Great story. Qu knows just how to frame her characters against background, building a sense of vague menace into her mise en scene and making it seem like everyday life in contemporary China. There are some awkward bumps in the editing--weird omissions, clumsy transitions--that work against the vibe of steadily escalating tension, as does the mellow overall tone. Still, a promising debut.
Did Vivian Qu, writer and director of 'Trap Street' ('Shui Yinjie', 2014) ever read Kafka's 'The Castle'? For the premise of her chilling paranoia thriller - a young surveyor gets caught up in sinister state machinations without ever finding out exactly why - fits the archetype of 'The Castle' perfectly. Read my full review: www.brnrd.net/blog/archive/2014/01/31/iffr-trap-street