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        1 September
        Today's films in competition: *You Hua Hao Hao Shou*/*Keep Cool* by
Zhang Yimou (China)  and *Ossos*/*Bones* by Pedro Costa (Portugal).
        Winner of the Golden Lion in 1992 for *Qin Ju Da Guansi*/*The Story
of Qui Yu* (which also earned Gong Li the award for Best Actress),
the film is about life in a Chinese metropolis, where Xiao
Shuai, a bookseller, pines away for a beautiful and liberated woman,
(An Hong, who is dating an influential man.  A researcher,
Lao Zhang,  accidentally gets mixed  up in a fight between the two
men and his computer gets smashed.  What follows is Lao's
attempt to be compensated for his loss versus Xiao's desire for
revenge against his rival: wisdom versus raw feelings.  Until the
roles are reversed.
        The director said that his shooting style is determined by diegetic
(OK, I addes this term) considerations, rather than by purely
aesthetic choices.  The rhythm of the film tells the story of the
anxiety, frenzy, and instability of  contemporary China, with its
newly-acquired wealth, lots of noise, metropolitan chaos,
skyscrapers, advertising, karaoke, and, above all, the inexorable
rise of the money god.
        *Ossos* is set in the Estrela d'Africa neighborhood outside Lisbon,
populated by promarily immigrants.  Poverty, degradation, and
suffering rampant.  The film tells the story of a new-born baby and
his mother.  Apparently destined to die, the baby instead survives a
number of dramatic situations--including the double suicide the
mother tries to commit.  Saved by his father, the child lives on the
streets and he is even sold, twice.  I read a  very interesting
statement in a  review in an Italian newspaper: "*Ossos* empties all
cinematic codes and erases all visual and narrative pleasures."  Not
bad given the current state of the (Italian?) press reports...
        *Mimic* by Guillermo del Toro (USA) was also shown today.
 
        Gloria Monti
 
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