“If Bi’s cinema has been clear about anything so far, it’s that he is completely unburdened by narrative cohesion. And why would he be? For one, Bi came to filmmaking from poetry, which he’s written a book of, and which he credits as the primary foundation for Kaili Blues. His films, then, ought to confuse our imagination, to place us on the margins of events, where, as Bachelard believed, we can be awakened from our automatisms. There’s a necessary two-ness and, thus, in-between-ness in Long Day, which is part of why it creates such an unusual aura. Electric yet catatonic, roving yet paused, indexical yet virtual, multidimensional yet flat – Bi’s films are never content to offer just one impression, derived as they are from such disparate sensibilities. While Kaili Blues is perhaps the more balanced embodiment of both of these modes, it’s this follow-up that hones and enriches his dualistic grammar, creating tension and complexity out of low-key lighting, long pauses, and – most of all – stylistic dissonances. Indeed, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which takes place almost exclusively at night despite beginning on the summer solstice (‘From now on our days will be shorter, our nights longer’), is often in conflict with what we expect from it. [...]”
- 1. Blake Williams, “Apt Pupil: Bi Gan on Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Cinema Scope, CS75, Summer 2018.