Oxhide II

Liu Jia Yin has made "Oxhide II" in exactly the same fixed-camera method, only now the originality is gone and the running time is even longer.

With:
With: Liu Zai Ping, Jia Hui Fen, Liu Jia Yin.

Four years ago the arbiters of a certain breed of attenuated cinema crowned low-budget helmer Liu Jia Yin with near-genius status following her debut, “Oxhide.” Encouraged by the accolades, she’s made “Oxhide II” in exactly the same fixed-camera method, only now the originality is gone and the running time is even longer. Comprising just nine shots confined to one very tight room, the pic will find lone champions rhapsodizing over her studied engagement with space, but for most viewers this audience tester will merely spur heavy-duty ankling.

Like the first installment, the current offering consists of Liu Jia Yin with her real mother, Jia Hui Fen, and father, Liu Zai Ping, making dumplings and occasionally expressing concern over their failing handbag business. The nine shots vary from five to 21 minutes, self-lensed by Liu’s stationary camera generally placed near table level, which means heads are cut off unless the characters bend down. The mildly amusing self-deprecatory humor she evinced in “Oxhide” still shows, but without stylistic development the experiment’s second outing feels even more hollow. Warning: Further installments have been promised. Vid quality is solid.

Oxhide II

China

Production: A Liu Jia Yin production. Produced, directed, written, edited by Liu.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, digital), Liu. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors' Fortnight), May 21, 2009. Original title: Niu pi er. Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 132 MIN.

With: With: Liu Zai Ping, Jia Hui Fen, Liu Jia Yin.

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