Staying in Beijing for Chinese New Year? Time Out pick five best HD movies available for streaming on Youku and LeTV, including Golden Bear winning film Black Coal, Thin Ice, director John Woo's classic A Better Tomorrow, Ann Hui's A Simple Life and more
Director Diao Yinan
Chinese name 白日焰火
Cast Liao Fan, Gwei Lun-Mei
Award-winning gritty detective thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice is set in the industrial bleakness of Heilongjiang province. The film opens in 1999 with shots of dismembered body parts cartwheeling along coal chutes. The dead man is identified as a worker at one of the local factories whose wife, Wu Zhizhen (Gwei Lun-Mei), works at a small dry-cleaning shop. Gruff, recently divorced detective Zhang Zili (Liao Fan, who won the prize for best actor at Berlin) identifies two suspects, but the arrest spirals into a dramatic, deadly shootout.
Five years later Zhang, now a bedraggled, drunk security guard, is still coming to terms with the carnage. After meeting his former partner he learns that more dismembered workers have been found in circumstances mirroring the previous case, not least in their connection to the widow Wu. Zhang’s fascination with the case becomes entangled in his attraction for Wu, who may or may not be a lethal ‘black widow’. The plot crackles with romantic fatalism.
Watch if you liked The Maltese Falcon
Watch at v.youku.com