EXPLORING THE MOTIF OF WHITE: MOURNING DEATH + LOVE IN DIRECTOR TAN BING’S MURDER-MYSTERY ‘THE FATAL CONTRACT’

THE FATAL CONTRACT // TRICOAST ENTERTAINMENT
With a lot of jumpy scenes and flashbacks, you pray you can hang on, wrote NW Asian Weekly. THE FATAL CONTRACT, now available via online video platforms.

Los Angeles, CA – August 4, 2018 – “It does deliver, in the best, cliffhanger way. Welcome to THE FATAL CONTRACT.” – Northwest Asian Weekly, Jessica Kai Curry.

TriCoast Entertainment has brought Director Tan Bing’s new Mainland Chinese film THE FATAL CONTRACT explores the motif of white – “the color of mourning, the color of snow.” Starring the bold Bai Ling (Sky Caption and the World of Tomorrow), whose Chinese surname also means “white”; THE FATAL CONTRACT can only mean one thing – death.


Photo: “Let’s enjoy winter,” says Bei Wei, THE FATAL CONTRACT.

“The entire film moves in a lockstep that is at first quick, and then slows down so that we can fully share and agonize over the way that no one is getting away from what is happening and what is going to happen. And that’s death. And also love.”

THE FATAL CONTRACT follows the owner of a bar and artist, Tu La (Zhao Yan Guo Zhang), and the bar regular, Bei Wei (Bai Ling), model and former mistress to several prominent painters. Their town has experienced a recent epidemic of murders, targeted towards painters and their models, with a police investigation led by Officer Li (Xuan Miao) who has high suspicion that Bei Wei is the murderous culprit. But “the powerful punch of the movie’s storyline” occurs when Bei Wei and Tu La discover the mangled, dead body of famous painter in the bathtub and become enthralled by the mysterious murder and desire to solve the crime. 

“Everything in this movie is a surprise, even though you sort of know from the beginning what is going on. You just don’t want to believe it.”

During their investigation, they meet “a ridiculously icy David Lynch-esque” art dealer, Lv Li (Tao Hong), “who loves to ambulance-chase dead painters and stock up on their most soulful works.” As her art dealer explains, “The story behind the piece is especially important…this is the soul of the work. If it has a soul, then it naturally has artistic value. At the same time, it will have spiritual value.” But as Bei Wei and Tu La begin to dangerously uncover scandalous secrets and encounter sudden, thrilling plot twists, they discover something far more mysterious – a blossoming romance. “People fall in love hard in this movie. Romeo and Juliet type love. It’s raw, tragic, and beautiful.”


Photo from NW Asian Weekly: 
Bai Wei and Tu La are trapped in a cycle of death in The Fatal Contract. (Photo provided by TriCoast).

“The miraculous and deeply Shakespearean thing about the movie, though, is that in spite of its obsession with death, when it’s over — you want to live. As fully as possible. And love. As fully and as quickly as possible. It makes you want to grab your significant other and well, you know…. THE FATAL CONTRACT is going to give you some serious separation anxiety.”

With the feel of a Mainland Chinese movie, “without the pomp and circumstance you might be used to from someone like Zhang Yimou”, THE FATAL CONTRACT has “a low budget yet purposefully constructed feel to the whole thing that is perplexing and fascinating.” Director Tan Bing’s murder-mystery “is as macabre and absurd as Fargo […but] in the tradition of a dark detective film” by allowing audiences to be “up close and personal with death, […] pain, […] and love. This movie won’t necessarily make you cry. But it is going to break your heart.”

Produced by Jiang Xiao Yu and in association with Shandong Cienyuan Culture Media Company,Director Tan Bing’s film encompasses a “plot [that] is carefully crafted and the characters are pleasingly consistent.” Alongside performances by Zhao Yan Guo Zhang (The Emperor and The Assassin, Cool Young) and Bai Ling with an “entrancing performance”, THE FATAL CONTRACT also features Xuan Miao (China Salesman) and Tao Hong (Death Dowry). Watch THE FATAL CONTRACT now streaming on U.S. video on-demand platforms, including Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K9kYYk.

Special thanks: Jessica Kai Curry, Northwest Asian Weekly. For press inquiries and exclusive interviews, please contact jenna@tricoast.com.

THE FATAL CONTRACT (2018) Directed by Tan Bing. Produced by: Jiang Xiao Yu. Editor: Li Dianshi and Yan Riopeng. Cinematographer: Wang Xingyuan. In association with: Shandong Cienyuan Culture Media Company. China, Chinese, English subtitles. TriCoast Worldwide, TriCoast Entertainment.

Produced by: Jiang Xiao Yu. In association with: Shandong Cienyuan Culture Media Company.

About TriCoast Entertainment: 

TriCoast Entertainment is a premium Domestic Distributor, representing the best of US and international films: in theaters, on VOD, on DVD and TV. Sister company to TriCoast Worldwide and TriCoast Studios, the company is located at the Studio facility in Culver City, Los Angeles.

Founded by: Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton. 

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