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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ci Chu Yu Bi Chu" )


directed by Mao Mao
China 2012


A meditative observation of a handful of aimless Chinese youths linked together by sex, HERE, THEN is simultaneously hypnotic and frustrating. It doesn't tell a story so much as express a sense of existential inertia as characters and the shifting focus of the camera are carried along by nothing but the listless movement from one place to another (with the movement only seemingly motivated by a desire to remove oneself from the current situation, a rape being the most extreme example despite the camera's detached observation of it) and one bed to another. The scenes involving one character's father suggest that it's not a generational thing as he seems to be concerned with his son's studies and tells his wife on the phone to make sure he buckles down while he himself is distracted by the sight of his younger mistress walking around in circles in the shoes he has just purchased for her. Ironic accompaniment is offered in the form of a recurring pop song, the "love game" lyrics of which suggest a degree of agency entirely absent among the film's characters.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 19 June 2012 (UK)

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DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:33:48 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.91 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Chinese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with director Mao Mao (11:02)

DVD Release Date: June 24th, 2013

Chapters 12



Second Run's dual-layer disc presumably looks as good as this film can in SD (from an HD tranfer newly supervised by the director). The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo - "original" according to Second Run's DVD cover - and it delivers the dialogue and atmospheric effects vividly (as well as the intrusions of source music).

The sole video extra is an interview with the director in which he talks about his desire to express how he and his friends felt as youths. He went to the Bejing Film Academy and studied acting, but he found work only in post-production after graduation, so he decided to direct his own film. He does mention that the film had a more conventional script that he deviated from significantly during shooting (it would have been nice to have an idea of the more straightforward narrative he planned). Also included is a short booklet by Harriet Warman who was pleasantly surprised by the film at its festival premiere.

  - Eric Cotenas


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DVD Box Cover

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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL


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