March 26, 2008

Dark Matter

Dark Matter SynopsisThe feature film debut of renowned opera and theater director Chen Shi-Zheng, DARK MATTER delves into the world of Liu Xing (Chinese for Shooting Star), a Chinese science student pursuing a Ph.D. in the U.S. in the early 1990's. Driven by ambition, yet unbale to navigate academic politics, Liu Xing is inexorably pushed to the margins of American life, until he loses his way.

Liu Xing (Liu Ye) arrives at a big Western university with plans to study the origins of the universe. In the beginning, everything is looking up. He finds other Chinese students to share a cheap apartment with him,and flirts with an attractive American girl who works in a local tea shop.When the head of the department, Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn), welcomes Liu Xing into his select cosmology group, it seems that only hardwork stands between him and a bright future in American science. At an orientation for foreigners sponsored by a local church, Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep), a wealthy patron of the university, notices the earnest student. An unspoken bond forms between them.

Liu Xing becomes Reiser's protege, accompanying him to a prestigious conference where he makes an impressive debut. He is drawn to the study of dark matter, an unseen substance that shape the universe, but it soon becomes clear that his developing theories threaten the Reiser's Model. Excited by the possibility of a breakthrough, Liu Xing is deaf to warnings that he must pay his dues. Soon he is eclipsed within the department by Laurence, a more dutiful Chinese student, and is forced to go behind Reiser's back to publish his discoveries. When the articles draws ire instead of accolades, Liu Xing turns to Joanna who naively encourages him on his collision course.

Liu Xing clings to the idea of American science as a free market of ideas, and American society as wide open to immigrants. But in the end, his dissertation is rejected, and the girl in the tea shop brushes him off. His roommates find jobs, leaving him behind. Too proud to accept help from Joanna, and unwilling to return home his parents, Liu Xing becomes a ghost-like presence at the university. Left alone with his shattered dreams, he explodes in a final act of violence.

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Release Date: April 11, 2008
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 86 min.
Distributor(s): First Independent Pictures
MPAA Rating: R for a scene of violence, brief sexual content and language.

Chen Shi-Zheng

Billy Shebar - Screenplay
Chen Shi-Zheng - Story
Billy Shebar - Story

Kirk D'Amico - Executive Producer
Linda Chiu - Executive Producer
Mary Salter - Producer
Andrea Miller - Producer
Janet Yang - Producer

Movie Casts:
Ye Liu - Liu Xing
Meryl Streep - Joanna Silver
Aidan Quinn - Reiser
Sina Amedson - Selim
Erick Avari - R.K. Gazda
Blair Brown - Hildy
Rob Campbell - Small
Dan Christensen - Professor
Jeshua De Horta - Student
Joe Grifasi - Colby
Bill Irwin - Herb
Krystal King - Girl / one night stand
Boris McGiver - Reverend Hollings
John Rothman - Rene
Jodi Russell - Claire
Taylor Schilling - Jackie
Lloyd Suh - Laurence Feng
Tisha Vaculin - Waitress
He Yu - Wu

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