Born in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China in 1985, Lei Lei studied Animation in Beijing. Since 2017, he has worked in the Experimental Animation Faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Breathless Animals is his first feature-length film.
This entrancing first non-fiction feature from Chinese filmmaker Lei Lei—whose background is in experimental animation—revolves around an audio interview conducted with the director’s mother, who recounts her recollections of growing up in Maoist China. Her anecdotes are set against a collage of found footage and imagery collected from flea markets; enigmatic and eye-catching anonymous visual detritus of a bygone era. Lei Lei processes these materials using analogue animation techniques, causing them to scuttle and skip across the frame. The subtle interplay between image and sound results in an evocation of the past as slippery and elusive as memory itself.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul | 2012 | Thailand | 20′
(screens in association with MUBI)
Ashes contemplates love, pleasure, and the destruction of memory. The surroundings of everyday life are shared with extreme intimacy. For Apichatpong, Thailand, while full of beauty, is slowly collapsing into darkness. The film is produced by MUBI and was shot almost entirely on a LomoKino (a simple-to-use 35mm camera) with a digital finale.
In partnership with Edge of Frame
Followed by a Q&A with director Lei Lei, hosted by Lilly Husbands, a Lecturer in Animation and Visual Culture at Middlesex University.
Read an essay on Breathless Animals by Lilly Husbands