Xiaolu Guo won Locarno’s Golden Leopard for “She, a Chinese” and scored praise for docu “Once Upon a Time Proleterian,” but her latest, “UFO In Her Eyes,” crashes and burns on first contact. Intended as a lampoon of China’s rush into Communist Party-approved capitalism, Guo’s adaptation of her own novel is unfunny and slapdash throughout as it observes the fallout from a woman’s UFO sighting in an agrarian village. Beyond select fests dedicated to showing Guo’s films, pic will have few witnesses.
During a tryst with her school headmaster, Lee (Z. Lan), Kwok (Shi Ke) thinks she sees a UFO, though the staging is so vague and botched that it could be anything. Taking her claim seriously, local Communist Party topper Chang (Mandy Zhang) stage-manages a campaign to bring attention to the town she governs. Yank official Steve (a bizarrely cast Udo Kier) helps out, but the petty, jealous locals begin to resent Kwok. A TV crew, lensing for some reason in black-and-white, intrudes on the action in all sorts of inappropriate ways.