An example of slow cinema, Distant is made up of thirteen parts, each a single long take without any dialogue and relying solely on image, sound, and action. Dramatic, realistic, and mysterious, these fragments tell a story of distance, focusing on the subtle moments when people are suddenly confronted with modernity and gradually become lost in transition. The film attempts to describe the alienation, abandonment, and eternal loneliness of today’s human condition. Presented by Crows & Sparrows. Director Zhengfan Yang will attend in person for a discussion with Yangqiao Lu, who writes about cinema for ArtForum China, La Furia Umana, Brooklyn Rail and LEAP magazine. China, 2013, 88 minutes.

Embedded in each seemingly mundane sequence shot is the implication of critique, a witty observation about modern life, or perhaps just a pleasurable uncertainty about the film’s fictive and documentary content.

The Brooklyn Rail