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Dark Matter

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Overview

Inspired by actual events, director Chen Shi-Zheng's socially conscious psychological drama follows the journey of an ambitious Chinese scientist working towards his Ph.D. in America, only to be marginalized to the extent that he ultimately loses his way. All Liu Xing Liu Ye ever wanted was to study the origins of the universe at a Western university. Upon arriving at the school, Liu immediately rents a modest apartment with a few other Chinese students and begins flirting with the pretty American who works at ...
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Overview

Inspired by actual events, director Chen Shi-Zheng's socially conscious psychological drama follows the journey of an ambitious Chinese scientist working towards his Ph.D. in America, only to be marginalized to the extent that he ultimately loses his way. All Liu Xing Liu Ye ever wanted was to study the origins of the universe at a Western university. Upon arriving at the school, Liu immediately rents a modest apartment with a few other Chinese students and begins flirting with the pretty American who works at the local coffee shop. Personally welcomed into Department Head Jacob Reiser's Aidan Quinn select cosmology group, Liu remains dedicated to his studies and optimistic about the future. Things continue to look up as Liu becomes close with wealthy university patron Johanna Silver Meryl Streep after the two become acquainted at an orientation for foreigners sponsored by a local church. Eventually, Liu becomes Reiser's protégé, and makes a sizable impression at a prestigious conference attended by the pair. But attitudes start to shift when Liu's studies in dark matter come into direct conflict with his mentor's prominent theories and well-established studies. His excitement about a potential breakthrough causes him to ignore repeated warnings that he must pay his dues, and Liu's findings are eventually eclipsed by that of more studious fellow student Laurence. Determined to have his studies published, Liu goes behind Reiser's back, but he ultimately becomes the target of ire rather than accolades, with Johanna's naïve encouragement prompting him along a dangerous collision course. While Liu remains enamored with the concept of the American dream and optimistic about American science being a free market of ideas, he begins to grow dejected after his dissertation is rejected, the girl at the coffee shop blows him off, and his roommates all find lucrative jobs. Essentially left behind at the university, Liu rejects Johanna's offer for help and vows not to return home to disappointed parents. Now, as he coasts on the fumes of his unrealized dreams, the dishonored student prepares to lash out with one final act of devastating annihilation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/14/2009
  • UPC: 025192016219
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Screen Media
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 57,042

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Liu Ye Liu Xing
Aidan Quinn Jacob Reiser
Meryl Streep Joanna Silver
Blair Brown Hildy
Chi Peng Mama
Wang Yonggui Baba
Lei Tsao Zhang Ming
Shan Jing Wang Ying
He Yu Old Wu
Li Bo Little Square
Boris McGiver Reverend Hollings
Bill Irwin Hal Silver
Zhang Hui Monkey King
Taylor Schilling Jackie
Joe Grifasi Professor Colby
Rob Campbell Gary Small
Jodi Russell Claire Reiser
Erick Avari Professor Gazda
Lloyd Suh Laurence Fang
Qian Yi Cindy Feng
Johnny Rothman Rene
Hong Ying Laundry Worker
Zeng Hui Neighbor Girl
Sina Amedson Selim
Technical Credits
Chen Shi-Zheng Director, Original Story
Gao Ai Translator
Michael Berenbaum Editor
Oliver Bokelberg Cinematographer
Kelly Cha Translator
Linda Chiu Executive Producer
T.C. Christensen Camera Operator
Jeff Chumas Stunts
Doug Coleman Stunts
Kirk D'Amico Executive Producer
Dina Goldman Production Designer
Su Haoqi Asst. Director
J. Roy Helland Makeup
Kathy Jarvis Stunts
Jeff Johnson Casting
Mo Lan Casting
Steven Laneri Sound Mixer
Andrea Miller Producer
Van Dyke Parks Score Composer
Ellen Parks Casting
Mary Salter Producer
Billy Shebar Original Story, Screenwriter
Cathy Shen Casting
Craig L. Steiner Asst. Director
Elizabeth Caitlin Ward Costumes/Costume Designer
Guo Wei Camera Operator
Hal Wilner Musical Direction/Supervision
Pam Wise Editor
Janet Yang Producer
Li Zhuozhuo Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dark Matter
1. Shining Down [8:10]
2. Field Trip [8:04]
3. Chinese Students [8:29]
4. Dark Matter [8:20]
5. Serious Damage [6:20]
6. Universe Is Eternal [8:26]
7. Pay Your Dues [6:32]
8. Dissertation [5:31]
9. School Politics [6:58]
10. Temporary Job [8:12]
11. Farewells [8:32]
12. End Credits [4:26]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Dark Matter
   Play
   Chapters
   DVD Extras
      Spanish Subtitles: On
      Spanish Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Clashes: Cultural, Lingual, Scientific, Emotional

    DARK MATTER is a film that will polarize audiences: for those who seek understanding of the clashes between science and 'religion' and the matrix from which tragedy grows the film will appeal, and for the audiences who demand tidy stories with happy resolutions the film will not please. Apparently 'based on true events', this story has many layers that invite discussion and reveals some facts about the American Academia that many would rather not know.

    Liu Xing (Ye Liu) comes from a poor family in Beijing, but rises to hopeful heights due to his exceptional scientific intelligence and is invited to a prestigious university to study with Cosmology professor Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn), the author of the Reiser String Theory - the entire universe is tied into a compact single ball of cosmic wax. Liu Xing encounters initial success not only academically but also as a fresh young student, barely able to speak English, who is taken under the wing of the kind matron of Chinese culture, Johanna Silver (Meryl Streep). Liu Xing develops his own theory that the universe is united by massive amounts of unseen Dark Matter. When the student's theory conflicts with Reiser's theory, the negative results begin to affect each of the characters: Liu Xing sees his dream of earning a PhD in Cosmology and winning the Nobel Prize for his theory destroyed by the powers of academia and as he watches his fellow Chinese students succeed, he is plagued with low self esteem as he attempts to support his family in Beijing with money earned selling cosmetics door to door. The downfall of a simple genius destroyed by the inner workings of academia leads to unimaginable tragedy.

    Billy Shebar's screenplay tinkers with the story's credibility with a heavy dose of sentimentality at times, but director Shi-Zheng Chen keeps the story moving by allowing the audience to witness frequent glimpses of Liu Xing's humble Beijing home life. The star of the film is the very talented Ye Liu, but Streep and Quinn carry their rather minor roles with great dignity and understatement. This is a moving story, too frequently repeated in our campuses to overlook. There is much more to this film than first viewings reveal. Grady Harp

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews