In Perpetual Motion, four successful, intellectual women in their 40s meet in an old courtyard house on the night before Chinese New Year to celebrate and play mah-jongg. The hostess's husband is away, so it's the perfect opportunity for her to figure out which of her three friends sent him the erotic email that she discovered while looking through his desk. The result is a darkly comic, sometimes poignant evening of confession and memory set against a backdrop of feasts, evening fireworks and kitschy holiday TV special.
The leading actresses are an eclectic collection of well known celebrities in China: famous publisher and author Hung Huang plays the hostess, Niuniu; Huang's mother, who was once Chairman Mao's personal English interpreter, plays the cook; composer and vocalist Liu Sola is the bisexual Lala; the relentlessly perky Qinqin is played by film star Li Qinqin; and Ping Yanni, the daughter of a former state minister, portrays Madame Ye. Perpetual Motion invites viewers to examine the mystery of revelation and disappointment that can come not only within marriage, but within the hairpin turns of history.
—Summary from The San Francisco Film Festival
Liu Sola is a composer, a highly individualistic vocalist and a major contemporary writer. She has composed music for symphony orchestras, ensembles, and solo instruments, as well as music for film, television, modern theater and dance productions. She created the first Chinese rock opera, Blue Sky Green Sea, with a libretto based on her own award-wining novella of the same name. Her first U.S. album, Blues in the East (US/Polygram, produced by Bill Laswell), was spotlighted on Billboard and held one of the Top 10 positions on the New World Music Charts for many weeks. She wrote the soundtrack for Michael Apted’s Moving the Mountain.
Liu Sola’s writings have been translated into many languages. She achieved early success with her best-selling novella You Have no Choice, which won the 1988 Chinese national novella award. Her work not only received critical praise but was and has remained cult reading for the young generation. Her most important novels are Chaos & All That (1989), written in London, and Small Tales of the Great Ji Family (2000), written in New York.
Directed by Ning Ying. 2005, China • 90 minutes • 35mm
Co-sponsored by the UC Irvine
Department of Comparative Literature