Perpetual Motion Ning Ying

On the eve of Chinese New Year, four women in their 40s kick back in a Beijing courtyard house. The host, Niuniu (Hung Huang), has discovered a love email addressed to her absent husband and suspects one of her closest friends of writing it. To capture the culprit, Niuniu gathers her friends: Lala (Liu Sola), Qinqin (Li Qinqin) and Madame Ye (Ping Yanni). All of them belong to China's educated elite. Like a Chinese version of Sex in the City, the foursome discuss their love lives, past and present, as they play mah-jong, dine and watch TV until early morning awakens them with a harsh surprise. This is really a film that explores sexuality from the perspective of Chinese women. The conversation is bold and untamed, definitely frank for a conservative society such as China. The women compare foreign men (no foreplay, all sex) with Chinese men (too much talk and foreplay), recount affairs and dredge up memories of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. Some of the talk is intriguing, but only some. It doesn't help that the film's sound recording is harsh. Also, the videography suffers from inconsistent framing and lighting. While the idea of Chinese women freely discussing their sex lives is daring and innovative, the execution falters. Perpetual Motion's ambitions are too big for its own good. Interestingly, Perpetual Motion's actresses are some of China's most prominent women. Hung is the daughter of former senior diplomat and Mao's English interpreter Ms. Zhang Hanzi (who herself appears in the film as an old house maid). Liu is an acclaimed novelist and musician, and scored the film. (Beijing Happy Village Ltd.)