The Chinese seem to make the best crime movies nowadays. This one is as much about life’s absurdity and/or the capriciousness of the modern Chinese society as it is about finding who did what. Actually the murder case isn’t very interesting although (or because) they add more than a few twists to it. A lot more interesting is the reality happening around the characters.
Noir contemporaneo che mi ha piacevolmente soddisfatto. Partendo dagli schemi classici di un cruento caso irrisolto ed un investigatore dedito principalmente all'alcol e ormai degradato, una vittima messa in disparte che conquisterà sempre più insistentemente la scena, il punto di svolta sarà raggiunto solo tramite un incessante lavoro di pedinamento, tra autobus, strade e piste ghiacciate dove i personaggi...
This is not your police procedural. It's a meditation on the idea of progress. Progress is not a straight line. It zig-zags and circles around on itself. It's why we keep revisiting the same places in the movie. What is needed, instead of a brilliant detective, is someone who won't give up. I really enjoyed the wild unpredictability of the whole thing. And what a perfect ending!
Draussen auf den Strassen der kargen Stadt liegt der Schnee und genau wie die Schneedecke den Dreck darunter verdeckt, fühlen wir, dass etwas Unheimliches hinter der Fassade dieser Affäre lauert. Black Coal Thin Ice arbeitet mit solchen Suggestionen, wobei die Geschichte immer undurchsichtig bleibt... die ganze Rezension sowie die für uns wichtigsten chinesischen Arthaus Filme auf cinegeek.de
On his podcast, author Bret Easton Ellis argues again and again that, while television is about information, film is primarily about mood and atmosphere. It's a theory that bears out in "Black Coal, Thin Ice," a Chinese neo-noir that shares faint similarities to the first season of "True Detective" and yet arguably surpasses it thanks to an oppressively bleak and frigid visual palette. A near masterpiece.
The prickly Black Coal, Thin Ice slowly envelopes the viewer in its quietly gonzo vision of an industrial world that keeps spinning no matter what happens to the people that inhabit it. The film also uses its murder mystery to glancingly suggest a much more malignant force than murder. Almost all of the film's characters feel beaten and beleaguered, rendered fatigued and submissive by society: particularly the women.
5 - It’s sad to see consummate visual splendor and economy of this caliber (not a single shot is superfluous) wasted on such a tedious police procedural. The plot is shooting for an atmospheric sociopolitical dissection but, after one twist too many, it just devolves into incoherence; less “Memories of Murder” and more of a plodding Chinese feature-length “Law & Order" with marginally less two-dimensional characters.
I'd heard it was noir, and then it started in daylight, so I thought hmm is this really noir, but then the rest of it was 90 minutes of shadows and femme fatales thanks for clearing that up for me. Apart from the slightly overbearing ambience, this is quite beautiful, really well done film. It's noir, by the way. 4/5