Our Time Machine | Chicago Reader

Our Time Machine

In this Chinese documentary by directors Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang, artist Maleonn grapples with his own art making while also coming to terms with the legacy of his father, a renowned Chinese opera director, whose memory is slipping away due to Alzheimer’s disease. Together, the father and son collaborate on a puppet show about a man who builds a time machine to take his elderly father back to his childhood. Frenetic sequences depicting Maleonn expertly crafting his steampunk puppets are interspersed with slower moments of reckoning among loved ones, making for a rarified, fragile emotional tenor, oscillating between professional awe of an artist at work, and the precursor of grief felt by a son losing his father. Gorgeously shot, each frame is precise in its intense focus on the twinned processes of creativity and familial connection. In Chinese with subtitles.

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