison. He agrees to visit a prisoner called 02014. Soon Andy realizes that 02014 is not a normal patient. On the surface 02014 seems crazy and disorganized, but he provides an illuminating insight into the world, even the universe, which Andy has never thought about. Andy is shocked at first, then becomes deeply attached. Without hope Andy starts to reexamine his life through 02014’s perspective. The definition of freedom and prison becomes rather imprecise, and the border between the doctor and the patient is fading away.

 

In general, film makers are inevitably influenced by the issues of politics and gender. Neither LIU nor XU could deny that the starting point of their work is also the construction and destruction of these two issues. They tried to move forward emotionally and conceptually at the same time. Emotionally they tried to look for the evidence of ego and re-examine the idea of self in the everyday life. Does ego originate from social stress or the human nature? How is freedom defined? Ironically and logically the confusion became the inspiration of their film. From an aesthetic point of view, they absorbed inspirations form Chinese traditional painting and experimented to combine this distinguishing cavalier perspective with western dramatic conflicts.

 

They intentionally constructed the contradiction of two contrary roles, then tried to add new dimension to the plot through film editing. Opposite to the simplicity of scenes, through intense close-up shots plus a large number of dialogue, they made the rhythm of picture rather noisy. Hopefully the audience will get the paradox which took a lot effort of them.

 

LIU Dianxia was born China in 1982. He is a screen writer, independent film and music critic. XU Ping was born in China in 1985. He is an independent cinematographer and film director. They formed film making partnership named “Shadow Play Troupe” in 2007, with “The Life Artist” (Documentary film, 2007) & “The Vegetable Market” (Documentary film, 2008) to their credit to date.

 

Dates:  10 Sept. - 9 Oct. 2016