The name says it all. The first film in director Ning Ying's "Beijing Trilogy" pays "unashamed tribute to the lighter side of life " (The Economist). The story centers around an old man forced to retire from his job as a utility man at the Peking Opera. At loose ends, he wanders the backstreets of Beijing looking for something to fix. When he comes upon a group of amateur opera musicians in a public park, the old meddler finds an outlet for his tendencies. "Beneath the comedy, there's a deeper message about bureaucratic mindsets in communist China" (Variety). A Gold Award Winner at the Tokyo International Film Festival. In Mandarin with English subtitles.Ning Ying---China---1993---98 mins.
The third film in director Ning Ying's "Beijing Trilogy," this romantic drama follows the fortunes of a young cab driver who is depressed because of a recent divorce. He turns his personality around to become a ladies man, wooing a waitress, a librarian, and then a talk-show host. Lost in the dating wars, he longs to find the love of his life in the rapidly changing city of Beijing. The trilogy is structured around different generations and their responses to the fast-paced lifestyle and rapid changes of China's capital city. While I Love Beijing focuses on the heartbreak of young love, For Fun concerns the elderly and China's disappearing traditions and cultural values, and On the Beat features middle-aged characters who can't cope with the "new China." Winner of the Don Quixote Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Ning Ying---China---2000---99 mins.
On the Beat offers a humorous look at the daily grind of a Beijing police station through the perspective of two mismatched partners. This is the second film in Ning Ying's "Beijing trilogy," which follows three generations of residents as they respond to the fast-paced lifestyle and rapid changes of China's capital city. I Love Beijing focuses on the heartbreak of young love, For Fun concerns the elderly and China's disappearing traditions and cultural values, and On the Beat offers a humorous look at the everyday lives of middle-aged adults. "[Ying's] film has effortless authenticity and a quiet, watchful style" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times). In Mandarin with English subtitles. Ning Ying---China---1995---102 mins.