A Love of Blueness

An only partly successful attempt to blend psychological drama with musings on art vs. life, "A Love of Blueness" ends up somewhere between the two, as a melodrama with pretensions. Attractive leads, plus good supporting perfs, make this a watchable mystery, but pic won't attain the international fest reach of director Huo Jianqi's earlier pic.

With:
With: Pan Yueming, Yuan Quan, Dong Yong, Zhang Xiaojun.

An only partly successful attempt to blend psychological drama with musings on art vs. life, “A Love of Blueness” ends up somewhere between the two, as a melodrama with pretensions. Attractive leads, plus good supporting perfs, make this a watchable mystery, but pic won’t attain the international fest reach of director Huo Jianqi’s earlier “Postmen in the Mountains” (1999).

A rookie cop who wanted to be a painter, Tai Lin (Pan Yueming) saves the beautiful Liu Yun (Yuan Quan) from jumping off a bridge, only to find she’s a theater actress who staged the event as “performance art.” Tai then finds himself involved in an unsolved, 20-year-old murder — on which his father, also a cop, worked — when Liu asks him to find a man who saved her life years earlier. But is her request another attempt at performance art? Script, from a novel, doesn’t pull together all its diverse elements; the best sections are actually between Tai and his father and colleagues (Dong Yong, Zhang Xiaojun) rather than with the abstracted Liu. Technical credits are slick, with nice use of unfamiliar locations in coastal Liaoning province, east of Beijing.

A Love of Blueness

China

Production: A Beijing Film Studio presentation of a China Film Group, Beijing Film Studio, China Movie Channel production. (International sales: China Film Group, Beijing.) Produced by Tong Gang. Directed by Huo Jianqi. Screenplay, Si Wu, Dong Zhou, based on the novel "Performance Art" (Xingwei yishu) by Fang Fang.

Crew: Camera (color), Zhao Lei; editor, Liu Fang; music, Wang Xiaofeng; art director, Song Jun. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (World Cinema), Aug. 25, 2001. Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Pan Yueming, Yuan Quan, Dong Yong, Zhang Xiaojun.

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