Directors Guy-Marc Hinant and Dominique Lohle explore current trends in Chinese Noise, splicing together a quilt of music, interviews, scenes of Shanghai and Beijing, and the odd political manifesto or two. Seeing as how speaking one’s mind in China can be a dicey venture, those who do sit in front of the camera do not give “Fuck You: Fucking Noise in China Now” a defiance and fearlessness the directors clearly hope, as evidenced by their questions. Still this is an at times daring ride and, if only given the venue, compelling and often inspiring.
Noise fans will recognize the likes of Torturing Nurse, Wang Fan, Wang Changcun,Li Jian Hung/Dickson Dee, and Zbigniew Karkowski (whose attempts at being the intellectual heart of the film just makes him seem annoying and self-important). They contribute representative doses of harsh noise to mostly spare and introverted audiences. The poet Sun Meng Jin is also featured, verite style; this is ultimately a road picture, one in which the subjects are not as interested in subtext as the filmmakers, though there are some spirited comments here and there. Perhaps the French filmmakers were looking for some poetic aesthetic behind the music, but as their own title suggests, “fuck you” or “let’s rock” as motivation may be more subversive and sublime than any wordy extrapolation.
The value of “Fuck You: Fucking Noise in China Now” lies in the rare footage of the artists and the cites within which they perform, as well as in the awkward but occasionally insightful interviews. There is an inherent failure here—of the bands to reach their audience, of the poets to be heard, of the filmmakers to draw out the juicy bits they were seeking, that make this addictive viewing.