A New Voice on Chinese Film: Dan Edwards’ Screening China
Directors Jia Zhangke, Wang Xiaoshuai and Lou Ye at the Beijing premiere of Wang's Chongqing Blues (photo courtesy of Screening China)
We’ve been following Dan Edwards‘ blog Screening China for the past several weeks, and it’s quickly shaping up to be an important source for reviews on the latest in Chinese film, especially from the indie/arthouse side. Dan, who is based in Beijing, writes for The Beijinger and Real Time Arts, among other publications. We’ve been linking all year to his coverage of our films and filmmakers: a review of Ghost Town; an interview with Liu Jiayin; a profile on documentary filmmakers; and a recap of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. He’s contributed a lot in a relatively short time, and it’s good to be able to access his content on his blog (which, ironically, is blocked in China).
Here are some recent highlights from his blog:
From his review of Yang Rui’s Crossing the Mountain:
It’s a brave first feature (Yang has apparently previously made documentaries) and at it’s best Crossing the Mountain allows us to sink into the sense of time and space of a pre-modern society existing on the hazy edges of a rapidly modernising nation. As such, it’s a reminder of cinema’s ability to not only tell a story, but transport us into a whole other way of being in the world.
From his review of Ghost Town director Zhao Dayong’s The High Life, which won two awards at HKIFF:
The High Life is a surprising, unsettling film, rich in cynical humour about the nature of power, economics and relationships in contemporary China. Following the unveiling of his acclaimed three-hour documentary Ghost Town last year at the New York Film Festival (see my article on the film for RealTime here), Zhao Dayong is rapidly establishing himself as a major rising talent in Chinese cinema.
Most recently, Dan has front-row coverage of the Beijing premiere of Wang Xiaoshuai’s new film Chongqing Blues, and reports how Jia Zhangke unintentionally upstaged the proceedings.
We look forward to ongoing reports and reviews from Dan’s blog.