Wang Bing

Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Jan 14 2018, 06:12 PM #1

I'm seeing Wang Bing's 2016 documentary BITTER MONEY, which opened last Friday for a week-long run at Anthology Film Archives, tonight. It's a portrait of  workers in the city of Huzhou, which contains 18,000 clothing factories and 300,000 people, mostly women who toil there, and follows them on and off the job. Since making this film, Wang has made a 15-hour film, literally called 15 HOURS (one film programmer I know got a streaming video link to this, with the first part running 7 hours and the second part 8 hours), and MRS. FANG, a depiction of the last weeks of a dying woman, which won the top prize at last summer's Locarno Film Festival and hopefully will get some kind of theatrical distribution in the U.S. this year. After Jia Zhang-ke, I think he's mainland China's most interesting director, but Anthology is the only New York theater with any interest that has any interest in showing his work. His tendency to make very long films may have something to do with this: BITTER MONEY is only 152 minutes, but in 2016, Anthology gave a week-long run to his 4-hour TILL MADNESS DO US PART (which made my top 10 list for that year), and the 9-hour WEST OF THE TRACKS is the film that made his reputation.