Black Coal, Thin Ice

2014

Crime / Mystery / Thriller

104
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 7,340

Synopsis


Downloaded times
September 11, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1003.88 MB
1280*720
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
110 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.02 GB
1920×1080
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
110 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wackuselfkill 9 / 10 / 10

Excellent Film, Grim and Dark

It seems that, every few years, there are one or two Chinese films that, despite being slow-paced, dark, and lacking A-list stars, somehow manage to attract a large domestic audience without being controversial enough to risk complete censorship. In 2014, the only example I have seen so far is this, Black Coal, Thin Ice. The reason for its domestic success is presumably because of its awards at the Berlin Film Festival. As the story unfolds, despite being based around a series of murders, the film has a pace more similar to an art-house film than a crime- thriller. A couple of scenes were impressively disturbing, made even more so by the slow paced, subtle atmosphere surrounding them. The setting of a polluted, dark, seedy city in a long Heilongjiang winter seems perfect for the noir tone of the film. A subtle musical score, with some dissonant strings combined with (terrible) Chinese pop songs (intra-diegetic) creates a fantastic atmosphere. The closest thing to it I have seen is Suzhou River, which, now I come to think of it, has a lot of similar motifs (I haven't seen Diao Yinan's previous films). The acting performances were all impressive, the female lead (played by Taiwanese Gwei/Gui Lun-Mei) seemed suitably out of place in the Far Northeast of Mainland China. Liao Fan's male lead, and Wang Xuebing's character, were both impressive. Despite a bit of dark humour that made me giggle, Black Coal, Thin Ice is a relentlessly grim and slightly disturbing film. I was impressed that it wasn't (more) censored in China, as it paints a pretty depressing picture. Despite being enthralled by the film, I won't be booking a flight to Heilongjiang any time soon.

Reviewed by Josh_Friesen 7 / 10 / 10

Classic Noir meets Chinese Realism

In snow covered streets surrounded by perpetual darkness detectives and suspects are made distinguishable only by the soft glow of neon signs. Faces are shrouded by shadow, characters motives are unclear. We are in very classic noir territory in Black Coal, Thin Ice. A brutal murder occurs in Northern China. Severed limbs appear simultaneously across the country in coal plants. The investigation into the murder is botched, leaving detective Zhang Zili injured, ashamed and without a job. Five years later, body parts are found in coal plants. Now an alcoholic and working as a security guard, Zhang once again finds himself in the pursuit of the mysterious mass murderer. The only connection between the two cases is a beautiful dry cleaning assistant Wu Zhizhen, who soon becomes the object of Zhang's obsession. An intriguing combination of neo-noir and Chinese realism, Black Coal, Thin Ice demonstrates director Yi'nan Diao's genre literacy. From the lighting, to the troubled anti-hero, to the femme-fatale, the film is full of noir tropes. What makes the film unique is the camera's continual shift to the mundane. Unlike the modern Tarantino-inspired trend, the revelations and acts of violence are down-played. Plot takes a back seat to atmosphere as the audience is immersed in a bleak, nihilistic vision of modern China. Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival, Black Coal, Thin Ice has been a hit with critics but it's hard to see it winning any audience awards. The slow pace and dark, defeatist world view will be a turn off for most audience but if you don't view those as detractors, and if you are a fan of noir then this is a film to see.

Reviewed by t-dooley-69-386916 7 / 10 / 10

Chinese tale of murder, intrigue, coal and skating

The plot is that two cops who have had their careers ruined, by a case that went horribly wrong, decide to reunite. This they do after a murder that has striking similarities to the one that floored them happens again. Zhang Zili has lost everything, his wife, the job he loved and has turned to the bottle as he goes through the motions as an underpaid security guard. Then he gets the chance to solve the case that is his nemesis. This is not a police procedural though; this has elements of the heart, base existentialism and even dark humour. This is from director and writer Yi'nan Diao who brought us 'Night Train' and 'Uniform'. He comes from a very industrialised part of China and this is generally reflected in his films - and indeed it is here. Also the loneliness that comes from the isolating capacity of industrialised living. This though is a confident and assured piece of film making. Even when I thought a scene or two had stayed going a tad too long, he just reveals why and all of a sudden you are right back on track. In Mandarin and running to around 100 minutes this will appeal to those who appreciate modern Chinese cinema and who like a bit of dark brooding to their crime thrillers.

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