Magazine article Variety

'Wharf' Marks Chinese Poet's Big Screen Bow

Magazine article Variety

'Wharf' Marks Chinese Poet's Big Screen Bow

Article excerpt

A KEEN ADMIRER of Luis Bunuel's "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," Chinese poet Han Dong makes an appearance this week in Busan with "One Night on the Wharf," his first attempt at directing a movie. Produced by arthouse darling Jia Zhangke, the film debuts in the Busan Film Festival's main New Currents competition.

At heart, "Wharf" is a tale of thugs versus poets, and Han describes it as a black comedy about the ridiculous happenings in a small town. "Chinese films these days are either far too realistic, or have too much fantasy. I wanted to achieve something in the middle," Han told Variety, though the source material, one of his own short stories, is actually 20 years old. The specifics of the wharf and the period are not his priority. "It is about the Chinese people and their particularities. Their humor has not changed in 20 years."

In that time Han had, unknowingly, been taking baby steps towards his new career. …

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