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Director: Yang Mingming

Screenwriter: Yang Mingming

Producer: Yang Chao, Yang Jing

Editor: Yang Mingming

Cast: Yang Mingming, Nai An, Zhang Xianmin, Li Qinqin, Huang Wei, Yuan Li, Li Wenbo

Cinamatographer: Shen Xiaomin

 

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Girls Always Happy

Rou qing shi

 

Wisconsin Premiere • narrative • China • 2018 • DCP • Mandarin with English subtitles • 117 MIN

section: New Women Directors, New International Cinema

IIn a tight hutong alley in Beijing, twentysomething Wu shares a tiny apartment with her middle-aged mother. Like many mothers and daughters living in such close quarters, these two are practically inseparable, except for the fact that they drive each other completely insane. They communicate in a fast-paced screwball repartee of sarcasm and bickering—Mom, in particular, has a way of giving advice that sounds suspiciously like an insult—often while chowing down on street food with gusto. They each have men they keep at just enough of a distance to keep some extra money coming in, until circumstances turn them against each other. Girls Always Happy marks an auspicious bow for first-time filmmaker Yang Mingming, who serves as the film's director, writer, editor, and star. The exactitude of her comic timing and framing belie the film's shoestring intimacy, and she writes gratifyingly complicated women with depth and sensitivity. Best of all, she never reduces these fully realized characters towards "likeability," when what they are is so much more: lifelike. Best Director, 2018 Hong Kong International Film Festival. Best New Talent Award, 2018 Seattle Film Festival. (MK) ‬‬‬
 

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