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Night Train

Award winning director Diao Yinan uses his hometown Xi'an as the setting for a story of contemporary provincial Chinese life.

November 6, 2007 12:00am to November 9, 2007 12:00am

China, 2007, 85 min, 35 MM
In Mandarin with English subtitles
US Premiere

DIR: Diao Yi Nan
SCR: Diao Yi Nan
PROD: Vivian Qu, Steve Chow
EXEC PROD: Shu Yao, Yinghua Lu, Sean Chen
CO-PROD: Natacha Devillers, Julien Favre, Luca Matrundola , Pascal Vaguelsy
DP: Dong Jinsong
ED: Kong Jinlei MUS Wen Zi
CAST: Liu Dan, Qi Dao, Xu Wei, Wu Yuxi, Wang Zhenjia, Meng Haiyan

In attendance:  Pascal Valguesy, Vivian Qu

Diao Yinan, the award-winning director of UNIFORM, once again uses his hometown Xi’an as the backdrop for a meditation on Chinese provincial life. Diao’s spare images and non-psychological approach to storytelling form a portrait of the almost-monastic life of his characters. Wu Hongyuan (Liu Dan) is a taciturn female bailiff for a court that prosecutes crimes of passion—mostly by women. Her life is unremarkable: Even participating in an execution fails to disrupt her routine. (Diao borrows Bresson’s elliptical imagery to mark the occurrence of a significant event: white gloves tossed into a fire represent an execution.) Her weekly train rides to attend Good Luck Matchmaking dances, while mostly forgettable, bring Wu the occasional, undesired sexual advance, until she meets a mysterious man, Li Jun (Qi Dao), who is the widower of a woman she executed. The pair’s inner conflicts and desire for each other becomes an allegory of modern China’s struggles to adapt to disorienting societal changes. With NIGHT TRAIN, Diao joins the pantheon of contemporary Asian masters including Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhangke.

 - Rose Kuo


Tuesday, November 6th 8:45pm
ArcLight Theatre 11 $11.00
Friday, November 9th 12:30pm
ArcLight Theatre 12

*see website for ticket purchases



May 14, 2021 - 8:00am

Celebrating USC’s Graduating Classes of 2020 and 2021.