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UFO in Her Eyes

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.

With: Shi Ke, Udo Kier, Mandy Zhang, Y. Peng Liu, Z. Lan, Massela Wei, Dou Li, Nan Zhou. (Mandarin, English dialogue)

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.

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UFO in Her Eyes


Production: A Corazon Intl. production in co-production with NDR/Arte in association with Dorje Film. (International sales: the Match Factory, Cologne, Germany.) Produced by Klaus Maeck. Executive producer, Fatih Akin. Directed by Sabotage Sister aka Xiaolu Guo. Screenplay, Guo, Pamela Casey, based on the novel by Guo.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, widescreen), Michal Tywoniuk; editor, Nikolai Hartmann; music, Mocky; production designer, Jun Yao. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 11, 2011. Running time: 109 MIN.

Cast: With: Shi Ke, Udo Kier, Mandy Zhang, Y. Peng Liu, Z. Lan, Massela Wei, Dou Li, Nan Zhou. (Mandarin, English dialogue)

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