Kino Lorber has released the trailer for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which has been receiving praise since it premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of last year’s Cannes Film Festival — especially for a 59-minute long-take 3D sequence. Bi first drew attention for his enigmatic debut, “Kaili Blues,” which likewise featured an arresting extended sequence; reactions to the Chinese auteur’s sophomore feature suggest he remains a filmmaker on the rise. Watch the trailer below.
Bearing no actual relation to Eugene O’Neill’s revered play of the same name, the film is described by its distributor as “a noir-tinged film about a solitary man (Huang Jue) haunted by loss and regret, told in two parts: the first an achronological mosaic, the second a nocturnal dream.” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich, reviewing the film at Cannes, gave it an “A” and wrote that “Bi’s camera doesn’t tell a story in traditional terms, but its narrative foundation provides just enough character details to catapult into bracing unknown terrain. It’s not always an emotionally pleasing experience, and the minimalist plot leads to some redundant observations, but those are minor quibbles in a movie engineered to reorient the spectator.
“At the Cannes Film Festival, where cinema is mostly celebrated as a fixed medium of shots and cuts, ‘Long Day’s Journey’ premiered as a delicious surprise by providing a unique alternative — moving images that transform the real world into a higher plane of awareness, in which the camera has the power to liberate the eye from its physical constraints and enter a grab bag of possibilities.”
Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, Lee Hong-Chi, and Zeng Meihuizi co-star in the film. Kino Lorber will release “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” in theaters on April 12.