CC: An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)

2018/19 SEASON!

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - Thursday, March 28, 2019

An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)

Thursday, March 28, 2019 @ 6:30 PM
Globe Cinema
- 617 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB
$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass

A work of tremendous emotional power and enormous ambition, An Elephant Sitting Still is both the debut and, tragically, the final feature film by filmmaker and novelist Hu Bo, who took his own life at the age of twenty-nine during postproduction. Having studied under the great Béla Tarr, Hu demonstrates some common affinities with the Hungarian master, as testified to by both the presiding sense of desolation as well as an affinity for lengthy tracking shots, though Hou’s approach is grounded in realistic naturalism, a rougher aesthetic, and a unique specificity regarding spiritual disconsolations underpinning quotidian struggles in contemporary China. Set in a crumbling urban outpost in the country’s north-east, An Elephant Sitting Sill tells the intersecting stories of four characters united through mishap and misadventure as they struggle to transcend their condition of alienation, uniting in a quixotic effort to visit the eponymous elephant of the title, a figure of mythic impassivity. Though a film about characters at risk of being crushed by their circumstances, and hardly an optimistic vision, Hu’s film demands finally to be appreciated as a study in human resilience, the tragedy of its director’s abbreviated life notwithstanding.

- Written by Jason Wierzba


As we progress further into the 21st century, the global currents of ideas, influences, and images that inform the art house cinema have both widened and deepened. Digital technologies enable new voices from disparate places to assert themselves into the conversation. Global travel and finance stimulate new, unexpected collaborations, ideations, and co-productions; ever-globalizing telecommunications ensures that word of new discoveries and developing reputations circulates freely between Berlin and Busan, Cannes and Karlovy Vary, and most everywhere in between.

Despite all this, it is still rare to see these films in theatres, with other people, projected on a big screen. In our Contemporary World Cinema series, programmed on an ongoing basis, we present a selection of the most vital, challenging, and artistically cutting-edge films from around the world. Most importantly, these works of critical cinema will be presented in the cinema, as intended. Don’t miss these one-of-a-kind works, which likely will not return to theatres in Calgary. 

About Calgary Cinematheque

We are a non-profit film society dedicated to presenting significant, challenging, and essential works of cinema art in Calgary. During our season, which runs from October to April, we screen films weekly, in curated programs which situate each film in a thematic and historical context. We do this because we believe cinema is an essential form of artistic, social, and political expression. Audiences should be able to engage with a wide range of cinematic expression, not only with what is commercially viable. We believe in the power of sharing these experiences with other people in a theatrical setting and we strive to cultivate a community around that experience.  

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NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to