Have a Nice Day
Hao ji le
Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
There’s a suitcase full of cash on the loose, and a rich menagerie of underworld characters are hustling to snag it. Liu Jian’s darkly comic animated feature follows a Tarantino-esque procession of hyper-articulate low-lifes on a roundelay of seedy noir adventures spiced with witty—and sometimes rather politically pointed—observations about China today. Starting with Xiao Zhang, a driver who determines to steal said bag of money to pay for his girlfriend’s cosmetic surgery, the story cycles through a brutal hitman, a gangster boss with an impressive contemporary-art collection, an inventor with magic glasses and two slackers with poorly developed moral compasses. The film’s brilliant, entirely subversive stories, all set amidst a corrupt urban environment that seems to resemble a large Chinese city, are spiced up with snazzy animated musical numbers, including a dazzlingly hilarious spoof of Maoist propaganda. Sardonic references to last year’s American election keep the film’s acid tone both current and international. Liu’s old school 2D character animations are set against beautifully drawn, eerily atmospheric backgrounds that are spellbinding in their own right.
"A vibrantly witty piece of postmodern pop art."—Jonathan Romney, Screen
— Shelly Kraicer
Preceded By: Lunar DialDirector: Gao Yuan / China, 2016, 15 min.
Beautiful hand-painted images evoke mesmerizing worlds in this experimental animated short.