Nowhere Man

TITLE “Nowhere Man”
CREDITS Zilai Feng
STUDIO/SCHOOL CalArts


The idea of making this film came from two separate stories from middle school: The first one was during a health inspection, a lunchbox was found behind the television shelf at a the corner of the classroom, and inside of it were some gross molded food; the other one, a story told by our maths teacher, that years ago a dead body was found in the gaps of two buildings on the hill at the back of the school, molded and green - apparently this guy was a thieve who went out at night but ended up getting stuck there. My middle school was built around a hill, which gives the campus an interesting look - it goes up to the middle of the hill, and the end of it borders a neighborhood, where some complex, weird paths and buildings interweave. It has a humid and neighborhoody(idk what this means but) smell, just like the rest part of the city - the Guangzhou (Canton) city. Deep in its core, especially the neighborhoods, space is randomly divided by the buildings and their gaps, weird and unplanned, narrow and mossy - seemingly filled with all the secrets and twisted stories. They become a component of the people there, or the people become a part of them, and are buried and hidden inside the gaps. The kid's story is a story of a hidden memory, a thought, or just that part of himself, haunting and never-ending. It is also that part of him he left behind - the him that is dead in the gap. He hears the story, he believes in it, he becomes the story, he gets something from himself, he puts the story back. My generation grew up in the last bit of the passing-away old Canton, before Cantonese got widely banned at school. So, it has to be in Cantonese,hahahahaha Also my elementary school also borders some neighborhood, and me and my friends had a "secret station" on the highest floor of the last building, the second floor of which connects to a building where people live. I always wanted to climb through the fence in between..