Directed by Xu Bing
FIPRESCI Prize, 2017 Locarno Film Festival
Official Selection, 2017 Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2017 New York Film Festival
In 2015, visual artist Xu Bing started collecting surveillance videos and dash cam footage from the cloud: random images and locations in China of ordinary passerby caught unaware. From thousands of videos from all over the country, he weaves together a sensational mystery of collisions, love, obsession, rage, and those porous boundaries between the spiritual and the mundane, the real and the virtual. Qing Ting and Ke Fan are our heroes, played by countless random people in the streets, in businesses, in factories, in hallways.
On a surface level, there’s a voyeuristic pleasure of seeing what we’re not supposed to see. But Xu Bing’s creation of a narrative – assisted by voiceover actors and foley artists to fill out the soundtrack – sets up endless other conceptual curiosities, as seemingly infinite as the eyes on a dragonfly’s head. He tempts our fixation with narrative and our desire to recognize it from the most tenuous traces of cause and effect. He reflects upon human recognition altogether – one character even gets plastic surgery – but in a film where we can’t properly see characters’ faces. From blurry, ordinary moments he awakens something sensational, often with the help of disaster footage, and toys with the anxiety we as an audience have over this most baseline and ubiquitous image of reality: unframed, unbalanced, unscripted.
The permutations of the spectacular within ubiquity is one of DRAGONFLY EYES’ most thrilling and challenging provocations. From these images, soon to be deleted to make room for more, he conjures the eerie in the mundane and the uncanny in anonymity. The result is nothing short of breathtaking. –Brian Hu
Co-Presented by: Bionic Sisters Productions