This October the Jacob Burns Film Center presents “Hidden China,” a monthlong series of independent documentaries produced in China, selected Zhu Rikun, producer, programmer and founder of Fanhall Studio. Zhu Rikun is a major figure in contemporary Chinese independent film, having produced such acclaimed films as Karamay and Winter Vacation. Earlier in 2012 he served as an advisor on “Hidden Histories,” a series of Chinese independent documentaries co-curated by Gertjan Zuilh
In the online journal Senses of Cinema, Luke Robinson reviews the documentary Meishi Street (directed by Ou Ning) which will screen this weekend at the Melbourne International Film Festival, as part of “Street Level Visions“, a series of contemporary Chinese independent documentaries. Meishi Street shows ordinary Beijing citizens taking a stand against the planned destruction of their homes for the 2008 Olympics. An excerpt from Robinson’s review: An independent commission f
In the online journal Senses of Cinema, Christen Cornell reviews the environmental documentary Beijing Besieged by Waste (directed by Wang Jiuliang) which will screen this weekend at the Melbourne International Film Festival, as part of “Street Level Visions“, a series of contemporary Chinese independent documentaries. Excerpts from Cornell’s review: Like many of China’s independent documentary films, the making of Beijing Besieged by Waste was itself a form of political act
By Shelly Kraicer Shu Haolun's "No. 89 Shimen Road" won the top prize at CIFF, but wasn't shown on Awards Night. The Nanjing-based China Independent Film Festival (28 October-1 November 2011), unlike the Beijing Independent Film Festival described previously, benefited from a substantial degree of official and semi-official “cover”. Unlike BIFF, there is a certain amount of practical compromise with official bodies and officially approved cinema: purity isn’t such an issue.
The Department of Radio-Film-Television and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin present: Contemporary Chinese-Language Cinema, Nov 9-13, 2011 with Peggy Hsiung-ping Chiao, distinguished Taiwanese scholar and film producer, alumna and recipient of the 2011-12 William Randolph Hearst Fellow Award from the College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin Public Lecture: Chinese-Language Cinema – The New Image
Nov 11 (Fri) 3:30 p.m.
By Maya E. Rudolph "Disorder" compiles numerous videos capturing social disharmony in China In an age where surveillance videos serve as a kind of documentary and internet gossip supercedes mainstream news cycles, the idea of tragedy is spun into a new place and time. Several weeks ago, a surveillance camera in Foshan’s Guangfo Hardware Market captured an incident wherein a small van ran over a two-year-old child left roaming alone in the market. The footage, now viewed by mi
Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore reports for IPS: The Sixth Beijing Independent Film Festival (BIFF) has had to switch venues twice following pressure by the police, obliging the organisers to inform festival-goers of the last-minute location changes.
BIFF, now in its sixth year, is showing over 50 cutting-edge feature films, documentaries, experimental works and animations in Songzhuang, a village on the outskirts of Beijing which is known as a hub for its avant-garde artistic comm
By Isabella Tianzi Cai "The Transition Period" shows the inner workings of local politics in China U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke’s recent arrival in Beijing generated intense discussions among Chinese nationals about how Chinese civil servants compare unfavorably to their American counterparts. As reported in a September 20th article in The Wall Street Journal’s blog “China Real Time Report,” the central government and its affiliated media bodies such as the Guangming D
By Genevieve Carmel Participating filmmakers at the 2nd Annual Beijing New Youth Film Festival (photo: Genevieve Carmel) The 2nd annual Beijing New Youth Film Festival was held from September 9-18. Organized by the Trainspotting Culture Salon, this young festival makes space for new directors to showcase their work, connect with more experienced filmmakers, and receive feedback from peers and critics. Screenings and discussions were held at CNEX, Trainspotting, and the Wenjin
By Maya Eva Gunst Rudolph Assembly line workers at Foxconn manufacturing facility subcontracted to Apple (photo: Kotaku) A man, a plan, an empire: the death of a CEO can signify so much. Honorific accounts of the late Steve Jobs have been in no short supply since the Wizard of Apple’s passing last week. A tech developer and designer of the highest order, Job’s passing leaves a legacy of stunning innovation amid a complex corporate structure and a few harder-edged questions ab
Disorder (dir. Huang Weikai) tied for most mentions in PBS' poll of essential documentaries about China Last month the acclaimed documentary Last Train Home, about migrant laborers in China, made its US television premiere as part of the POV series on PBS. As part of the film’s online promotional efforts, POV polled several filmmakers and experts in Chinese cinema to recommend top documentaries and features about China. We were pleased to see that Disorder tied for most menti
In the August 14 edition of the New York Times, Edward Wong profiles Zhao Liang, director of two of the most fearlessly independent social documentaries to come from China, Crime and Punishment and Petition. Zhao has recently transitioned to work with the Chinese government to produce Together, an “official” documentary on Chinese HIV victims. That decision and an earlier one involving involving Zhao’s withdrawal from an Australian film festival in support of a political prot
Interviewed by Michael Chenkin Chris Berry Chris Berry is Professor of film and television studies at Goldsmiths University of London, and co-editor of the recent volume The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record. Most recently he co-curated a special film series “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire: The Cultural Revolution in the Cinema” with Katja Wiederspahn for the Film Archiv Austria, with the cooperation with the Museum fâˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºr VâˆšÃ‰Â¬âˆ‚l
This article by dGenerate’s founder and president Karin Chien was originally published by IndieWire on the blog of independent film producer Ted Hope. This is a revised version of the article with some clarifications in language. Additionally, Karin and dGenerate’s VP of Programming Kevin Lee hand-picked six films as a starter kit for anyone interested in discovering the world of Chinese indie films. Full article and list of films can be found after the break. ———- Karin Chie
By Steve Erickson Originally published on Fandor, where Crime and Punishment is available on streaming video. Zhao Liang has distinguished himself as one of the fiercest of the Chinese documentarians who’ve emerged in the past ten years. His 2007 debut Crime and Punishment offers a dose of Zhao’s filmmaking at full force. At first glance, the film, which closely follows the lives of Chinese military police monitoring a North Korean border town, might bring to mind American re
By Shelly Kraicer Visitors seem dazzled by the might of painterly propaganda in the "90th anniversary of the CCP" painting exhibit. A major function of the National Museum of China is its definition and display of Chinese history under the Party. This section, somewhat romantically entitled “The Road of Rejuvenation” takes up a major part of NMC’s northern section. I walked through it all, from the Opium War to “China in Space.” Inside the Grand Hall. If it looks like an eleg
By Shelly Kraicer The gallery of Ancient Chinese art in the National Museum of China may be the new highlight of anyone's visit to Beijing. Beijing’s new National Museum of China opened in March 2011. It’s been steadily expanding inside since, opening more and more galleries to the public. Recently, the galleries of ancient art were finally opened, so I decided it was time to make a thorough visit (I’d been once before in early May just to take a look at the building) and see
By Michael Chenkin Ying Qian Ying Qian is a PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Qian’s area of focus involves examining the evolving documentary visions in 20th century China. She is interested in the social processes and “film thinking” that have enabled and shaped the making of documentary images, and the ways in which these images have provided framings, interventions and agencies to historical change. Recently, Qian co-organized
By Dan Edwards IFChina Studio founder and filmmaker Jian Yi, outside the studio on the campus of Jinggangshan University Reprinted by permission from RealTime Arts Magazine. Ji’an doesn’t look like the most auspicious place for a groundbreaking experiment in China’s budding civil society. The town doesn’t appear in any English language guidebooks, the local station platform is just a low-slung slab of concrete and, in early spring when i visited, a bone chilling mist hung ove
By Michael Chenkin Guo-Juin Hong is Andrew W. Mellon Associate Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University. Hong has published articles on such topics as early Shanghai cinema, new Taiwan cinema, documentary film, and queer visual culture. His essay on colonial modernity in 1930s Shanghai was the winner of the 2009 Katherine Kovacs Essay Award, Honorable Mention, and his dissertation received the 2005 Dissertation of the Year Award, Honorable Mention, both by the