Whether you’re a Tarantino aficionado or an anime fanatic, you are bound to love HAVE A NICE DAY. Amid its film festival screenings, this animated crime-comedy has received both critical acclaim and award nominations. Among others, it was chosen as a New York Times Critics Pick, a Best Film nomination at the Berlin International Film Festival and an Audience Award nomination at the AFI Fest.
In a recent interview from Vice, director Liu Jian – who animated the film entirely on his own over three years – reflects on the inspiration for the film:
“I live in China, and I wanted to show a picture of contemporary China with my film.
Have a Nice Day is an animated film, but it’s penetrated through and through with the philosophy of realism. The film portrays an urban story that takes place on the edges of a southern Chinese city. There are so many uncertainties and possibilities to be imagined in such a dynamic and lively space as the city’s borderlands. What some might call surrealism is often the reality there, and that is fascinating to me in itself. I love to observe and reflect on how people there are living, thinking, and acting. The cultural landscapes of the city’s edges and the people who live there are one of the main sources and inspirations for my work.
At the same time, the coexistence of realism and symbolism emphasizes the fantasy and the absurdity of these characters and their stories. In modern China, magical realism is happening around us almost every day. Life at times can resemble a surreal comedy that is filled with both jubilance and self-paralysis.”
Click here to read the full Vice article!
As far as the critics are concerned, HAVE A NICE DAY is not to be missed, and it shows in the 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes! Indiewire raves, “A mesmerizing portrait… mixing the dreaminess of Wong Kar-Wai with early Tarantino vibes.”
NPR says its, “The closest any movie has gotten lately to punk rock.” (If that doesn’t intrigue you, what will?!)
The LA Times writes, “Liu gives you plenty to listen to, but don’t forget to look: Beyond the formulaic thriller plotting and the showy verbiage, it’s the movie’s richly textured vision of urban decay that stays with you. From these painterly still shots of littered streets and graffiti-strewn buildings, there arises a bone-chilling sense of despair that somehow leaves you just shy of depressed. You may have seen some of the worst that humanity has to offer, but you’ve seen it through the fresh, distinct and clarifying vision of a gifted new artist.” Read their full article here.
About the film:
A hard rain is about to fall on a small town in Southern China. In a desperate attempt to find money to save his fiancée’s failed plastic surgery, Xiao Zhang, a mere driver, steals a bag containing $1 million from his boss. News of the robbery spreads fast within the town and, over the course of one night, everyone starts looking for Xiao Zhang and his money… Liu Jian delivers a whirlwind neo-noir, cementing his place as a pioneering force in independent Chinese animation.
View the trailer: