How ‘The Farewell’ Makes Exercise Fun and Bittersweet | Anatomy of a Scene

Ha! Ha!

This sound echoing through a neighborhood in the Chinese city of Changchun isn’t that of laughter, but of a disciplined workout routine. It’s coming from Billi (Nora Lum, a.k.a. Awkwafina) and her grandmother, or Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen).

In “The Farewell,” Billi has returned to the city to visit her ailing Nai Nai, who has been diagnosed with cancer. But the grandmother hasn’t been told this diagnosis and thinks that Billi, along with the rest of her family, is visiting for a wedding.

The shooting style often aims to mirror that narrative through unbroken, stationary shots. Its writer and director, Lulu Wang, explained how in an interview.

“We use the static frame a lot throughout the film as a way to represent the performative nature of what’s going on,” she said, “that the family is performing joy, that they’re performing this wedding for Nai Nai’s sake and there’s a theatricality to it.”

Here, Wang discusses how she worked with her actors and gave them the freedom to move around the frame and even out of it to build a naturalistic sequence that solidifies the chemistry between them.

Read the review here:
More from The New York Times Video:
Whether it’s reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It’s all the news that’s fit to watch.

best of the web (1)

Related posts

Watch Live: Leaders Speak to The United Nations General Assembly

President Trump will give a speech on Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly in New…
Read more

Why We Love Watching Babies Fail | Internetting Season 2

YouTube family vlogs are remaking childhood itself to fit the algorithm. Here, cute videos are fine…
Read more

All the Senate’s Men: Empowering Women Since 1991 | NYT Opinion

From Anita Hill to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, this video spotlights the Senate’s strides in gender…
Read more
Become a Trendsetter
Sign up for Davenport’s Daily Digest and get the best of Davenport, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.