The Capitol Cinema Collective will hold a free screening for their monthly program—Kino Kafé—on Tuesday, February 10, 7:30PM at La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse, 405 Capitol Ave., Hartford. This month is The Beautiful Washing Machine (Mei li de xi yi ji). This is a quote from David Ng’s article in The Village Voice which sums up what the film is about:
Set in present-day Malaysia, [James] Lee’s deadpan exploration of consumer anomie demands at least two viewings—the first to absorb its steady stream of hypnotic, fluorescent-lit images, and the second to parse its intersecting story lines. Teoh (Loh Bak Lai) is a bespectacled cubicle slave who decides on impulse to buy a used washing machine. The unit promptly breaks down, initiating a series of customer service calls that culminates in the appearance of a nameless young woman, who becomes his live-in maid. The movie gets weirder as the woman changes hands halfway through the story, becoming the concubine of a lonely widower. An absurdist allegory on the perils of secondhand ownership, The Beautiful Washing Machine contains Buñuelian flourishes aplenty, but its primary influence lies closer to home: The [Ming-liang] Tsai-chological pall that hangs over the quasi-mute characters is as chillingly humorous as some of the Taiwanese master’s best work.
Included in the program is one of James Lee’s experimental short films titled WALL.