"In death, all of life is vanity" Qiu Jiongjiong's A New Old Play is a stunning achievement - a sprawling work of histography purveyed through familial legacy and the interconnectivity between the past and present, as well as between the material and metaphysical worlds. The craft on display is downright staggering, deploying a heavy artifice that synthesizes filmic movement within a theatre compositional framework. The history of 20th-century China told through a personal, familial social arrangement, A New Old play doesn't really focus on politics per se but the transformative effect it places on the social fabric. It is a film far more focused on the social and personal, the bodies that must reconfigure and reprioritize in the face of grand-scale change in which their autonomy is often inconsequential to the perceived greater good. More playful than I was expecting, A New Old Play is lively, magically rendered, and emotionally poignant, presenting a humanistic portrait of struggle and salvation, integrating the spiritual realm and the material to deliver a touching ode to the struggle that is living and artistic creation that really is quite the cinematic achievement.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.