Did you miss this year’s North American limited release of Xu Haofeng’s The Final Master from United Entertainment Partners? Fear not, and peer over to the official website for Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) for this year’s China OnScreen Biennial on November 7.
Co-presented with the China Onscreen Biennial, The Final Master – the third film by Xu Haofeng, famous as the novelist who co-wrote Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster – relocates its titular martial arts master from Southern China to 1932 colonial Tianjin. Xu’s sarcastic and elegant approach to cinema has been described as what martial arts movies would look like if directed by Straub-Huillet —or David Mamet. Echoing the film’s cultural hybridity is a rare Chantal Akerman short that captures the changing light as dusk creeps over Shanghai, its immemorial waters rippling under neon and gaudy ads, to a cover of “Nights in White Satin.”