‘Fire on the Plain’ Review: Rising Talent Burns Up the Screen in Gutsy, Gorgeous Chinese Noir

‘Fire on the Plain’ Review: Rising Talent Burns Up the Screen in Gutsy, Gorgeous Chinese Noir
While Western cinema all too often equates film noir with retro pastiche and period fare, Chinese filmmakers continue to sustain the genre in bracingly contemporary, socially relevant ways — often sneaking a wealth of political and economic commentary past censors and straight into their sleek underworld narratives. Zhang Ji’s remarkable debut feature, “Fire on the Plain,” follows in this rich tradition: On the surface, it’s a grand, expansive yarn meshing cool policier with . A collective sense of yearning for other lives and other options runs through the well-oiled mechanics of the plot, elevating this San Sebastian competition standout from merely compelling to truly stirring.

Former cinematographer Zhang is best known for his work on Zhang Bingjian’s “North by Northeast,” and this is about as fully formed as first features come — matching the technical finesse you might expect, given his background, to real storytelling brio. If “Fire on the Plain
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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