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Gujiagou village, Zhangjiakou municipality, Hebei province, northwest of Beijing, the present day. Back in Gu Lin Shi Qiang was abandoned by his wife Huang Zhaozhi while trying to grope his sister-in-law Li Xingxing in their shared bed one night. In the s year-old Liuruan Li Zicheng was in an arranged married to a young woman Wang Xiaoqing but refused to sleep with her on their wedding night.
But she tries to run away after their first night together, and then Qiaosan tells his parents that he is in love with her and wants her as his wife.
In its offhand way, the script is cleverly constructed in its character play, and Hao keeps things moving with the minimum of film-school affectations. For a start, the movie is set during summer, not the bleak northern winter so beloved of indie directors. Though the sexual content is visually discreet, the dialect-thick dialogue has a fruity, rural directness from both men and women , and Hao manages the tricky task of letting the humour come out of the situations rather than playing everything as broad comedy.
The Chinese title can mean either a single man or a hoodlum. Photography: Du Pu. Production design: Wang Lei. Art direction: Wang Weida. Sound: Qiao Jing, Wang Shuo. Executive direction: Hao Guoying, Yang Cuilan. Cleverly constructed, low-key character comedy in a northern Chinese village with sex mostly on its mind. Release: China, 14 Dec Review originally published on Film Business Asia , 21 Dec