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Xiaoma is a young woman who has recently moved to Beijing where she finds an apartment in an old courtyard apartment complex owned by an elderly woman. The relationship between Xiaoma and the landlady almost immediately becomes strained. But over the course of four seasons, Xiaoma begins to learn from her the old world what the modern city of Beijing has left behind, the landlady begins to enjoy the youth and vitality of Xiaoma.
The young female protagonist Xiaoma moves to Beijing to go to College. She wonders around Beijing to find a place for her and finally rents a room in an old house with a garden. The cheap and meticulous old woman who owns the house rejects new things such as electricity, telephone and gas. She even charges Xiaoma whenever she feels that it is necessary. However, young Xiaoma’s youth and vitality fascinates the old woman, and Xiaoma’s passion for life eventually inspires the old woman. They build their friendship through squabbles over nothing and affect each other involuntarily.
Based on the director MA Liwen’s experience, the film aims for the simplicity of space as the most of the story was filmed inside of the house. The simplicity and ruggedness of the film sedates the friendship between those two and disarms the audiences by approaching the essence of people’s mind. Meanwhile, the fast zoom and panning, jump cuts in between those two characters’ point of views, extreme close ups, gray tone and vibrant color contrast of characters’ sense of space catches director’s witty approach of comparisons and the conflicts and collisions in between the two characters. You and Me tries to remember and understand the things that are disappearing in modern China through the friendship of the old lady and Xiaoma that is built together over four seasons. The traditional house with gardens, that was iconic architecture of the City, is now disappearing behind the shadows of modernization development in Beijing. That is why the film gives a sort of a feeling of melancholy. (CHO Hye-young)
MA LiwenMA Liwen
Born in Jiangxi, China, in 1971. MA Liwen graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 1994. She is referred to as a member of the fifth generation of director TIAN Zhuangzhuang’s protégés. You and Me (2005) drew on MA’s own experiences of living in a small apartment in Beijing. The film won her a Golden Rooster for Best Director in 2005 and also a Best Actress award for actress JIN Yaqin. She also directed Lost and Found (2008) and Desires of the Heart (2008).